Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who's Afraid of Teenagers? I'm Fucking Frightened

I came across this article yesterday, but I was so physically ill from reading it (plus my brain fog never lifted) that I had to wait until today to comment on and post it.

Two English teens were given life sentences yesterday for VIOLENTLY BEATING TO DEATH a goth chick, Sophie Lancaster, and SEVERELY BEATING, TO THE POINT OF PERMANENT MENTAL INCAPACITATION, her goth boyfriend, Robert Maltby. The reason they did so? As proven in court, it was a hate crime motivated by the victims' gothic appearance.

For those of you link-afraid and reading-adverse, here are some low-lights which best sum up the blatant inhumanity of these boys.

(all emphasis mine)
+"...someone shouted 'let's bang him' and Harris landed a flying kick on Maltby's head"

+"Herbert and three other youths joined in by kicking and stamping on him as they beat him unconscious."

+"When Lancaster cradled her boyfriend in her arms and pleaded for mercy, Harris delivered a flying kick to her head and Herbert volley-kicked her in the face 'like a ball in flight'."

+"The injuries to both victims were so severe that paramedics could not tell which sex either was. A clear footwear pattern was visible on Lancaster's head."

+Robert, in his own words, "Before all this happened I was settled into a life quite independent...My life was set up and I had control over everything. Now I have regressed to being something similar to a child. I really just like to think I'm now only eight months old. I'm finding the whole world a terrifying place."

So after reading this, and feeling overwhelming anger and general depression over the state of today's youth and the world and the crap of mainstream culture, I left work at rush hour. On the train platform, I witnessed a teenager cut everyone in line without any shame or apology whatsoever. His arrogance almost daring to be challenged, he boarded, sat in the handicap/elderly section, and put his feet up on the seat next to him. Sensing he would have no qualms in punching me in the face or swiping my bag, I buried my head into my storyboarding homework and hoped to God he didn't spot me.

And to top off this whole mess of a Monday, before going to bed, I watched a PBS Frontline report about teenagers who have grown up Online... TURNS OUT IT'S NOT ALTOGETHER A GOOD IDEA.

Who are these people going to become? Am I just an overly worried 32-year-old, nostalgic for the innocence of the 80s? Fuck. I don't even have kids and my stomach's turning in worry over the cyber-bulling, the obsession with group beatings (and filming it for You Tube), and the total lack of respect for anyone outside of their suburban gangs. I can't imagine raising kids around the muck out there. WHO NEGLECTS TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN THE BASICS OF PROPER SOCIAL INTERACTION AND THE TENANTS OF RIGHT AND WRONG? Is that it? Are families to blame? Probably... as is processed food, pharmaceuticals, meth, beer, the Internet, video games, myspace, text messaging, Gossip Girl, Vogue Magazine, Hot Or Not?, The Real World, TV in general, racism, sexism, fashion, eating disorders, The Gap, boredom, apathetic teachers, enabling mothers, unaware fathers, sex, rock-n-roll, Satan, Jesus, George Bush, Barack Obama, money, greed, xenophobia, acne, and The New Deal.

How's it all going to end? ...i'm going to look at pictures of puppies now...


Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Friday, What Crap Are You Thinking About?

Try having this faux-philosophical debate with yourself: Which is less abhorrent (in a low on child-labor, high on fair-wage, garment-quality vs price equality, minimal tourists kind of way) the Gap or Forever 32?

Right, the discussion doesn't get too deep.

Inevitably that argument digresses to: Which bag is less embarrassing to be seen with?

That's something every American must decide for his or herself... but I think we know the answer.

happy friday

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mad Cows = Mad Parents, Dead Children

A young lady in Virginia ate some beef and now she's gonna dai. Culprit? Most likely a dirty dirty dirty cow.

I'm hardly one for extolling fear tactics as a way to curb lifestyle choices. (Alright, on this blog, I do regularly mention D E A T H as being generally undesirable, sometimes desirable, absolutely imminent and in every thing we touch, feel, hear and love. Guilty.)

However, if you knew your Big Mac could infect you with an immediate, incurable illness leading directly to a painful expiration, a path void of hope and hinging on the out-and-out need for God's own supernatural hand to intervene, would you still indulge? We generally avoid such "treats" due to their fat content and long-term health effects. The contiguous beat of knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door would seem to be a worthy deterrent. Is it?

Same deal with cigs - which is why I'm quitting. Then, when I ramble about health issues, all hypocrisy will be washed away, and I can maintain a clean, self-righteous lean without fear of retribution! And, as a Christian nation, isn't justifiable judgement R E A L L Y what we all want?

Fox News Article via Organics Consumer

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Wandering Mind Leads To: What's Up With Intangible Media?

So I was doing my good consumer duty, and journeyed to my non-corporate neighbor, Alexander Books. Unsurprisingly, they didn't have any of the three titles I was looking for - which blows - since I'd rather give my business to the small independent bookseller. But WTF? Zero Selection Books more like it. How do I reconcile my desire for conscientious spending with my desire for immediate possession? Is this possible? Is the need to possess a material good *immediately* inherently evil and further fueled by excess-based capitalism? Or has the excess-based capitalism created the want-immediacy dynamic?

Of course, my usual digression ends up with "I should check the library", however, the fear of failure to procure grabs hold of my heart, and then the fear of procuring yet having to return said item twists it until an aorta ruptures, death of my dreams, etc.

Is it the immediacy that drives me, or the ownership?

I ultimately consider the download option: Ownership without the waste of space and paper and mailing time and shipping costs. Eeks. Really, there are few things better than holding a record album in one's hands, or a CD, or a book. Am I motivated to don my shelves to impress the un-impressible, or is it more personal? I want to be able pick up, and flip and open, smell and dust off and catalogue these bits of my being because their physical existence melding with mine makes me feel real. Maybe I'm not the crazy capitalistic-swine-spoiled-impatient-consumer I accuse myself of being... maybe I'm just not cut out for the digital age.

My tangible media is My tangible life.

Amazon.com, here I come!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And I Thought Abortion Was Generally Considered Undesirable

Weep and barf is how this article from Jezebel.com made me feel. Weepy and Barfy.

A Yale senior did her final woopdeedoo project on "art" and "political discourse" by repeatedly impregnating herself and then aborting the fetuses over a nine-month period.

Yah, I had to re-read that shit too.

No matter your individual stance on the legalities or moral implications of abortion, I would think making babies and then ripping them from your womb as an ART PROJECT IN WHICH NO COMMON PERSON WILL EVER UNDERSTAND ITS MESSAGE would seem a bit insane, if not unsafe and just... wasteful.

Do people really want to move peoples' hearts and minds to think, act or be better? Or is every act of defiance intended to be self-serving crap which only solidifies (and emotionally recharges) already PRETTY solid belief systems? Can anyone think of an instance when dolling out hardcore OFFENSE affected someone in a real way?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Constant Reminders Of How We're All Gonna Die, Suffer Until Death

Holy Shit, Generation whatever-the-fuck-we-are, hold onto your cell phones... no, don't do that, grab hold of THE LANDLINE PHONE YOU THREW AWAY IN 2001 and read (preferrably by the light of the sun) this article from Newstarget about yet another foe surely to give you a tumor or some painful degenerative illness, and it even has a clever European-derived nick-name: ELECTRO-SMOG.

Can I get anyone to join me in a mass suicide? Too drastic you say? WELL, EVERY TIME YOU WHIP OUT YOUR MAC BOOK AT AN INTERNET CAFE YOU'RE CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR OWN DEMISE ANYHOO. Yes, that's right,

"In September 2007, the EU's European Environment Agency (EEA)1 and the country of Germany2 both issued warnings to their citizens advising them to avoid the use of WiFi and cell phones until further long term studies are conducted, citing fears that the ubiquitous use of wireless technology has the potential to become the next public health disaster on the level of tobacco smoking, asbestos, and lead in automobile gas (as reported by The BioInitiative Working Group3). Israel's Knesset recently banned the placement of cellular antennas on residential buildings4. According to Canadian Underwriter, Lloyd's of London is already 'preparing for the next big liability action — for personal injury damages based on the use of cell phone technology.5"

And doesn't it make you feel warm and fuzzy all over to know that the U.S. FUCKING GOVERNMENT DOESN'T ISSUE ANY FUCKING WARNINGS TO ITS CITIZENS BECAUSE IT SUCKS AND IS A MONEY-HUNGRY ASSHOLE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IT IS IN BED WITH. And the 15 ways this article lists to help reduce such emissions, are not REMOTELY HELPFUL. In fact, I thought this one was a jokey one, you know, thrown in as a jokey Smurf morale booster,

"5. Wear shoes with a sole made from natural materials (like undyed leather), walk barefoot on the beach or earth, or hug a tree - these all may help you release excess EMFs into the earth and ground your body."


...just when you thought you were the smart one...the one who avoided melanoma since you saw right through the flash and leather-glam of the tanning bed phenom of the early 90s...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Organic Consumer Fright & Lara Flynn Boyle

As an organic consumer, I've self-imposed the harrowing duty of prying my hands from my eyeballs to read about how crappy shit is via my weekly newsletter from OrganicConsumers.org. Here's the most upsetting set of tidbits they could manage to cram into a space reserved for facts considered "quick". (If you don't want to read those because you fear reality, or you've accepted the dollar is dead and bartering will be how you'll spend your golden years [ha! "golden"], then scroll down to the bottom and jump to a photo comparison of Lara Flynn Boyle - looks like girl's had a lot of work done. Isn't is consoling to know that some of us, even Wayne's World actors, DO have disposable income?)

With trucking diesel fuel prices now over $4 per gallon in many locations, food prices are reaching an all time high, since the average grocery store item has traveled 1500-3500 miles.

Over the past year, alone, consumers have been forced to pay significantly more for staples like eggs (25 percent), milk (17 percent), cheese (15 percent), bread (12 percent), and rice (13 percent). This is partially due to increased costs of transportation and partially due to massive amounts of cropland being converted to biofuel production. As a result, consumers are paying more for their food and paying $15 billion in increased taxes per year for biofuel subsidies.

Fuel prices have nearly doubled the expenses of commuters over the last year. Recent polls show a strong majority of U.S. citizens are in favor of allocating a larger portion of the federal budget for mass transportation.

In contrast, the amount of federal money earmarked for mass transit projects (example: rail and bus) has been reduced by nearly 70% since the Bush Administration took over in 2001.

A record number of consumers are using credit cards to pay for increased fuel costs. Although the recession has negatively impacted employment, the New York Times reports one of the few booming occupations in the current job market is as a Debt Collector.

Since 2001, the top five oil companies have increased their annual profits by an average of 500%."

LINK to Defamer: That Can't Possibly Be Lara Flynn Boyle, Can It?