Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

Shower-time Train of Thought

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Who is the better artist?
The artist whose work is simple, accessible, direct? The artist who is loved by the masses?
Or the artist whose work is vague, ambiguous, complex, convoluted? The artist who is loved by other artists?
Both have their own merits, both have positives and negatives, but which one is best?
I suppose that it all comes down to personal values.
But if so many more people value the simple, then does that make it better? Majority rule?
And yet, if the artists are considered elite, if those who are valued by the masses value the complex, then does that make the complex better? Hierarchical/structural valuation?

All the cool kids are doing it.

Friday, October 15th, 2004

FDA Public Health Advisory

Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked manufacturers of the following antidepressant drugs to include in their labeling a Warning statement that recommends close observation of adult and pediatric patients treated with these agents for worsening depression or the emergence of suicidality. The drugs that are the focus of this new Warning are: Prozac (fluoxetine); Zoloft (sertraline); Paxil (paroxetine); Luvox (fluvoxamine); Celexa (citalopram); Lexapro (escitalopram); Wellbutrin (bupropion); Effexor (venlafaxine); Serzone (nefazodone); and Remeron (mirtazapine).

FDA Panel To Review Updated Analysis of Antidepressant/Kid Suicide Link

Aug. 20, 2004 — A new FDA analysis shows that kids taking most antidepressants have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions.

Having been suicidal, and having been diagnosed with manic depression (bipolar disorder) in elementary school, and having been placed on heavy dosage of Zoloft spanning sixth through eighth grade, and having hated the effects that it had on me to the point of pretending that I was no longer unhappy so that I could stop taking it, and knowing what I know now, and feeling what I feel now…

the humor in this is fucking sickening.

Boys don’t cry. Girls are made of everything nice.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

(5 of 8)
“Don’t cry!” – Rather than deny your child’s feelings, talk about her emotions. Give your child the words to express herself, and ultimately she’ll cry less.

(6 of 8)
“Wait till Daddy gets home” – Passing the buck undermines your authority. And by the time Daddy does get home, it’s likely that your child will forget what he did wrong.

I occasionally read random AOL news items that pique my interest/amusement. I read one today about seven things that you shouldn’t say to your children, and the above items are excepts from it. All of the other “what not to say to your kids” tips offered by AOL/Parenting Magazine were gender ambiguous. Why were these situations assigned gender?

Monday, September 6th, 2004

I’ve been noticing of late that almost everyone seems to be searching for short-term fixes for potentially permanent problems. I find that to some extent, I am prey to this foolish process as well. It seems that if we could just step back and see things as they really are, then we might be able to commit to finding a real solution. But even when we know that a real solution is possible with patience and fortitude, we choose to let it go in exchange it for a quick fix. It’s so much easier to look for quick results, even when they are superficial and temporary. I find that I personally seem to give up not only the real solution, but also a number of quick fixes. I am slow to act. I am indecisive. I am fearful. And perhaps, I find some sick comfort in being miserable.

A message to the power elite:

Sunday, June 13th, 2004

How much “bad intelligence” do you get to use before we are justified in calling you “stupid”?

Bank Notes

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

As a financial and business institution that regulates and perhaps runs this country, you would expect banks to have better hours. My local bank is open 9am to 4pm weekdays (though it is open to 5pm on friday) and closed on weekends. Despite the fact that many businesses are open for much longer hours and so they have staggered shifts, if/when people work a standard 9 to 5 work day, they will not be able to go to the bank unless they go during work.

Additional Note:

It is a good thing that I don’t trust my bank. I was holding off on posting this because I was giving Huntington Banks the benefit of the doubt, but they have dropped the ball. I deposited a check (from me to myself–my credit union account to my Huntington Banks account) on monday. On the receipt that I was given for the deposit, it stated that the posting date would be today (Tuesday). I assumed that the transaction would be posted at opening hours, but decided to check on it via my internet access to the account to be sure. It was not posted this morning, this afternoon, or this evening. They did not, in fact, run the transaction today. Now ordinarily, this might not bother me, except that they gave me a posting date for when it would be posted. Had I relied on their word, I might have made an electronic purchase/transfer (i.e. debit or Visa checkcard) and there would not have been sufficient money in my account. And who would they hold responsible? Who would be charged ~$30 for trying to overdraw an account (which would not even be overdrawn if the bank had actually done what it had said that it would do)? I would have.

I find it reprehensible that banks would fail to meet their own deadlines and not have to be held responsible. If I fail to provide money once I have committed to providing it, the bank charges me ~$30. It seems to me, that it should only be fair that the bank pay me ~$30 for their failure to provide the money when they committed to providing it.

Sunday, March 28th, 2004

I love and am amazed by how voyeuristic the internet is. While surfing from link to link to link, I stumbled onto a peek into the life of someone that I used to know. I was surprised to find an intimate detail about that person that completely destroyed my original perceptions of said person. It is exciting to know things about people that they would never expect that you know. And while reveling in my newfound discovery, I realized that there are surely people who know such information about me. And that is just the nature of the internet: discretion and exhibitionism under the guise of false anonymity. We disclose things to the world thinking that these things will never be discovered by those who know us, but secretly, we know that they may be discovered and it excites us and entices us to continue.

I have a love-hate relationship with McDonalds.

Saturday, March 20th, 2004

There’s plenty of backstory that goes hand-in-hand with this entry, but here are the pertinant details:

Cheap (and sometimes tasty) food VS. Terribly unhealthy food

So this week McDonalds has offered me two great deals: (1) a McHero (three burger patties, a few slices of cheese, some other crap, all on a sub sandwich bun)–I HAD to give it a try–and (2) five Cheeseburgers + a basket of fries for $5.

The McHero felt like eating a triple bypass cardiac arrest. It was so fucking greasy. Great concept, but poorly executed.

And of course, in addition the the 5 burgers + basket o’ fries I had to get a McChicken and a Double Cheeseburger off the dollar menu. This is a step down from my previous fast food gluttony endeavor, but it was still a respectable meal. And hey, even (soon-to-be) giant men have to take baby steps once in awhile.

The main point is: for all their recent talk of trying to help people not eat so unhealthily (for example, by announcing that they are eliminating the super size fries due in part to health–by which they really mean that it was wholly financial and not at all related to health–concerns), they are worse than fucking ever.

It’s good to have goals…

Friday, January 30th, 2004

In this modern time of blaming our health woes on the fast food industry and requesting 1/2lb angus burgers without a bun to so that we don’t have to excercise because we consumed all those pesky carbohydrates, I have chosen the tread the path less traveled. I have decided constantly raise the bar, and outglut myself whenever possible. On Tuesday, I attempted to consume two “chicken & more” meals (each meal consists of: 3 batter dipped chicken planks, fries, 2 hushpuppies, coleslaw)from Long John Silver’s as well as a 7 piece boneless honey bbq chicken box from KFC–all in one sitting. Unfortunately, I was only able to consume the chicken & more meals, and had to save the KFC for later.

Hot on the heels of this disappointing performance, however, I stepped up to the plate again today. This time, I almost knocked it out of the park, but still fell short of my desired goal. I was able to consume 2 quarter-pounder-with-cheese value meals, 2 double cheeseburgers, and 10 chicken mcnuggets– but this was 10 chicken nuggets short of my goal.

Just for reference, that is: 3,730 Calories; 178 grams of Total Fat; 6,790 milligrams of Sodium. Not bad for a small guy (5’9, 165lbs), right?

“From The Jeep To The Street, These Are The Hits With More Bounce To The Ouce!”

Monday, December 29th, 2003

From the douchebags that brought you Kidz Bop, Now That’s What I Call Music, Monster Booty, Monsta Jamz, Monsta Flava, Goin’ South, and Ultimate Yanni

…comes Thug Nation.

Even though this company must offer at least a few decent compilations of music (I hope), I absolutely despise the way they market their products. I just saw an ad for “Thug Nation”, and it is completely ridiculous. I have to assume that these people are marketing the music to stupid white suburban kids who like to fool themselves into thinking that they live in “the ghetto”. I can’t imagine any self-respecting “thug” to order this collection of music. (I would think that most already own the albums that the songs come from anyway.) The incredibly “old white guy” sounding narrator reading a script that attempts to emulate current street slang certainly does not convince me that he knows what it is like to live the “thug life”. It’s cheesy, it’s corny, and it seems a bit exploitative. I hope to God that I never have to make ads like these when I get a job.

From the website:

“Whether you’re jeepin’ or creepin’, Thug Nation has got your back!”

From the television commercial:

Are you a true player? Then it’s time to pledge allegiance to the money, power, and respect of Thug Nation—the hugest hood anthems of all time. Guaranteed to get you gangsta! … Whether you’re a hustla, a baller, or a P-I-M-P, Thug Nation is gonna get your game in check. Call or log on, and get your thug on now! These are all the greatest hip-hop hits for the thug in you. … East Coast, West Coast and the rivalry that spawned the biggest mix of all time; it’s Thug Nation, where all your favorite legends of hip-hop are representin’. Where da hood at? It’s ahhll right heeere, dog! … Plus, get blingin’ with this “Holla 4 Thug Nation” bumper sticker, absolutely free with your paid order. Street dreams are made of this. Get Thug Nation now!