Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bush Is God

He can start hurricanes and direct whom they will punish. He can destroy the environment and cause global warming. He can direct the whims of leaders worldwide. He can orchestrate World War III and decide who wins or loses. He can singlehandedly destroy the advances of science . . . or so they say. Here's some thoughts on that.

P.S. Sources (=Bush haters/media/people) also say that Bush is an idiot. Can I just say that I'm confused.

What's Up With That?!

After reading a gazillion reviews, I thought it would be fun to go see M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, Lady in the Water. I knew what to expect, after all. Craig surprised me by taking me to the movie. Of course, by the time we were halfway to the theatre I knew what we were doing. It was a nice surprise, however.

I went to the movie expecting to be disappointed and I certainly was. I had hoped that it would have some camp value, but it failed even in that area. I can think of 5 ways that Shyamalan could have made this movie work. Unfortunately for him and Warner Brothers, he could not think of them.

1. A decent script. With actors like those, you cannot go wrong with a good script. The worst actor in the movie was Shyamalan. Everyone else was great. So I ask you, why the sucky lines?

2. Logic. It's a wonderful thing, logic. I wish more people including Mr. Shyamalan would learn to use it. I have many questions about the movie. For example, why is the sea nymph named Story? Why is she called a Narf of all things? Why is the wolf with grass supposed to be so scary? It's a freaking wolf with grass on it? And why is it called a Scrunt? Why does it have to inject Story with poison? Why can't it just eat her? Why can't Story talk about herself or the Blue World? Why can't she just call it the ocean? Why does the Scrunt want to kill her at all? Why can't they just drive her to the ocean? Why does a giant eagle have to carry her? This could go on forever . . .

3. He should not have cast himself as the writer whose book would save the world. For one thing, he's a skinny, weird looking fellow and slightly wooden when he's acting. For another, that's just the most arrogant thing I've ever seen in a movie! Also, Shyamalan's not the best writer, as evidenced by this movie's dialogue. He set himself up to look bad by casting himself like that.

4. The film critic as a jerk who gets mauled by the Scrunt was probably not a good idea. I mean, I know Shyamalan dislikes movie critics, but constructing that character for the worst movie he ever made may not have been the best PR for future work.

5. The characters should not have believed so implicitly in an alternative universe that made no sense. Some surprise or shock would have made that alternative universe a lot more believable.

Postitive thoughts: I am glad I went to see the movie. It gave me a good feeling, despite the let down it was made to be. I realized that Shyamalan has more guts than a pile of entrails. He made that story into a movie! The man is fearless. He wrote something that he liked and made it into mass media because he wanted to. I only hope I can be as fearless when I start trying to get published. The man earned my undying respect for Lady in the Water. I think I'll go see his next movie, if he makes one. The sheer audacity and idiocy that it took to make that story and script into a movie will never cease to amaze me. There was something charming and fairy tale like about the movie. I desperately wanted it to be a good movie because the idea was so different. I enjoyed it for that element as well. Oh, and the twist ending is that there is no twist ending.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"To Arms, To Arms! To The Bridge!"

Or something like that. As a kid I had a record of the Disney version of The Hobbit which I listened to almost every day. I remember that when Smog attacks the Lakemen's village under the Lonely Mountain, they shout a line similar to my title. All of this, naturally, caused me to grow up and become a scary war hawk . . . er, not. The problems in the world today reminded me of Smog, actually.

Let's say that Smog the dragon is representative of war. This is only for analysis sake, it is not my belief that Tolkien made this anology in his book, himself. Smog mostly hid up in his cave and took things from people. Which is how wars are these days. They are not overblown, they stay in one place mainly and devestate a few people of the area. We call them "conflicts," and attempt to have "ceasefires." A ceasefire to Smog would probably include giving him some more gold and he'd hold still for a few months or something. Perhaps his state of existence was a ceasefire. However, someone does something to provoke Smog. Bilbo steals a cup. Just as something has been done to provoke real war in our day and age. You can call the provocation what you like. I prefer to think of it as the continuing attacks on freedom and Western culture beginning with 9/11 and even before that. What does Smog (i.e. war, not terrorists, don't get confused, peoples) do when provoked? He barrels out of his cave in the mountain and attacks the nearest people, who, oddly enough, were not the ones who bothered his semi-sleeping state. Think of that as the fact that war affects the people who wanted peace the most. That would be us Westerners, we like peace and ceasefires. We even pretend they're the same thing sometimes.

What do the people do to defend themselves from Smog? Well, they hide in their houses and talk about peace, civilian casualties and ceasefires until they're all burnt to little crisps. No, they fight that war until they win the immediate battle. Then, when the war gets bigger and starts to encompass more people, they ally with others and fight against the enemy of freedom and justice.

Am I suggesting we charge into the Middle East and make this war bigger? Well, in a round about way, I am. However, I hope that this time we will pause to bring our allies back together or allow them to realize the consequences of avoiding the fight. The enemies of freedom cannot be bought off or appeased. They must be fought. I certainly hope it will not take the loss of millions for the world to realize who those enemies actually are. Radical Islamofascism is growing at a frightening pace, terrorist organizations gain people by the day. They are not losing their strength. They do not have to declare their weaponry. We cannot hide from this war, or think that a mere ceasefire will end it. It must be faced and fought.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Someday I'll Write A Good Post Again

. . .I promise. Not today, however.

Here I am, it's the end of a rather disappointing week and I am ready to move on to the weekend. This week I have wanted to eat chocolate on a daily basis (somewhat aggravated by the fact that I watched the movie Choculat for the first time ever). I have wanted to eat really good cheese again. I have not slept well. My coffee addiction has grown worse. Nobody has returned paperwork to me in a timely manner. I have been generally fatigued and annoyed. I have come to the realization that I have no close friends in this town other than my husband (not to demean his role or anything, he's a wonderful man). I have just wanted to go to Hawaii all week long. People have been angry with me on several occasions due to their own unwillingness to see reason or attempt to understand what I tried to tell them.

In short, I had a crappy week.

What do I do when I have a crappy week? If you were expecting something inspring, then I'm sorry. I pretty much want to curl up and cry or something of that nature.

Okay, okay. I'll try to be inspiring. It's in my nature. When I have crappy weeks I tend to get very emotional whenever something good happens. For example, driving in this town is a mess and usually, if you let someone go in front of you they do not know what you are doing and just sit there, or they do something totally unexpected that could get them killed. I used to be a polite enough driver, but here, I am the biggest bum, annoying driver you can imagine. I paused on Monday to let someone out of a parking garage in a sticky area with some construction blocking most lanes. The person turned out and waved at me. That made me feel like a human being again. Today, one of the people who work here actually asked me if I needed her to do something to get an authorization. I cannot believe it! That made me feel wonderful. Someone was considerate and wanted to know if I needed help. Focusing on the little, good things often helps me see my day in a better light. You know, you have to push those big annoying things aside and try to see the world on a happier note. That does not always make things completely better, however.

Honestly, I think one of my biggest problems will always be that I take myself too seriously. No matter what I do, I eventually get more self centered than I ought to be. Another problem is that I like people so much. I'm not especially outgoing all the time, but I really just want people to be happy and I want to join in the fun. Having so few friends around puts a damper on that ambition. I also like to have my alone time, and this weekend I really want to stay home and write a lot.

The fact is, however, that I have a hard time remembering that God is providing for and caring for me. When something small and good happens I take it as a reminder that God is good and He is looking out for me. That, in effect, helps me to have a better day than I thought it would be -- a genuine thankfulness for the good details that point to the big picture.

Monday, July 17, 2006

All Lies

This is an interesting article on stem cell research. The author makes the distinction between embryonic stem cell research and stem cell research. He also has some interesting things to say on the timeline of when stem cell research might have results. People always think we're only a few weeks away from a cure for every terrible disease out there. But they're wrong.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Case In Point: A Rant, Part 2

Disclaimer: See post below for details. Please remember that I strongly believe that all humans are created equal (but have differences). The purpose of my post is to express my dissatisfaction with the messages of modern feminism. I believe it hurts women just as much as it hurts men, even if this deals mainly with the guy's side of the issue.

I found this article on MSN today and noticed how much it proved several of my points from the previous post. The article concerns the disconnect in a marriage that occurred after the birth of the first child. It gives the wife's perspective, the husband's perspective and then the therapist's perspective and suggested methods to deal with the problems in order for the couple to have a happy marriage. The interesting thing about this article is that it details the wife's perspective as more legitimate from the start and attempts to cut down on anything negative that she might add to the relationship difficulties. The man's perspective is overruled and he is asked to change far more than his wife. For clarity's sake I'll address each perspective in turn and then discuss the therapist's recommendations.

First off, the wife points out that she quit her job to stay at home as if it were some enormous sacrifice. But she never addresses the fact that her husband probably works extra long hours and is tired a lot himself, in order to keep food on the table. She does not "have the energy to cook," so she spends too much money. Now, I know watching one kid is difficult, but I have watched 5, 6, or 7 on a daily basis before (babysat for large families), been tired all the time and still managed to cook a meal for those kids. It's not impossible. I find it interesting she justifies the fact that she knows best about raising the kid. She also justifies nitpicking her husband about when he changes the child's diapers and everything else he does. There is very little willingness to change her behavior in order to improve the relationship. Then there is the part about the husband and wife having a nonexistent sex life. As a red blooded, American woman, I'd just like to say, huh? I understand that things change when you have kids, but if you don't make the time to be intimate with your spouse then your marriage is going to fall apart, most likely (sex isn't everything, but it's important). Which, as we see, is what could have happened here. Naturally, the woman gets off because she was tired or "not in the mood." She fails to mention that her husband might be tired of going to work every day and coming home to take out dinners. Yet he still wants to be intimate. Okay, enough said about that part. On the other hand, her fear at her husband's one violent moment is legitimate and I agree that he should not have yelled at her so much. That's not good for anyone. (For my next post, I'll discuss Intermittent Explosive Disorder.) Then there's her mother. Obviously, the mom is a destructive influence, but she wants to "keep her in the loop," rather than limit contact which might help their marriage.

On the husband's perspective, his first sentence is an apology. He sems a bit more reasonable in general. He addresses the spending problem. It's a tough financial position to be in. I've experienced tough times when it comes to money, I know how to spend less. What's difficult about buying what you need instead of everything you want? I like the fact that the husband gives more thought to the family in general. He is not as me-centered as his wife. Also, he points out why he wants contact with his mother-in-law limited -- the mom is upsetting his wife. What's wrong with a guy wanting to defend his wife? The nagging comes in once again, only here the husband wonders why his wife demands that he do things as she would do them. I agree. If the job gets done in a relatively short time without hurting anyone or leaving a big mess then who cares how it was done? Of course, there's the intimacy issue as well. He points out that his wife's refusal to bed him makes him feel undesirable. Hmm, that seems like a natural reaction to me. Let me put it this way, say you're a married woman and your husband doesn't want to sleep with you? Heh heh. I know what you thought: "Like that would ever happen? The guy isn't going to say no." Yes, exactly. But that's not the point, the point is, it would be natural to feel undesirable. However, women always feel undesirable for a selfish reason. We feel fat or unattractive, something like that. A guy can persuade as much as he likes, but if the girl feels fat, than dangit, she's not gonna shut up about it. Anyways, rabbit trail. The husband ends by saying he wants his son to grow up in a good, two-parent home. This is contrary to his wife's ending point about wanting to be close to her husband again. Both are legitimate perspectives under the circumstances, but the guy wins out on selflessness once again. He states that he will do what it takes to make that work, his wife said nothing about that and her side of the story proves that she places more importance on her own side of the story.

Now, for the therapist (whom I think is a bit of an idiot). Notice that almost every behavior change required is of the husband? Once again, society has upheld the moral standard that the woman is always right. I applaud the writer of this article and I wonder if this was unconsciously done. What if, this feminism thing has been so engrained into our thinking that we automatically give more validation to a woman's feelings in a matter? I made a surpising implication in that last question -- men have feelings. Yes, they do.

On further analysis of the therapist's recommendations I am reminded of a quotation of my dear friend I.: "Why is it so difficult to apply Occam's razor to human behavior?" The therapist goes on about the married couples' respective mothers, in classic form! It's amazing. My first reaction to the whole thing was that the two needed to talk. The wife needed to see her husband's point of view, and the husband needed to tone it down a bit and try to explain things without getting angry. Why is the husband acting this way? Because he's a married man who hasn't had sex in months. Gee, that could do a lot to a fella. The official reaction to that statement was for you to get upset that I would suggest such a thing because his wife is exhausted. Okay, why is male sexuality such an evil thing? I know, there are psychopaths out there. But the majority of normal men just want to connect with their wives and make their wives happy. Sex is the best way of expressing that for a man. It is the husband, in this case, who must evaluate how he views the word "no," in regards to sex. He's not supposed to take it personal. How in the heck can he avoid taking that personal? Then there's the whole Daily Temperature Reading bit. That makes me laugh more than anything else. Imagine, calmly stating one's thoughts could get a good reaction? You know, frankly, it's us girls who have a more difficult time with that. We always think that guys should be able to read our minds or something. Ridiculous! Most of us can't even make up our minds, let alone be transparent enough to have our mind read! However, this may be the most unbiased part of the article. It implies that both husband and wife should adjust for one another.

Upon final examination, we see that the wife is only specifically expected to change one thing: her behavior toward her mother. It's always best to remember that nothing should ever be blamed on a woman. Remember that, it will get you far in life. It's funny how equality became favoritism and then an inalienable right to walk all over about 50% of the human race.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Double Standard: A Rant

Disclaimer: What I am about to discuss is volatile. Please remember that I know that, and still chose to discuss it, proving that I am somewhat idiotic. However, I would like to say, that if after you finish reading my article, you decide that I have exempted men from all blame about the current state of our society, then please know that I have not. What I have to say deals with a complex issue that cannot be contained in the one argument that I am about to make. Hence, have your say, but don't get mad at me if I did not include the entire picture of the problem.

When I was a freshman and had only been to college for a few weeks, my friends and I watched "X-Men" one weekend. That was my first time watching it. As I remember, I was with three or four guys and three of them decided to walk me back to my dorm after the movie. On the way across campus I made some comment about the physical attractiveness of Wolverine. It was meant more as a joke than anything else. I remember that one guy disagreed with me on the basis of the fact that Wolverine has large knives that come out of his knuckes and a bad haircut (both are valid points). One guy just laughed (I'm married to that guy now). And the other pointed out that if one of the guys had made such a comment concerning Halle Berry (may her name never appear on this blog again) I would have been offended. I did not, at the time, mention that I have been in the presence of guys making such comments about women many times and have never had a problem with that. But the comment did make me think.

It is true that most women would have been upset if a guy made a comment about an actress similar to my comment about an actor. Most girls would also fail to see a problem with their own comments of that nature concerning men. And, in my experience, it is girls who make the more disgusting comments in the presence of mixed company. Hey, but I thought that women were more emotional and did not care about stuff like that and were more sensitive, hence, they would not say something that would make someone uncomfortable. Men, now, they're just a bunch of horny bastards who want to sleep with whatever new thing walks by, thus it is completely insensitive for one of them to make a comment as mild as, "She's pretty." That obviously means that something deep and disturbing is going on in that guy's psychosis. Uh, huh.

That's just an example of a double standard that I see in females all the time. It is also okay for a woman to say terrible things about her significant other on a regular basis to her girlfriends, sisters, mom etc. But on no account must a man ever think something slightly derogatory about his woman. Why is it okay for women to be completely insensitive to men and yet it is the end of the world if a guy just diagrees with a female? He should be shunned, nagged, irritated, annoyed, poked with sticks and dropped into a vat of asphalt. As my funny friends used to say, "Throw rocks at boys." And as I used to reply, "I have a good one, so I'm benevolent."

This double standard is acceptable because of the confusing problem of modern feminism. Feminism is not about equality for women. I can say that with ease because women have more than equality, they are more equal than men. A woman can be verbally abusive to a man with no consequences, in fact, she is often applauded for her efforts by her girlfriends. Also, we still discuss the subject of inequality in the workplace without ever giving thought to a few relevant factors. Factor 1) women usually eat up more benefits than men due to a little problem called pregnancy. Factor 2) women are less likely to work in a CEO type position due a little thing called, wanting to be at home with her children for more than two hours a day. No, feminism is about power, not equality. Power ignores biological facts, equality sees the biological differences and attempts to make both sides equal while appreciating the differences.

I know that some women do like working and even want the high up job positions. I'm fine with that. But I often find that women who want these positions, or women in general, tend to look down on those of us who would rather just stay at home. It's like there's something wrong with a woman who wants to be married and have children. She's obviously a rare breed. Who would want to put up with spit-up and poopy diapers and cleaning the house? It seems to me that women of this type are seen as inferior because they are more selfless and have a sense of obligation and duty. Because they want to give. It's wrong and evil to want to do that. You should have only your own interests at heart and if you get stuck at home you should make a big fuss and complain all the time. Never be happy unless you are out doing what you want to do. And you should not want to do things that are oriented toward making your children's lives good or having a happy home. You only do what you want, remember? Which means that you do not want to do things that would inconvenience you or detract from all the things you want to do. Which are not allowed to include self-sacrifice or obligation, because obligation is bad and responsibility is too. If you are a stay-at-home mom then you are automatically oppressed and should complain constantly because you obviously did not want to have a family with that man that you chose to marry. He must have hoodwinked you somehow.

Everything is constantly blamed on men. We are always asking them to be "men." I'm not sure what that means anymore. Let me think, men are more visually oriented, they tend to want to solve problems more rather than listening to constant griping about a problem, they will do crappy things (like take out the trash, make dinner after they've been working all day, work all day at a job they hate just to keep their family fed) even when they really want to rest and usually without complaint or when they are in the middle of doing something else. All you have to do is feed them and they're happy (I have definitely found this to be true). They usually have hobbies, like playing sports, or in my husband's case, table top war games. They are also very straightforward and respond well to direct questions and statements. Oh wait, those are all the things that women complain about men doing. Those are the things that make men insensitive and mean and somehow like a small rodent. Women constantly attempt to change these things about men. So, they need to be men, and yet, they also need to be girls? Okay.

Then there's my favorite, the, well, "I've been hurt by a guy," statement. For whatever reason, this fact alone gives a woman the right to rag on and hate every male she ever meets unless he's a homosexual, then he's okay. I do not understand the propensity to exact vengeance from every relationship with any male simply because one man was a dirty, rottent son-of-a____. I never will. If you are just having a kneejerk reaction, all you have to do is analyze the reaction and realize that this man is not the one who hurt you, that only one man did hurt you and that, therefore, you have no right to turn your anger on every guy who gives you the time of day. Man hating is such a valid thing these days. But if a guy was hurt by a woman, then he better be ready to explain why he was actually at fault, or at least take part of the blame for what happened. He also needs to "get over it." That is the way of things, isn't it?

I will conclude by asking one question and providing a thought: in the scenario we have brought upon ourselves, who is happy? And, you do have the power to change your own attitude, nothing more.

Monday, July 10, 2006

To Hell in a Handbasket

Disclaimer: I've been really, freakin' busy for the past week and have had no time to sit down and write. Here I am and as start to getting myself back into thoughtful, happy writer mode, I will discuss some of the symptoms to major problems in our society. Or perhaps these are the problems themselves.

- Terrorists get more respect than public officials.

- An empowered woman is easily identified because she is always the bitchy, whiny, complaining, controlling, lonely, depressed, unhappy one.

- Very few people pay attention to where their kids are.

- One year olds watch Telletubbies and other programs without a lick of sense to them.

- One year olds watch tv at all!

- There's a disease called Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

- We care about how obese people in Ohio are.

- Making a food item from scratch is likened to carving a statue like the ones Michelangelo carved.

- Most people on welfare would rather stay that way than get off welfare and provide for themselves.

- And the kicker, the end all of these problems, the absolute proof that something is catostrophically wrong, "Planet of the Apes" (1968) is considered a classic.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Here are some thoughts on America that may put you in the spirit of this wonderful holiday. Now read that and go see some fireworks. Celebrate the day our great country came to be.