Saturday, March 31, 2007

"gay? fine by me" shirts are not fine by me

First, I feel like the shirt still individuates people by virtue of their being gay...instead of the goal, which would be that being "gay" is no less striking than being straight.

Secondly, gay is an umbrella term for all non-heterosexual individuals. There is more going on than a gay movement, and this shirt irresponsibly throws it all into one category in the name of awareness. Through such an exclusive term, the LBT in LGBT are squeezed out (not that trans is a sexual orientation)

my solution: a shirt that says

I don't care what your sexuality is...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Used tampons and other fetishes

Maybe I am completely out of the loop...

I am well aware of underwear fetishes,

but toe nail clippings, poop, used tampons?

smuggling crocodiles? how not to do it

woman caught smuggling crocodiles...

Monday, March 19, 2007


The epitome of USC: Tommy Trojan

a white male, flexing every muscle at once


Monday, March 12, 2007

Stereotypes versus Inside Jokes

I am uneasy with the fact that, within "non-members," a stereotype or cultural/racial slur is outrageous...outlandish...unacceptable...

but among "members," such remarks may very well be an integral part of conversation and humor.

I understand from a sociological perspective how groups re-own and re-value words that have been previously used for slander, such as the term "queer."

"There is a certain amount of power in reclaiming words that have traditionally been used to hurt us. When we call ourselves queer, it takes a lot of wallop out of the word when others use it to refer to us."

The act of re-owning words is a seperate matter, because there is more going into it than members abusing a stereotype. Therefore, I exclude such words from my discussion.

My point is, if a particular stereotype is offensive/ignorant...aren't members of a group more or less confirming its truth through usage among other members?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

City Elections

I had about a 23 person turnout at my precinct for the city elections earlier this week--23 out of several hundred.

Can we consolidate all these damn elections for crying out loud? Clearly no one is showing up at the city level, and it is such a waste of resources and energy.

Granted I get paid no matter how many people show, I don't know any pollworkers who do it for the money. Particularly, as an inspector, you have to pick all the shit up, may sure you have all your junk in the box, schlep it to the voting area, drop it back off at is exhausting.

It is not a rewarding experience to dedicate (more than) an entire day, and process a pitiful amount of votes.

Monday, March 5, 2007

College students are more narcissistic...

A recent study claims college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than previous generations—but parents are not the culprit as the study suggests. The study’s lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University, rejects the 1980’s phenomenon coined the "self-esteem movement."

The look-at-me world of Facebook is not a case of 80’s parenting gone awry--it is simply a snapshot of today’s cultural priorities: I want attention so I can achieve at least b-rated celebrity status. Similar to an STD, the desire for stardom (Celebrity Syndrome) is infectious, over-prevalent, and responsible for increased narcissism in today’s college students—not the self-esteem movement that began a few decades ago.

American Idol has taught audiences that the American Dream has evolved from owning a house, to infiltrating the media. The problem with the newly-labeled narcissism is that, although confidence gives teenagers a social boost, downfalls may include “romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors."

What? Kids who want to be the hottest and richest and coolest end up being insecure and obsessive because there is always someone hotter and richer and cooler than you?

So how is it that parents are unable to communicate to children that STDs are ultimately unfulfilling, and that while some teenage narcissism is fun—there is a healthful limit? Parents contribute to the Celebrity Syndrome pandemic when they instill in their children that what makes them special is how they look, what they have, or what they do—not for who they are.

But the study is incomplete at least, and inaccurate at worst for attacking parents and not society at large, and for rejecting “You’re Special” instead of attacking how parents define “special.”

Yes, those who assert praise for external qualities are to blame. The problem is, parents catch Celebrity Syndrome as well. After all, thin is in for mom, too. And not only teenagers buy tabloids. If mom and pop are not cutting carbs with their kids, it is often case that (financial) success is the main message being delivered. The parental downfall of this young generation lies in the inculcated “do more” mentality—a mind frame that values accomplishment, not the person. Achieving self-worth is a never-ending accumulation process that creates goal-oriented sharks.

However, there is still a percentage of parents that stress neither of these things…and their kids are still vying for a reality show. Again, the study has missed the memo. It has neglected to account for the fact that the outside world begins the process of social conformity before a kid is even born.

It is stressful to confront the fact that many parents are misguided, and lovingly misguide their children. And even more frightening that well-rounded and sophisticated parents cannot always counter-balance the outside influences STD's.

Celebrities are not to blame for Celebrity Syndrome. After all, Britney and Paris did not invent being blonde and sexy—let’s not give them credit for being cultural pioneers. They are products of a machine, and their careers depend on their image, just like your kids think their popularity does.

As we have learned from Britney’s latest breakdown, and the world of You Tube, many “flashy” exhibitions may actually be the result of insecurity. Risque pictures can be all in good fun, or to gain attention…appear more attractive…and garner popularity. In the case of the latter, teens actually need more confidence of their inner-selves.

So if Celebrity Syndrome alarms you, stop TiVOing Desperate Housewives for you kid and spend some quality time together.

For the minority of parents who didn’t raise prostitots, asserting you child’s inner qualities isn’t such a bad idea.