Tuesday, August 31, 2004
This Just In ...The Republican National Convention has chosen today's theme to be "People of Compassion."
Monday, August 30, 2004
A Conspiracy of DuncesI will start this blog with a confession: I didn't vote in the 2000 election. I wanted to. I tried. I had recently moved, and needed to re-register. I did so by going to onlinedemocracy.com. At the time, it was quite a new service and did NOT include "Libertarian" as a party of choice. I wrote that affiliation in, and assumed I was registered. I did not receive any confirmation, and it wasn't until October that I realized that nothing had come in my mail. I never figured out what happened. It was too late to register again. I was not able to vote for Al Gore. It was the first election when I was old enough to vote that I did not participate in and I was left feeling quite bad. The turnout of the election did not help. I was left feeling like it was my fault, and that I was an idiot. But was I? This year, I have moved again. I have registered twice and have not recieved any confirmation that I am registered. I am now going to try a third time by going here. I may try both the online version AND the mail-in version. What a pain in the ass! How about this: I will vote for whoever will let me! Hello? Shouldn't voter registration be easy? Why isn't it? I do know this: politicians are afraid to change the mechanics of the voting process because it will nullify most of their past marketing intelligence. A political race is a game of inches, and it's no wonder since most elections are Mr. Pablum versus Mr. Vapid. But if you change the sample (which is what a change in voter registration would do), you can radically change the number of inches Mr. Pablum might or might not move. So they don't want to change it. So I will register to vote for the third and fourth time today. Maybe one will hit. After all, you can't win if you don't play, right?
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The truth in thereMy previous post notwithstanding, I'm finding this month's issue of "Vanity Fair" to be an apt metaphor for America. You have to wade through 9,000 pages of superficial crap before you find some incredible gold nugget of truth. This month's issue compares and contrasts the war records of Kerry and Bush. Big yawn, right? Wrong. The article has a perspective that is quite fresh, as it comes from a journalist who was censured by Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam conflict. Oddly, his perspective seems the correct one for such an undertaking. Imagine that you're running for class president at your High School, and your opponent is a star water polo player, and you are a chess geek. Would you focus your propaganda on how the other guy really isn't that great of an athlete? And then vaunt yourself to be a studly macho dude? If it was me, I would talk about what a lousy chess player Mr. Waterpolo was. But that's just me, I guess.
Worship and Devotion at the Feet of ConsumptionMarx said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." How right he was. I've taken this thought a bit further by saying that whatever we opiate ourselves with is our religion. My good friend is a devout Christian. Yet, whenever he feels down or blue how does he ease his troubled mind? Does he go to church, kneel and pray, and ask God to show him the way? No. He thinks about what he can buy to make him feel better. And, to a point, don't we all? Most of us do, much of the time. Consumerism is our religion, our opium. But as far as I can tell, even though our consumerism is an oppressive god who sacrifices many off-shore laborers and children, he tends to kill fewer people than other gods like Allah and Jehovah do. So as long as we're worshipping the purchase of stuff, let's worship well, shall we? And here we get to the point of this post: every dollar we spend changes the character of our god. Should I buy products from companies that underpay workers in 3rd world countries? Should I eat veal, even though those lambs are pretty much tortured until they are finally killed for my dinner plate? Should I buy a book like "Battlefield Earth", that is recommended by my pal Dread? If I do, the profits--though I can't prove it--will go toward the Church of Scientology, which is just plain stupid and evil. I, for one, won't buy it. (UPDATE: Dread would like everyone to know that he is not now, nor has he ever been, a Scientologist.) The thing that drives you crazy, though, is not knowing if the windbreaker your mulling over at Target is sewn by retarded children in Mauritania ... or not. The fact is we can't know it all. If we did, it would depress us so much we'd have to go out and buy more shit to make ourselves feel better. But it still beats starting a holy jihad, or beheading a tourist, no? P.S. Can anyone name off some good non-government watchdog organizations that let us buyers beware?
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I dig chicks!I usually take more pride in my headlines, but this post is in response to my friend David's post wherein he admitted to something that I've not admitted myself, but it is all too true. When I read a man's blog, part of my summation of the blog--and the man--is whether he is gay or straight. I love everyone, but part of "getting to know" someone is to know their orientation. I will read anyone's blog as long as they are interesting to me, and I will judge a man's value based on his character, not on who he sleeps with. And with women I'm also curious, but I won't lie--it's not the same as my curiosity about men. With men I'm just getting to know where they come from. But with women, there's always the lurking thought in my perverted mind if I might actually have a chance with this particular woman. Not that it would ever happen, but my reptilian brain--while reptile-like--is still rabidly heterosexual and somewhat kinky. Still, the same holds true regarding my value judgement of a woman. I will value her based on whether she's a good person or not. Still ... a guy's gotta know. So part of the fun of my blog has been to be semi-covert about my orientation. After all, I don't want anyone to value or de-value what I write based on the fact that I utterly and totally love everything about women. First and foremost, I love their bodies. Those thighs, those breasts, the curves. Their faces, their hair, the way they smell. I love them all. I want most of them. Guys are fine. I like them in a friendly sort of way, but I don't ever have the urge to wrap my arms around some dude's waist and run my hands up and down his torso. [shudder.] And there you have it. Jim is straight as can be.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Please pardon the messI made the mistake of trying to work on my own page. Please come back later when it's presentable. Why are you still here? Go! Shoo!
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
If Help Desks were 100 years oldOK, for those of you who don't know me, my career is that of a "Help Desk guru". I won't bore you with the details, but my complaints about Help Desks have been from a somewhat expert point of view. Being a consultant, I try to always look at the big picture. I'm told that my tendency to always look at the big picture is due to the fact that I am a Capricorn. To this I always reply, "Yes, but all my planets are in Uranus." This reply gets mixed reviews. Regardless, I do tend to look at the big picture. I know what you're asking: "So what's the big picture on why Help Desks are such a fucking pain in Uranus? Hmmm, Mr. Guru?" Good question. Remember Alvin Toffler? He wrote "Future Shock" with the shocking pink slipcover on the original printing. I wish I had a .jpg of it. Shocks me every time. Anyway, in the book, he basically purported a theory that our pace of technology advancement is faster than our ability to grasp it. I was a mere grade-schooler at the time so I didn't quite get his doom and gloom prophecy. Well, as with all doom and gloom prophecies, there wasn't any doom. But there is gloom, and her name is Help Desk. Help Desks are the fulfillment of Toffler's prediction. Technology has outpaced our snail-like peabrains. Toffler was right is because we didn't have Help Desks 100 years ago. Imagine if we did. DairySoft Tech Support: Howdy-doo, this here is DairySoft Tech support. What can I do fer ya? Farmer: This here cow isn't giving milk. DairySoft Tech Support: Now is that there a Jersymaid cow, or a Holstien by any chance? Farmer: Holstien. DairySoft Tech Support: And are you in a barn, or out in the yard? Farmer: I ain't got a barn. It burnt down last fall. DairySoft Tech Support: Oh now don't that beat all? OK, so can you explain to me what yer doin' so's I can figure out what the problem is? Farmer: Well, there ain't much to tell, really. I'm just bending down and kneedin' that there pink thang and no milk is comin' out. Durned cow is getting right pissed at me, too. DairySoft Tech Support: Hmmm ... now you got me thinkin'. Can you describe the pink thing to me? Farmer: Sure. Well it's pink in a sort-of pinkish way. Comes right out of the bottom-side of the cow. DairySoft Tech Support: Say feller, does that cow have long horns, or short horns? Farmer: Long horns. DairySoft Tech Support: Can I put ya on hold fer a second? (pause) OK feller. What you got there is a BOY cow. You need to go try the same thing on a GIRL cow, and if it still don't work, give us a holler, ya hear? Farmer: Well I'll be durned! Thanks! Ack. I got carried away. That's what Tech support would be like 100 years ago if it was actually GOOD. Well now I'm guilty Long rambling post to make a simple point. I'm going to blog hell! But before that, I gotta finish my work.
Monday, August 16, 2004
The Snivel WarHey all you people in San Francisco, stop putting Los Angeles down. We know we have traffic. We know we have smog. We know we don't have as much "culture". We know that your city is prettier than ours. But at least we didn't marry a bunch of same-sex couples and say "Oops! Only kidding!" And our women are better looking. So there. :P
Thursday, August 12, 2004
The Politics of GenderI find it interesting that in order for a State Governor to come out of the closet, he must simultaneously resign. This just in from Yahoo! News: "TRENTON, N.J. - In a stunning declaration, Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation Thursday and acknowledged that he had an extramarital affair with another man. "My truth is that I am a gay American," he said." I admire his courage for being true to himself--albeit it came at the threat of a scandal that would damage his party. I suppose it's a foregone conclusion that the resulting smear campaign would limit his ability to govern. But a more perfect person would allow the smearers to smear themselves. In a few decades, those who proliferate such hate toward gay people will be proven out by history to be the real problem, and not the gay people themselves. Would I be so perfect as to suffer the onslaught he would suffer? Doubtful. Still, what stands out in all of this is the courage of his wife Dina Matos McGreevey. What kind of things must have been going through her mind while she stood with her husband--holding his hand--while he admitted to the world that he had a gay affair. This took more chutzpah than Hillary Clinton had to muster. Aside from being quite beautiful, her fortitude has earned my respect in a big way.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Death would be far too merciful ...My computer played host to the "Bagel" worm last night. It slithered it's bits into my life without my doing anything dumb to deserve it. It foiled my files, impurified my parity, disgraced my disk, and reamed my RAM. One man's solution is to put virus writers to death. I am not far behind him, for I feel death would be too good for the kind of vermin who violate our vocations with virii. (I'm in an alliterative mood, it seems.) Short of death, he should be forced to swallow, digest, and excrete an entire box of Brillo pads®. Or, he should be forced to sit under a flourescent light whose flashing pattern is dissonent with his own vision, entering data into a green-light CRT in a sensory deprivation cubicle, fixing all the corporate crud his virus has caused. Or, he should be strapped to the boat and forced to ride "It's a Small World" at Disneyland, while a giggling Gilbert Godfrey forces him to eat tofu. Submit your suggestions for punishments. Make my day.
Friday, August 06, 2004
V*O*T*EOnline Democracy You can register to vote for free at the above link. People who don't vote get the president they deserve!
Thursday, August 05, 2004
I'm going to hellI was told as much in this test. Hey, it's published on the internet so it must be true! I scored a 172. What's your score?
How to Keep Your Sanity in Corporate AmericaI just needed to impart a very brief and simple message to a guy who is nice, but can never ever keep a conversation brief and simple. You know the guy, because he works at your company too. Or he might be a she. Nice person that everyone avoids. Anyway, while walking to his office, I got a brainstorm. I flipped open my cellphone and approached "yeah ... uh huh ... okay ... hey
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Me tooThis via Doug Gillette via Matt Levine . Evolution dilettante James Hart is running unopposed for a seat in the US House of Representatives representing the 8th congressional district Tennessee. He's a good example of what happens when a politician with racist leanings skims a book by Richard Dawkins. If the Republican party were a corporation, and I were the CEO, I'd schedule a meeting with the Director of Quality Assurance and also invite the VP of HR and a security guard.
The Blog Heard 'round the WorldGood news for the blogging world. My Real-life friend "Sscottyb"--a man truly born to blog--has finally hung up his virtual shingle to administer his verbal unguents to the internet world. The Curmudgeon in Training is now open for business. Now if only Brian would do the same ...
Monday, August 02, 2004