Friday, September 29, 2006

Help! Help! I'm Being Repressed!

That, my generous readers, is the cry of the liberal in consternation over the hell hole into which GWB has transformed our once free and fair country. Everywhere you look you can see the tell tale signs. We have only read about them before, from history books on Hitler's Germany, in George Orwell's 1984, in that other book A Brave New World. Yes, it's all true now. If you say something bad about the government before you go to bed, you will be found dead in your cornflakes the next morning -- if you're lucky!

Okay. Yeah. One of my fellow students made the comment yesterday that she does "not support George Bush or his regime." She's a political science student. Regime is a very specific word. All I could think was that the bureaucracies have not changed, nor the structure of the government. Bush will not be in power when his term ends. Therefore, the regime is still the same. I have noted this idea of Bush's regime on other occasions and never gave it much thought until now. Now, that I am daily surrounded by the unthinking actions of the general public. People really do not take the time to think things through thoroughly. However, I did not start this in order to turn it into a gripe about illogical people. Rather, I began it to point out the slide toward extreme reasoning and emotions that our nation has taken.

It reminds me very much of the polarization that tore the country apart before the Civil War. This time, there is no physical boundary between the differences of opinion. Yet they are still very strong. Differences of opinion are no laughing matter either. One cannot get away with saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some people's opinions are more equal than others. Or, to be blunt, we all think we're right and everyone else is wrong. We're not going to politely say that we're right, however. We're not going to calmly say, "I disagree." No, that is an inappropriate response. You have to scream your opponent down and make him wish he had never even thought about addressing you. That's the right way to do things. Make a public scene, throw a fit. Be a two year old in the grocery store whose mommy won't buy you more candy.

Which brings me back to the idea of our oppressive government. If our government were so oppressive, why is there no evidence of this? Why is it that we can make a public scene about how awful our government is and receive no consequences? Why aren't there people dead in their cornflakes the day after an enourmous protest?

Because our government is still an orderly, controlled government. That's why. And because the only power it has usurped from us, is the power we gave it. That's still not enough power to condemn us to death for one temper tantrum in front of the White House.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I seem to have some time all of a sudden. Actually, it's borrowed time. I've come down with a nasty cold or something. I am always the last one to get these. Hence, all of my co-workers were home sick last week. Now it's my turn. Hopefully I can avoid being too sick for more than one day.

Since I have come into some time, I thought I'd write a bit on here and maybe work myself out of this latest stint of writer's block.

I've been considering what to write for NaNoWriMo this year. Oh yes, despite my work schedule and my class, I still plan to write 50,000 words come November. I do not plan on missing a NaNoWriMo until I'm so old my fingers do not work to type anymore. Even then, I plan to use my nose to punch the keys.

My book plan has changed over and over, going from one story to another in the hopes of creating something decent and over 50,000 words. Still, nothing sits very well with me this year. I guess I'm not focused. I'm definitely feeling anticipatory. I mean, I'm practically jumping up and down with excitement at the thought of November and staying up late to work on my next novel project. So far my best plots are either science fiction or fantasy. Even the realistic ones have an element of the fantastical. That's just me. I'm thinking that I may write the second book in a series that I started working on my sophmore year of college. It's amusing that I still have not finished the first book in that series. It has a few chapters remaining to be written.

I'm going to end up as one of those people with all sorts of things written and nothing published if I do not watch it. It's all about taking risks, isn't it? Nobody likes to take risks. It's difficult enough just sitting down and writing the first draft. The very idea of showing it to people, having it critiqued and then finding an agent who can get it published! It's very daunting, to say the least.

I suppose I've fought tougher battles than that however, not longer ones, but tougher ones. Getting out to D.C. to do my internship there was definitely a struggle. I can still remember two weeks before classes got out for Christmas break, 5 weeks before I was to be in D.C., going to my professor to tell him I did not think I would be able to go after all. I had paid for housing, I had an internship all set up, I even had people willing to drive me out to D.C. I prefer not to explain exactly why I did not think I could go, it touches the lives and false promises of a few too many people and would be both discourteous and unprofessional. Suffice it to say, it happened. And it reminded me of my long time motto: If you stop trying when things get tough you will never know what would have happened if you had only tried a little harder. Cheesy, I know. But that's me, proving that cheesy can work no matter how cheesy it is.

Now that I've given myself a pep talk I guess I should edit the book I was supposed to have fully edited by September 21st.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Just One Question

It seems that every time someone attempts to open the doors of civil debate and discussion about Islam, the Muslims riot, kill people and burn things. After a while it gets me to wondering if Islam is a "religion of peace," or if that's just a glossed over way of trying to appease people who are otherwise rather crazy.

I hate to stereotype but come on people! What ever happened to just saying, "I disagree"? How do you expect people to take your opinion seriously when you cannot give your opinion without killing somebody?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Google May Lose A Customer

I am seriously considering switching this blog from blogger to Wordpress. I have a wordpress account. I need to spend some more time working on it, and will definitely import everything written here onto it if I decide to make the switch. The truth is, I have been annoyed at google since they agreed to censor searches about human rights in China. Yeah, I have principles and I like to stick with them.

I've been training a temp this week so I had no time to write and was too tired when I got home. Then my temp got a real job and now I have to start all over training a different temp on Monday. You can guess how thrilled I am. If this one leaves too I'm gonna tell my bosses that I do not want anymore temps. Training people is twice as difficult as doing your work by yourself. I'm behind and will only get more behind now that I'm back to square one with training. I've been mentally exhausted all week. Hence the not posting.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

People Can Be Very Sick And Twisted

I read this in astonishment. That parents would go to such depths just so their sad, unmotivated kids can get good grades! It kinda takes living vicariously through one's children to whole new levels. How awful. In most cases the kids probably are not doing as well in school because they have psychotic parents who care more about the letter A than their own child's health.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ah, Logic #4

I do not often agree with Jonah Goldberg, but here is one instance where he echoed my thoughts.

What's Up With Me?

Because I am sure my generous readership is wondering, I'm going to post an update with a few interesting muses. My work life is relatively stressful, just enough to make it interesting. I have been moving offices for the last week and will continue to do that for the rest of this week. It's somewhat disheartening as I have now lost my beautiful office with the windows. It has been replaced by a cubicle in a large room where everyone can hear what I am saying at all times and whisper about me when they don't think I can hear them. Currently I have about 4 square feet of space. Oh, and there are no windows in this room as it's in the middle of the building. I did not have much of a view in my old office, but at least I could tell what the weather was doing.

I have begun taking a class in the Zulu language. It's interesting. My prof is from South Africa, and he has an interesting perspective on a lot of different things, culturally speaking. The other students in the class are mostly stupid as rocks, potential activists who hate all things American. They also think that America caused all the world's problems dating back to the 15th century A.D., possibly even earlier than that. I have not yet pointed out the fact that America did not exist in any form other than some land out there in the wide open at that time, and I'm sure it would be intolerant of their views if I did tell them that. To give an example, today our prof discussed colonization and how it destroyed a lot of South African culture. He referenced the various European cultures that imposed colonization. Suddenly, a fellow student made a statement about evil Americans and our prof began discussing American imperialism. I was thrown for a loop. I'm not going to say that America has helped Africa, but we certainly never colonized them.

In short, I am getting fodder for thought and receiving a taste of mainstream academia in a higher dosage than I have ever experienced before. I am so thankful that I went to the 'Dale. Anyone out there looking for a college? Choose a place like Hillsdale College where they teach you to think and give you mostly accurate information about historical matters.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Crikey! That's Sad!

If any of you haven't heard the news, Steve Irwin the "Crocodile Hunter" is dead. I honestly think it's very tragic that a creature killed him. It is somewhat ironic that sting rays kill almost nobody. This is sad and almost as bizarre as Fidel Castro's death would be. I thought for sure, Steve Irwin would live to a ripe old age and no creature would ever get him. He was crazy and fearless, like one of those people who jumps down volcanoes or runs into hurricanes. Except that he almost got eaten by scary animals or bitten by venomous snakes. As weird as the guy was, I did enjoy watching his show when I got the chance and I'm very sad for his wife and kids.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Kindness Is Painful

That's the impression I get from most people, be they customer service representatives, customers or random people you happen to speak to for no particular reason. It's easier, for most people, to assume that I'm some idiot who wants to eat their babies and react to me as if that was the case, then it is for them to assume that I want to know how to get to a certain road or building and have no map to tell me where that place is. Raise your hand if you've ever said something to a person you just met and had them freeze up and act like you're an idiot. My favorite question goes something like this: "What did I ever do to you?"

I especially remember the pain of kindness from when I worked in a photolab a couple years ago. It was very difficult for people to be nice to me. You know how you catch more flies with honey? Yeah, few people go by that rule. Most would rather make the person serving them feel absolutely dreadful before having to do something for them. Even Machiavelli would disagree with that take on how you treat other people.

What is the difficulty in just being nice to somebody? Why do we assume that everyone is out to take advantage of us and treat everyone like crap? I often wonder about this. It came to mind a lot the other day when my computer got moved to a different office a week ahead of schedule. I decided to be nice and let the guy move it because he was confused and had already moved half the stuff and did not want to put it back. I was annoyed, but I tried to thank him for his help in getting me set up on a different computer and finding the emails I had lost because I stupidly saved them to my old hard disk and did not have time to move them to a different file. My other co-workers, who got moved as well, were a lot less willing to be nice. Understandable, yes. However, it did not cost me a thing to be nice. Everyone has bad days and it was apparent that our IT department was having a bad day. Sometimes I mix things up and look like an idiot too. Why should I get mad when someone else does the same thing? They probably felt bad enough already and did not need my scathing criticism to make them feel worse. So, I did my best to stay out of the way and made sure that my computer worked before letting them get back to their regularly scheduled day.

The moral of the story: next time my computer breaks there will be happier people willing to fix it. The same goes for a lot of areas of work. I have been yelled at quite often as a customer service representative. Now, I am never one to sabotage someone's photos that they are paying for. But I do take pride in my work. If a person treated me like crap, I did not take pride in my work anymore. I normally did not bother to look at their photos, much less make sure they were not too dark or poorly centered. If they took bad photos, they got bad photos. Treating someone like crap to get what you want does nothing to motivate them to do good work.

Why does it hurt so much to be kind? After all, in the long run, you'll get better service if you're nice. I will conclude with another story. My alma mater's cafeteria serves fresh made omelets every Sunday and I used to get an omelet each week. One time, a young man who was very good at making omelets made mine. I told him not to put cheese on it, and he forgot. So when I came back he was just finishing it and asked if I wanted cheese again. I told him I did not. He gave me the omelet. I started eating it and realized that cheese had been cooked all through it. I was so angry. After a few minutes I brought the omelet back, told him that I had asked for no cheese because I will get sick if I eat cheese and he should have just told me that he had forgot and put cheese in the omelet. I then said that I did not have time to wait for another one, so I'd just eat something else. I was polite, but firm. In the ensuing weeks, that guy always made sure that nobody put cheese in my omelets and he was really nice. You know, it should not hurt to treat someone nicely even when they mess up and they will treat you with greater respect in the long run. If it does hurt, then you may want to get some therapy or something.