Saturday, August 06, 2005

Software Rant

When it comes to computers, you have to have the most updated software for anything to work. Of course, having the most updated software means that you'll have more maintenance, and you'll have to use more ram.

AOL is the most basic example of this. When I was a young and naive internet user, I loved AOL, because I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and it simplified things by having everything in one spot. It took me a couple of years to realize that AOL was polluting my computer with unnecessary software.

Now that I'm free of AOL, I'm finding that Windows is the real problem. A lot of companies claim they will provide an earlier version of programs that will work with operating systems like Windows 98, or ME, but when it comes down to it, the earlier versions don't work at all.

I personally think it's a conspiracy. Everyone is supposed to have the most up to date version of Windows, the kind that our humble computer cannot handle. Our lack of income requires us to pay an additional price to enjoy our computer.

We are poor. I am not ashamed of that fact. Our best bet would be getting a new computer that could handle all of the latest programs, or, if anything, to spend $200 on a new motherboard and additional ram, but even this is too much for us, as we live paycheck to paycheck.

Maybe this is just America. You can't enjoy anything that you have unless you have money in excess, but personally, I think it's fucked up and prejudiced.

If people have the systems to support more updated versions of software, by all means, I think they should have it and enjoy it, but why should the previous versions fail to work as a consequence?

I already know why. They want to force us to pay for things that we can't afford.

That's the bottom line.

That's America, land of the free and in debt.

Maybe someday when I have a "real job" I'll be able to use my computer as I please.

I'll be completely successful. I'll have all of the updated versions of everything and my computer will handle them splendidly.

Maybe then I'll truly be an American.

Oh, and maybe then I'll start voting for Republicans.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Elizabeth Wurtzel on 9-11

"I had not the slightest emotional reaction. I thought, 'This is a really strange art project.' It was the most amazing sight in terms of sheer elegance. It fell like water. It just slid, like a turtleneck going over someone's head."

Elizabeth Wurtzel was quoted as saying this in response to 9-11. I personally think that it's a great quote. I felt like I was floating in water that day, or as if I was underwater, and everyone was talking to me, but the sound was gurgled and unintelligible. I looked at whoever was speaking and blew bubbles like nonsense trying to say "What?". Nothing could really get through. I went to classes as usual, and at my college, there was some kind of welcoming week occurring at the time. Instrumental bands were playing celebratory music all day long as we dragged ourselves around from class to class trying to figure out what the hell was going on. It was completely surreal.

Apparently, Wurtzel's comments lead to Miramax pulling the film and releasing it safely on video four years later. As a fan of both the movie and the book, this angers me. I don't think Wurtzel is necessarily an unfeeling stuck-up American who makes light of the tragedies that exist in this society. On the contrary, she uses tragedy in her writing, and she does it well. Her reaction was just as genuine as any other American reaction, and censoring her movie (a movie that has nothing to do with war or patriotism at all) is simply asinine.

She is an American. I am an American. We're supposed to have free speech. Lucky for me, I'm not famous, and I don't owe any film companies any explanation.

The Onion's review of Prozac Nation

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Double-Edged Sword

My husband washed a truck tonight with pictures of dead fetuses all over it. He wanted to refuse to wash it. Most of his coworkers wanted to refuse as well, but they all sucked it up and did their jobs. Apparently, the truck belonged to a "pro life" activist from Kansas. The driver thinks if he displays this horrifyingly grotesque truck around the country he will somehow stop abortion. I don't really understand the logic behind his theory. If I was a woman considering an abortion, obviously, I would realize that it would mean killing tissue that is currently forming into a fetus. Do people really see pictures of dead fetus on a truck and say "Oh my God, I had no idea! This changes everything!"

It's so absurd. We all know what abortion means.

Abortion clinics make sure women are well informed. In Wisconsin it's state law that you know all of your options first. The fucked up part is that you can either know your options point blank from a trained professional for $100 fee, or you can go to one of the religious activist groups in town that will take three hours of your life to drill the ideology of fundamentalism and anti-abortionism into your head. They do everything in their power to guilt you out of your abortion. That option is free of charge. I'm not the type of pro-choicer who thinks abortion isn't a difficult decision. The fact that women making this difficult decision have to subject themselves to religious propaganda when they can't afford to pay an extra $100 pisses me off.

On the other hand, in regard to the trucker, I realize that because I expect a fundamentalist pharmacist to fill the morning after pill prescriptions, I must swallow my pride and admit that my husband has a responsibility to wash the fucking anti-abortionist's truck. I don't like it, and he doesn't like it, but it is a double-edged sword. What really pisses me off about these people is that they are trying to change the country I live in. They view religion and politics as the same thing, when in fact they are a dangerous mix. I like living in a country this free, and I can't help feeling stifled by people who want to take that freedom away.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

More about PETA

This article speaks for itself.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sex Outside of Marriage is Death!

Wouldn’t you know it? The Christians are once again opposed to a wonderful new advancement in medicine. A vaccine, given to adolescents before they become sexually active, is proving effective in preventing cervical cancer (and genital warts). The religious opposition claims that giving this vaccine would be advocating children to become sexually active. They argue that abstinence should be viewed as the only form of protection against these kinds of health risks. This reasoning is so idiotic I’m not sure what to criticize about it first.

It’s obvious that kids will be having sex regardless of what their parents tell them to do. Depriving them of the vaccine is turning cervical cancer into a punishment for not practicing abstinence (how does one practice abstinence when it consists of inaction?) Of course, these people believe that sexually active people get STD’s because God is inflicting punishment on the sinners of the world. What I don’t understand is why anyone would want to devote their life to a God who tortures people with illness deliberately, and why they would prefer that their children die from a potential illness rather than protecting them against it.

According to Concerned Women for America, the only way to protect against God’s wrath of cervical cancer is to never have sex before or outside of a “mutually monogamous marriage”. Why is marriage is a requirement? The only requirement I can see is that both parties have to be free of infection. HPV could make this possible for everyone, and it is to be given before becoming sexually active, whether your kid has sex for the first time at 15 or 30 is of no consequence.

I think this vaccine should become an acceptable procedure for young adults and treated just like any other vaccine we give to kids. When you give your child a tetanus shot, you aren’t suggesting that he should go outside and step on a nail, you are protecting against the possibility. It could happen, and if it doesn’t, so much the better. If you’re a staunch Christian and you’ve raised your kids to believe that sex before marriage is out of the question, I really doubt a vaccine will influence your kids into sudden sexual rebellion. If Christians think recieving an injection will change their entire belief system, Christianity must be shakier than I thought.

A Bluegrass Blog
Body and Soul

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Help Fight Draconian Anti-Drug Measures

Congressman Sensenbrenner has introduced a mandatory minimum sentencing bill, which would hold accountable those who simply witness a drug transaction take place.

From the Drug Policy Alliance site:
If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" that they took place you would have to report the offense to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance" in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory two year prison sentence.
Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to the police within 24 hours:

  • You see someone you know pass a joint to a 20-year old college student.

  • Your cousin mentions that he bought Ecstasy for some of his college friends.

  • You find out that your brother, who has kids, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife.

  • Your substance-abusing daughter recently begged her boyfriend to find her some drugs even though they're both in drug treatment.

This is ridiculous, and simply must not be allowed to pass. Take action immediately!
via Drug Policy Alliance
Read Bill H.R.1528

Friday, May 13, 2005

Humiliation Doesn't Help

NBC recently did an undercover investigation to catch online predators "in the act". I first saw this story on Tuesday, but they've been milking it ever since. In this investigation, people posed as young girls and lured unsuspecting guys into coming over. The guys seek to take advantage of young girls home alone, but when they get there all they find are video cameras and accusing reporters.

When first watching this story, something didn't sit right with me. I'm certainly not in favor of grown men taking sexual advantage of underage girls, but I highly doubt that this story was done purely for the good of protecting children.

The guise of this story was that it was intended to bring awareness to parents about how dangerous the internet is for kids, and how online predators are everywhere. (Something that has been known by parents and most everyone with a brain for quite some time) I believe that if that were truly the objective, the faces and names of these men would have been protected, but they were not. The true purpose of this story was to publicly crucify potential sex offenders and to humiliate these men and destroy their lives, purely for the entertainment value of viewers at home who are full of distain for pedophiles and sex offenders. The result is that these men will forever be shunned by society for something they may or may not have been about to do. It’s like Minority Report. We are convicting them for a crime they haven’t even committed yet. It also shouldn't come as a shock that in a society where youthfulness is equated with beauty, situations like this will occur. (Women in magazines are often so thin that they look like 12-year-olds, but I plan to rant about that on another occassion)

It is my belief that pedophilia is a disorder. Many suffering from this disorder seek treatment because they know that what they are doing or what they desire to do is wrong. They would give anything to have the sickness removed from them. Likewise, I believe that some of the men duped in this investigative study are not necessarily horrible people who deserve to be publicly humiliated. These are human beings. They make mistakes. They have sick desires. They are lonely, and in their desperateness, they made a very poor decision. Because of this, they are treated with disgust by society. Many of these men lost their jobs after their employers saw them on the news.

Shame is powerful thing. If someone is suffering from some sort of sexual depravity it's no wonder that they keep it to themselves in a world where people are treated like this. If we really believe that everyone deserves equal treatment in our society, then we should be helping these people, not humiliating them.

protecting your kids online