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Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Social Networking, Narcissism & Nonsense

In Media, Society on October 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Over the weekend I took my daughter to watch the facebook movie The Social Network and while it was a good film it cements my feelings toward the whole social networking phenomenon.  In short, Facebook came about not from some noble cause or even a business interest, rather it was born out of a sheltered, ignorned yet intelligent person’s need to be accepted.  This need took a life of its own and became a huge success.  Now while I understand some use or claim to use these forms of networking for business purposes or to catch up with old acquaintances, many do it to satisfy their needs to be seen, heard or talked about.  The proliferation of personal information available today on the internet is astounding.  Do we all really need to know you are going to the gym? Or getting your hair done?  It sounds more like you wanting people to know what you are doing, when you are doing it and with whom.  Another funny thing is how people all of a sudden become philosphical on these sites, quoting literary greats when we all know they hardly ever pick up a book or don’t follow the message themselves.  Why do we as a current society need this constant attention and (I use the word lightly) support?  I have been at sporting events, cookouts, dinners etc and have observed numerous people on their phones “updating their facebook” pages.  What could they possibly be updating – what kind of burger they had?  Damn, even old folks have facebook pages to keep up their appearences.  The sad thing is most of the users of these sites, if they are honest with themselves, have deep insecurities that these sites camouflage.  What better way to say they are loved or have allys but the amount of “friends” they have?  I have heard people explain their use of these sites to re-connect with people they once knew, but really, if you wanted to stay in constant contact with these “friends”, would you have really lost contact with them in the first place?  It appears teenagers are now using these forums to bully, insult an humiliate others.  These internet tough guys apparently have caused some of their victims to become depressed, reclusive or even commit suicide.  What does that tell you about the state of today’s youth and how they need the constant attention or approval of their peers?  Those who use these sites to hide behind their own inadequacies and insult others virally are the worse kind.   Now I also know some who use the sites to share good times with old friends, photos, music etc.  This is not intended for this minority.  These sites in and of itself are not cruel or wrong, it is but a tool used by others for different reasons.  Rather it is meant for those millions who utilize these forums to pound on their chest & yell “Look at me…I am important too!”  I am sure you are to your close friends and family, I just don’t think everyone needs to know when your next bathroom break is.

There’s a difference between free speech & cheap talk.

                                      – Unknown

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History, Zealots & Capitialism

In Education, Politics, Racism, Religion on October 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm

What is America coming too?  There is a big debate, or rather fight, going on right now over the way we learn and have been taught history and science.  “Conservatives / Right Wing Christians” are arguing the textbooks used in todays schools do not aptly reflect AmeriKKKa’s Christain values by promoting “multiculturalism” among other things.  They feel these books should depict our country in a better light, focusing on the notion that this is the best, most noble nation in the world.  They accuse the liberals of negatively representing American history.  As Ed Lover would say….”C’mon Son!!!! Go ahead with that bullshit right there!”  How could they not see how by attempting to rewrite history as it occurred they are commiting total blasphemy.  The shit hit the fan recently when in Texas, of course it had to be Texas, it’s 15 member state Board of Ed, which are now controlled by “Conservatives”, demanded significant changes to social study textbooks.  They now want the textbooks to stress how the U.S. is a ‘Christian land governed by Christian principles.”  Really??  Isn’t that Muscular Christians again trying to force feed skewed ideology and beliefs?  They are trying to downplay or eliminate some historical figures like Thomas Jefferson (yeah – thee Thomas Jefferson – he of one of the founding fathers fame), Ed Kennedy & Cesar Chavez’ because of their alleged liberal or anti church / state beliefs to accentuate figures like Ronald Regan, who they feel led a conservative resurgance in the 80’s and 90’s.  What?!?  They also want to eliminate how history reports Slavery.  Now I have always felt the teaching of Slavery and how it has been taught has always been a negative subliminal message to people of color.  Imagine how it begins to make young people of color feel as they learn how they would have been (and in different ways – still treated) back in the day and how it begins to foster a sense of  superiority amongst Caucasians from an early age, while developing a sense of deference to these young people of color.  But these zealots want to paint the whole slavery issue not as America’s black eye, but as a by product of British rule Amerikkka struggled to change.  That sad part is the textbook industry is poised to make these changes because Texas is the second largest textbook market in the country spending upwards of “$60 million annually on books”!!  Now that is Capitalism at its finest folks – sacrifice the truth for the almighty buck.  If that ain’t the American way, what is? 

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.

                                               – Albert Einstein