Sensitive Artist

If I can’t learn to take criticism better, I ought to go back to manual labor.

adrianborland on youtube put together this charmingly adequate unofficial video for the King Missile song that serves as a perfect lampoon on my consistent initial reaction to suggestions for improvement:

But I’m honestly quicker to recover and more graceful about speedy acceptance than I ever used to be. Rule #1, though: don’t get defensive with people when you know they’re right. If you’re really just so conceited as to be blind of your flaws, that’s almost forgivable. But if you acknowledge the flaws and still pout about receiving the criticism, it’s time to grow up.

Is it easy for you guys to tell when I’m directing a post at myself? Isn’t it refreshing that I’m as critical of myself as I am everything around me? Doesn’t it warm you? 😀

OMG, it’s the Republican Party’s fault!

Democrats Spar Among Themselves Over PhRMA Bill –NYTimes, Yesterday

No, no, it’s not in-fighting. Haven’t you been watching any major news network?

Glenn Beck and 15,000 insane people are the reason your socialized healthcare isn’t going through. All the Democrats agree on it 100%–it’s bitter partisan issues and immature Republicans that are holding this thing up.

Oh, Glenn Beck, how have you managed to garner the support of <.5% of the population? <.5%? Oh my, he’s unstoppable now! Continue reading “OMG, it’s the Republican Party’s fault!”

Mazgamma’s Place in my Heart

Our new mascot is Mazgamma, a one of the robots from Phantasy Star II sent to dispatch you after you assist the climate control center (Climatrol) in blowing itself to smitheroons. I’ve placed him in the
right column. The in-game graphic was found at the Phantasy Star Cave. I’m plugging them not only for that, but also for having guides, maps, and data on everything Phantasy Star. They still update, too!

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from the 1989 Sega game that will no doubt convince you that you should be playing (or re-playing) this 20-year-old RPG as I currently am.

Um…spoilers, kinda. Do you really care? It’s been 20 years. You’ve had plenty of time to play it. Well, whatever. This isn’t really going to be funny unless you know something about the game, and even then it’s not going to be that funny. In fact, you can just ignore this post entirely. I just wanted to explain the little robot dude in the corner is all.

 Commander: Way to flood Mota, Rolf. We told you to “see what’s going on at” Climatrol, not “blow up all of” Climatrol. Well, at least the beachfronts are all cleared out of those slugmess things. And the whirlys–ever been stung by one? Let me give you a little piece of advice: pissing on the sting does NOT help. It just makes you smell like piss.

 Rolf: But, Commander, the woman I love ju–
 
 
 

 Commander: Oh yeah, your freak girlfriend. How’s she doing? Still a bio-monster?
 
 
 

 Rolf:

Wah wah wah, the economy is bad…

Cry me a damn river.

Did it ever occur to you that your house was NEVER worth that much, and that the economic market three years ago simply PRETENDED it was?

Yeah, that’s the reason I never understood economics. I thought it was just that I was an idiot, but it turns out that everyone else who has blind faith in the infinite expansion of value are the real idiots. You’re the ones buying and spending pretend value–I’m just sitting on the sideline wondering how and why.

I’m poor. I have no assets. And you know what?

A very dark side of me is laughing my ass off.

“You’ll feel it soon enough…” is what people have been telling me, but honestly–I make 30% less than I did a year ago, and I’m feeling great.

I’m sorry you lost your mid-level management job and you live in a house that you paid 250% too much for. I’m sorry you can’t afford your massive new vehicle that you don’t need. I’m sorry you can’t afford the fucking gas to feed it.

I’m sorry you’re too proud to get a job shoveling shit. I’m not. Now if only trust funds would take a dive, maybe your sniveling children would learn something from this whole crisis as well.

Am I coming off as bitter? I’m
not at all bitter–I’m not the one mired in debt, after all. Rather, you’re the ones who believed that we could go on pretending that the economy would soar ever skyward. I, on the other hand, have been mumbling warnings for years.

And for all the things we can blame President Bush for–this is NOT one of them. You fools did this to yourselves. This is a punch in the face from reality: no, you are NOT worth as much as you assumed. No, your house is NOT worth as much as you paid. No, your dollar will NOT stretch that far.

Suck it up baby, cause we’re not even near Black Thursday. Not yet, at least…

Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants…

Hmm…I don’t have a solution to the problem, and I’m kind of lost among the send them home/grant them citizenship/make them pay back taxes in exchange for citizenship camps.

This is one issue I really don’t have an easy answer to, and as a result, I usually keep my mouth shut about it.

But come on…think about the legal precedent you set when you issue an OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED DOCUMENT to someone who DOESN’T OFFICIALLY EXIST in this country…

Do we give concealed carry permits to felons?
Do we give passports to citizens of Burkina Faso?
Do we offer social security cards to tourists?

Sounds ridiculous, right?

“So are you calling illegal immigrants felons?”

Uh…yeah. They’re disobeying federal law, so yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m not saying illegal immigrants are BAD or EVIL, I’m not saying that they come over “to steal” our jobs. Those kinds of attacks are ridiculous. The few illegal immigrants I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have all had a working knowledge of English, a kind heart, and a pleasant demeanor. This isn’t about calling them “the other”. This isn’t about xenophobia.

I understand that they’re coming over here for opportunity and for a better life, but if they’re disobeying federal law and obtaining employment and residency illegitimately, felons is what they are. It’s kind of simple.

Giving OFFICIAL credentials to UNOFFICIAL residents sets the bar at a wicked cockeyed angle, especially for those overseas who LEGALLY apply for citizenship. For citizens of Eastern Europe, South Asia and West Africa, It’s not as easy as walking across the desert or swimming across the Rio Grande.

“So you want to seal the borders?”

Waste of time and money. Like I said, I don’t have an easy fix for this one. The only thing I can suggest is incredibly harsh penalties for employers who use illegals. Also, if they’re found paying illegals LESS than minimum wage, those penalties should be even worse, because they’re cheating all of us AND exploiting their employees.

This issue isn’t about “getting the foriegners out.” That’s an ignorant bigoted viewpoint. I’m not a colonial. Most of my European ancestry came here no earlier than 1850. I’m proud to be a euro-mutt. I’m proud to have the opportunities I had growing up poor in a country of immigrant descendants.

The issue, rather, is about making illegal immigrants and the employers who use them pay their fair share of the infrastructure and government service costs. The immigrants are looking for a better life, but damn it, the employers KNOW BETTER.

When the penalties upon the employers are so high that their businesses are under threat of government seizure, maybe they’ll think twice before accepting a worker without proper identification.

“Government seizure? That’s kind of hypocritical coming from a libertarian.”

That would be true if we actually LIVED in a libertarian society, but we don’t. All things being equal, it would be great if we could simply trust the market values–we wouldn’t have to worry about working papers, illegals, OR minimum wages–but for right now, we do. As long as I have to hack off a chunk of MY paycheck and toss it to Uncle Sam’s pigs, so should everyone else.

So I say go lightly on the illegal immigrants, and go harsh on their employers. Like I said the EMPLOYERS are the ones cheating BOTH the American public AND the immigrants they hire.

Processed Peanut Butter = Final Proof?

Dude, I don’t know…I get a little bit moody when you people try and tell me that processed peanut spread disproves evolution.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFG5PKw504]

Tell me, Chuck–what’s the date on that jar? Is it 15,000,000,000 years old?

Also, “exposed to light and heat” my ass. Do you know the ionization temperature of peanut butter? I can absolutely assure you it’s not between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, would you really like me to believe that the subsequent energy and radiation released in the elementary reactions of the big bang and the next 500,000,000 years following equate to 3 to 6 months on the shelf in a jar of Skippy?

This is why we won’t argue with you.

X’ers, Y’ers, and the next generation…

Personally, I hate the thought of a generation being named before they come of age. It’s not very fair to an entire age group to be criticized before they have the power to change the world around them.

Was “The Greatest Generation,” (The GI Generation) called as such prior to them fighting the Second World War? Not a chance. Were sociologists lining up in the early 1930’s to coin a phrase for the now-called “Greatest Generation”?

Nope. They got the chance to prove themselves with a half-century of history before their name stuck. That’s a rather unbelievable advantage when you consider that Americans born between 1995-2015 are ALREADY being called “The Next Silent Generation.”

Come on, people. The oldest members aren’t even 8 years old yet. Are people seriously under such a blanket of ignorance that they’re now naming UNBORN generations, let alone generations that have yet to come of age?

No. There’s actually an explanation of that habit of naming generations before their time.

Getting back to the topic of X vs. Y…culturally, I’d rather be an X than a Y. There’s quite a bit of dispute about the generational “borders”; some claim that the X’ers last birth-year was 1975, some place them as being born as late as 1984.

Well, it turns out that generations come not from a linear set of dates, but instead by the cultural and political experiences and memories collectively held by an age group.

For instance, early Y’s may remember the Berlin Wall falling, but they really didn’t get a picture of what life was like before that event.

One of the single biggest “X” to “Y” markers is that X’ers came of age prior to the internet revolution. X’ers remember the end of the cold war clearly and recall the Challenger explosion.

I was a little taller than our television when the Challenger shuttle exploded. It was lunchtime, and I remember sitting in the living room with Mom. “Oh my god,” she said, “It exploded! Look, Joey…the spaceship blew up!”

Not even three years old yet. Imagine that. Again, I remember seeing it, but I had no understanding of what it meant. I knew a spaceship blew up and that a lot of people were sad. I remember seeing the video of the disintegration again and again. The repetition burned the image into my head, especially at such a young age.

While I try to edge myself into Generation X by recalling their major turning points, the case can be made that my generation is truly defined by the proliferation of the information age after the newly unified internet took on a flashy new label–the World Wide Web.

While I remember the Challenger and the Berlin Wall, the early incarnation of MTV and the Reagan years, these events weren’t developmental coming-of-age changes for me–they were normalized and categorized memory from the earliest reaches of defined neural capacity.

While I hate the label “Y,” the truth remains–I came of age at the same time the internet did. Being 16 in 1989 was far different from being 16 in 1999.

What I fear, though, is the generation succeeding “Y”. So as not to be a hypocrite for naming a generation before they’re even a decade old, let me put it this way:

Anyone born after 1991 would have been ten years old or younger during the 9/11 attacks, meaning that their picture of “normalcy” in their coming-of-age is a nation of fear…a nation of declining constitutional freedom, education, prosperity, and healthy political debate.

This is how we label generations “before they’re hatched”, so to speak…we take their cultural experience and try and find their perception of normalcy.

If their perception of a nation in normalcy is one in
which rights are exchanged for false security, one in which the power of our executive leaders goes unquestioned and unchecked by the greater part of the governing body, then what exactly are we teaching them?

Innovation and Dissent are treacherous, even treasonous. Follow the leader.

The way I see it, if the X’ers and Y’ers don’t get off their asses in the next decade or so, what are we passing on the the Millennial generation?

If we sit by the wayside, idling our political engines until we’re 30 years old, then we’re already too late. We’ve just passed the message onto our successors that it’s alright to be silent, it’s okay to be scared, and that Papa President knows best, even if he’s a man who gives a crude smile and sneer when he’s asked about our nation’s gutter war-du-jour.

Keep this in mind: when someone says something absolutely clichéd like “The children are our future,” there’s more meaning to that than a reprise of “We are the World.”

If, by example, we allow ourselves to succumb to the same cynicism that X’ers defend themselves against now, then what ideals do we leave to the Millennials?

I have two words in an equally clichéd and unforgivably awful pun: American Idle.