June 5, 2004

Rarely do I ever post on weekends, but I thought it proper and respecrful this day, to acknowledge the passing of former President Reagan. To be completely honest, Reagan's death has seemed surreal all day. For someone who has been such a fixture of the culture to just be gone is strange. One would have thought we'd feel the ripples 10 years ago when Reagan first retreated as a result of his illness. Amazingly enough, despite being secluded over the last 10 years, he managed to still have an audible voice by way of his legacy. During Regan's presidency, I was mostly too young to even presume to know what "Reganomics" were or how bad or good of a president he was. But his passing is perhaps more poignant for me in that I was born into his presidency. This will be the first I've lived to see a president through to the end. No matter what peoples' politics may be, it has been said all around that President Reagan was a mand of noble character. It continues to sadden me that people can only bring themselves to say these things after a person has died. One of these days we'll get it. My prayers are with the family and all who knew him well.

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Fahrenheit 9/11
June 4, 2004

Frump boy is at it again. The poster child for funny-looking white men who can do and say whatever they want and make millions doing so has once again concocted a manipulative tale of conservative hatred in his latest film Fahrenheit 911 which opens Friday, June 25th. We're talking about a man whose very existence is centered around laying blame for the state of the country on anything and everything conservative, Christian, fundamentalist, anti-liberal or George W. Bush. Yes we're talking about Michael Moore. A website called Moore Exposed, calls themselves, "The website that dares to ask:

  • Should a 320 pound man advise us on the evils of overconsumption?

  • Should the resident of a million-dollar apartment claim to be a poster-boy of the working class?
  • Should a person who thought Enron was a great investment, Nader would win, and North Korea's Kim Jong was changing for the better, advise us on ANYTHING?"
This is hilarity at its best. I am unsure if I would dedicate my efforts to actually starting a website against a person. That seems a little like obsessive, no-life, behavior. But hey, it's a good read for me.

My first experience with Michael Moore's work was in my senior year film class. To kick-off our project on documentaries, we watched Roger & Me. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that with clever editing, you can say anything via film. Moore's latest endeavors in Fahrenheit 9/11 are to expose the "connections between the Bush family and prominent Saudis" as well as citing the faults of President Bush's administration. When Disney dropped out of the picture's distribution citing "political reasons" (rolling of the eyes), for a minute there it seemed like the film wouldn't have a distributor. Yeah, right I'm sure. Michael Moore is a walking contradiction who capitalizes on people's fear and promotes a God-less America. La Shawn Barber wrote a piece called The (Rich) Common Man that epitomizes Michael Moore. It will only be a matter of time before his 30 minutes are up. Moore is riding the wave of an ultra-liberal film industry. I just hate that his "voice" seems to be louder than many who proclaim the truth. That will change.

Update: This New York Post article reiforces the rumors about Moore's false "man-of-the-people" position. Apparently, he only takes calls from stars.

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I Love This...
June 4, 2004
Creed of the Modern Thinker -Stever Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy's OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!

Sniper Kills Ten!

Troops on Rampage!

Whites go Looting!

Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

And to think this was written in 1980. Prophetic I suppose.

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Single-Parent Homes. Are Black Men the Only Ones to Blame?
June 3, 2004

I'm always in the mood for a little heat, and today the prize undoubtedly goes to Baldilocks for her post regarding the overwhelming blame placed on black men who don't father their children. She examines the other side of the coin and puts some of the fault on a place most deserving: black women. How novel. It's getting hot in here and I'm lovin' it!

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I Need a Hot Girl
June 3, 2004

The media has been abuzz with this story on a local Seattle girl, Ella Gunderson, who wrote Nordstrom (for those of you that live in one of the 21 states that don't have a Nordstrom, it's a specialty fashion retailer) a letter requesting they carry more modest clothing. Here in the era of low-rise (AKA butt-crack) jeans, three inch skirts, and belly shirts, I can understand this eleven-year-old's frustration. I also commend her for stepping out and writing a letter. Oftentimes, when stores try to ride the trends, they try to take everyone with them assuming it is the normative desire of girls everywhere to look like Christina Aguilera.

The article reports,

"Many youngsters are frustrated by the profusion of racy teenage clothing, according to Buzz Marketing, a New Jersey-based firm that compiles feedback from teen advisers.

"There is just sensory overload. Kids are going to say enough already," said Buzz's 24-year-old chief executive, Tina Wells. "The next big trend I see is kids are going to look like monks."

Critics are now referring to this idea of modest clothing as a "trend". Being modest is hardly a trend, but more the origination and purpose of clothing in the first place thanks to Adam and Eve and their disobedience. We've come a long way from fig leaves. The images portrayed in the media would make me think some people want to go back. That said, the article points out that many companies are capitalizing on this trend via clothing companies geared towards providing girls with a modest alternative to racy clothing.

Then comes my beef. Have you seen some of this stuff? U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi...you know the rest. Let's think this through folks. Modesty does not have to equal Matronly. We're good at going to extremes, but some of this stuff is just hideous. Let it be known from one who considers herself somewhat of a fashion connoisseur: you can look good and still be modest. I suppose "looking good" is relative, so I won't hate. They may have worn tunics and robes at one point, but this is the 21st century. However, if you want to look Amish, I'm not mad at ya.

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Something Worth Pondering
June 3, 2004

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which they seldom use." - Soren Kierkegaard

Forgetting all the issues I have with Kierkegaard, there is perhaps some truth that can be extracted here and applied to today.

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Requisite Monthly Rant II: the State of the Nation
June 2, 2004

Sometimes I absolutely, unequivocally detest Americans. And I "are" one. I'm not quite able to put my finger on what it is that upsets me so. I think it is our arrogance and self-righteous attitude that grates on every one of my nerves. Stay with me as I might ramble here, but that is the very nature of a rant. I work in the city and a simple walk through downtown Seattle is very revealing of the culture in which we live. On a ten minute stroll, a person may see a number of things: panhandlers talking on their cell phones; abrasive Christians proselytizing on street corners; Greenpeace lackeys handing out "save the whales" literature; a non-profit organization staging a peaceful protest/demonstration against war; a group of wannabe gangsters skipping school; a skateboarder coming down a steep hill against traffic with no helmet on. Every single one of these things are the result of a society that allows you to do whatever the heck you want with hardly to no consequences. This is America folks--the land of opportunity; flowing with milk and honey I suppose. Albeit far from the Babylonianesque Amsterdam, America carries with it liberties like none other. These are liberties I myself enjoy on a daily basis, however many of these same liberties have produced in us every kind of bad thing possible.

I struggle with the idea of democracy because I don't think it's the best way to run the country. (She cries heresy!) However, being that I live in a democracy, I am going to milk it for all it's worth. If there's an election, I'm voting. People who don't vote in this country should not be complaining about much of anything as it relates to politics. Things do not change via osmosis. Get your lazy butt up and do something. Stop blaming the president for your lack of personal discipline. We have far too many choices in this country. Have you tried buying cereal lately? There are like 162 different kinds of name brand cereal alone. While we're on excess, last year, while entertaining my uncle from Zimbabwe, we stopped to visit Barnes & Noble bookstore at his request. He was dumbfounded at the number of books in that store. Anybody can publish a book in the United States. You don't even have to be half-way intelligent or integrous. Have you heard of Karyn Bosnack? A couple of years ago she ran herself into deep credit card debt via high shopping sprees and a severe addiction to Prada bags. Desperate to pay her bills, she started a website called SaveKaryn.com where she pleaded with complete strangers to send her money to get her out of debt. Sickening I know, but it gets worse. People actually sent money! Her story made it onto the Today show and other network news shows. She is now debt-free and got a book deal out of this whole ordeal. Her book Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back, was released last year. Only in the USA folks, only in the red white and blue. It doesn't take much to get a book deal it seems. I am reminded of a quote from the movie Good Will Hunting, where the title character remarked, "You people spend all this money on these fancy books, and you surround yourself with the wrong books." Ditto. Having too many options has plagued this country. First it's cereal, then it's gender. How did we jump from two options (Male or Female) to six? Too much choice. This is the era of "choose-your-own-adventure!" I nearly vomited when I saw a preview for an episode of Oprah where they were actually endorsing a 6-year old boy's right to want to be a girl. Once again moral relativism rears its ugly head.

Choice is a wonderful thing, but man was never created to be his own God. I fear we've done that in more ways than one. We actually think we call the shots in this whole deal. Want an abortion? Sure! After all, it is your choice. And I might add, it's a choice of which no one ever tells the lifelong consequences of regret, shame and guilt. I think what bothers me the most about Americans is that we think we're entitled to something huge and yet we're such a small part of the total work being done on this Earth. Sometimes I just think we need to pause and realize that the sun doesn't rise and set on our very existence. We thought the 9-11 attack was the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of civilization simply because it happened to us. Let's grow up here. I do not diminish the vulgarity and wickedness of what took place, but we have perpetuated this idea of "false liberties" and let's set the record straight folks: "tomorrow ain't promised to no one baby".

The general population of the United States actually thinks they're "free". I can't think of a more warped view of freedom than that held by Americans, some of the most bound and mentally oppressed people you will ever meet. Here we talk about "depression" as though it were a normal occurrence and people chat about their anti-depressant cocktails like girlfriends chat about clothes and shoes. Here in America, we push fashion retailers to start carrying "plus-size" children's clothing because our kids are just getting too fat. Forget the fact that Flammin' Hot Cheetos and Sprite Remix are carried strategically in specific corner stores near public elementary schools in urban communities. We just need bigger clothing right? Here we dismiss college, teenage, (and now middle school) binge-drinking as part of a growing trend or popular culture instead of recognizing the emptiness of an entire generation.

The blame game gets old and so do the excuses. We have created a monster out of ourselves. A monster of privilege, choice, free-will, moral relativism, and self-idolatry. Yet, Americans are the same people who will sit around the pity table, shaking collective heads, wondering what's happening to our community. Well I'm getting out my violin to play for you because I don't want to hear another sad story. Before we try to put our mouths on every other country in the world, we need to deal with what's going on at home first because we are far from having it all together. This has nothing to do with George W. Bush, a person who has far less authority and power than the average ultra-liberal would confess. Call your local congressman for goodness sake.

And lastly, to you people over there laying down on 6th avenue with white sheets and fake blood, I say how lovely must it be to frolic around the streets carelessly protesting war and whatnot. I am certain that it is nice to be a college graduate doing absolutely nothing, living from your daddy's trust fund. But you're blocking the street. Please move out of my way, so we can cross it to go to work. There are people with better things to do with their time. People with jobs.

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Everyone With their Real Name, Please Step Forward
June 2, 2004

Maria Shriver did it. So did Hillary Clinton. Sort of. There was once a time when a woman wouldn't dare go by her maiden name once she married. Unfortunately, along its path of destruction, "women's rights" managed to snag last name identity. I think the issue of "names" goes beyond women just deciding to take or not take their husband's last name. Many people would like to make this a surface issue by saying, "It really doesn't matter what name I have". However, I don't dismiss it as that so easily. I happen to be of the firm belief that when a woman is married, she is leaving her father's covering and taking on a husband and therefore should reflect her husband's family name. These days people have thought up all kinds of nonsense to combat perhaps one of the most traditional institutions we still have around. I know a married couple who both took on each other's names and hyphenated them. (That's right, the husband took the wife's maiden name too). This completely defeats the purpose of family names.

In an msn slate article, Katie Rophie noted,

"It was an interesting moment in the history of nomenclature when Hillary's 'Rodham' slipped into the position of a middle name after her husband lost his bid for re-election as governor in 1980. In the decades that followed, political wives have been pressured to tack their husband's names onto their own (n.b. Judith Steinberg Dean and Teresa Heinz Kerry).
Funny how that happened again after Clinton won the presidency. Coincidence? I think not. Let's not play dumb here folks. Hillary very well knew what she was doing. And what is this "forced" language, as though the expectation of a woman to take on the last name of someone she's in COVENANT WITH is too much to ask? Liberalism really has infilitrated our way of thinking. Although retaining maiden names has been a rising trend since women's lib, according to a San Diego Union-Tribue article, a Harvard economics professor has done research to find that fewer women are keeping their maiden names these days. Well that's something I'd get excited about if I felt the research was credible. It seems this professor found her data using New York Times wedding announcements, Harvard alumni records, and Massachusetts birth records. Well I certainly can't think of a better snapshot of American trends country-wide than one that would come from the New York Times and Harvard alumni records. Please.

Continue reading "Everyone With their Real Name, Please Step Forward">>>

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Just When You Thought You'd Heard it All
June 2, 2004

Apparently, May marked "National Masturbation Month". Jocelyn Elders must be doing flips over this one. Well all I can say is thank God May is over. I won't dare link any of the idiotic sites that have coverage on this self-abasing celebration, however I will quote something from an organization that was carrying the banner of this movement:

"At Good Vibrations, we know that sexual pleasure is a birthright and that masturbation is a powerful source of sexual gratification."
I don't even have anything to say to this. When I was in college they had campus "clubs" centered around this very topic so nothing really shocks me anymore. This is pure ignorance.

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The Cultural Relevance of Beauty Pageants
June 1, 2004

Tonight, millions of viewers will tune in to watch the new Miss Universe crowned. The Miss Universe pageant is owned by the Donald Trump Organization who is also owner and producer of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. I have never been a fan of Mr. Trump's dealings and I always have one eyebrow raised when it comes to his affiliations. I'd say "Miss Universe" is a pretty lofty title considering the fact that the competition lacks representatives from about 50% of the countries in the world. I suppose it's similar to the whole baseball "World Series" thing. Notice that American teams are the only ones who play in the "World Series".

That said, every time a beauty pageant takes place, I often wonder about the cultural relevance of pageants. It seems to be one of the few things that has remained the same since its inception. Something about beauty pageants is rather reminiscent of the June Cleaver era. I was once a huge Miss America watcher. This was around that time in the mid to late nineties when two black women in a row won the title (funny this is currently the case as well). My favorite aspect of watching show was the talent competitions. This seems to be an area that has dwindled as of late. To be completely honest, I'd probably be 100% fine with pageantry if it weren't for one thing: the swimsuit competition. If someone can explain to me what swimsuit-dawning has to do with poise, physical fitness, and selecting a proper "ambassador", I'd truly appreciate it.

While one person wrote T.V. guide back in 1997, "There are two reasons why the Miss America Pageant still exists. One is to give millions of men a few hours to imagine themselves in bed with 51 different beautiful women {ambra's note: many men will do this while watching a PBS special. Hence, this point is hardly convincing considering then general sight-oriented nature of many men} The other is to make certain women realize that it will never be enough to just be intelligent." World Magazine responded with an article titled, "There she isn't - The problem with pageants is not the beauty part", Arsenio Orteza wrote:

"...by withholding its honors from young women with bad reputations, the Miss America Pageant upholds a biblical standard. And by insisting on an objective standard of beauty, it not only holds the line on nose rings and tattoos but also strengthens the incarnational idea that flesh can both give shape to and be shaped by the spirit."
I have heard from the mouths of those involved in the Miss America pageant that a large percentage of the delegates are actually Christians. This being true, I find myself in somewhat of a dilemma when I look at many of the past winners of the Miss America title in particular. People like former winner Erika Harold have set a high bar and example for so many in intelligence, integrity, and purity. Winning the title alone has expanded her influence to a place where many are exposed to the truth. That is truly an awesome thing. Heavens knows we need some proper standards of womanhood displayed in this country. But has the whole pageant thing served its purpose? When people like 1998 Miss America winner Kate Shindle, whose platform was pro-choice/abortion rights (masked behind HIV/AIDS prevention) have used their influence to perpetuate a lie, I wonder if it's time to pull the cord on this party altogether. The verdict's still out.

Salon magazine published an interesting article on the liberal bias of the Miss America organization when Erika Harold attempted to speak out on abstinence. Things that make you go hmmm.....

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show





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