Observations

Hypocrolyspe Now, originally posted on June 8, 2010

In this world we live in, where the righteous seem to hold sway over the masses, it boggles my mind how much our elected officials and "religious leaders" get away with nowadays.  In New York, the Governor gets ousted for frequenting prostitutes and his replacement doesn't seem to be much cleaner.  The Governor from South Carolina is hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Anti-gay activist George Rekers goes on a cruise with a male escort and most recently, Ted Haggard opened another church:  Haggard was the minister in Colorado who preached against gay marriage, while engaging the services of a male prostitute and doing crystal meth.  And although this behavior got him run out of town by his former church, it did not stop him.  He is now back in business and straight as an arrow . . . Rearing, I mean raring to rid gay people of their homosexuality.  The truth be told, what bothers me the most is not the behavior of people like those mentioned, but the forgiveness that always seems theirs for the asking.  It is not necessarily the behavior that wins the hearts and minds of the public back over, it is simply their "word".  Like Bush said, "Fool me once . . . Well, let's not dwell on what he said, we know what he meant and that given the hypocrisy of their indiscretions, how can they ever come back.  I guess it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, because hypocrisy thrives all around us:  How is it illegal to drink and drive, but legal for gas stations to sell alcohol?  And not just a six pack to drink at home, but ice cold, single cans of beer, which are chilled in a cooler next to the register.  Why is prostitution banned, but pornography isn't?  If a man or woman buys a prostitute, they are usually going to commit whatever act they will in private, or at least in a car, but porn is there for the world to see.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm neither condemning nor condoning the world of pornography, I just don't understand how one is legal and the other isn't.  Maybe guys should start paying the ladies of the night to act like they're prostitutes.  The basic point of my rant is this:  If we don't open our eyes, we'll never see the wool that is being pulled over them.  Wake up America!!!!!

 

To know or not to know . . .IDK , originally posted on June 7, 2010

I recently watched a documentary about stupidity and the lack of any formal or scientific studies done to determine the extent of it in our society. The movie starts out by asking "people on the street" to describe this commonly used word and others that we direct at one another occasionally. Oddly enough, none of the impromptu interviews produced an answer. The story then provides the origins of such words as; idiot, imbecile and moron (which originated in Vineland, New Jersey), which is interesting, but not the focus of the film. The meat of the story is why people seemingly reject intellectual pursuits, while embracing mind-numbing programming on TV action movies based on comic books and all of the nonsensical clips on the internet. While, determining the nature of stupidity might seem a trivial pursuit, even stupid one, the point the filmmakers are trying to make isn't. A simple explanation would be that, if we unlock stupidity, we might be able to unlock intelligence, which is more important now than any time in mankind's past. If you are a George W. Bush fan, you'll want to stop the film at 55 minutes, which asserts that this former president and his administration believed that Americans were stupid and needed their guidance. Although I am not a fan of Bush Jr., I thought this segment detracted from the film, but that's my opinion. Overall, the film actually addresses a topic that needs to breach, but it does not dig deep enough. I think that a film called "Idiocracy" did a better job of spotlighting the problem with the path that we are all on . . . And it's funny.


I Wonder?, originally posted on June 06, 2010
Given that some estimates put the number of stars in the Universe between 10-70 sextillion (the latter number is 7 with 22 zeroes after it), here is a  scenario to consider.

animation,aliens,life on other planets


Where's the Magic?, originally posted on June 4, 2010

I’ve lived in Miami a long time, so I believe that I am qualified to point out this city’s biggest shortfall. I don’t think I am the only person to realize this, and perhaps that’s why I am so puzzled as to why this idea has never truly surfaced in the past. Maybe, those who know it have simply accepted it as something that could never be changed or maybe those who care about such things have simply decided to leave.
To me, the city’s lack of amenities for the residents and tourists alike is what keeps Miami from being considered on par with the likes of New York and other big cities of the world. For my part, I stopped inviting family and friends to visit years ago, because one of the few things that I could suggest when they arrived was to jump in a rental car and drive up to Orlando. The alternatives were Key West or South Beach, but there is only so much lounging one can do and only so many breasts one can look at before the loud music and the obnoxious locals drives one away. The irony of it all is that I didn’t actually stop asking friends and family members to come, they simply lost interest on their own. Now, you might ask, why would people from the Midwest (where most of my friends and family live), not want to visit? The answer is relatively simple, but the solution is elusive, even with all of this Citys “charms”. Truth be told however, what is there to do here during the week, on the weekends, or even during the holidays? And despite what our city officials might have the public believe, they had nothing to do with creating the sunshine or the Atlantic.
With the mention of these two items, I have pointed out our greatest assets, which on their own do not make for a city great. If that were true, people would jump in their cars and crank up the air conditioner and they would never move away from the beach. We (residents) know however, that the sun burns and that South Beach loses its luster come daybreak and the endless parties get old when you have to get up at seven in the morning. So, tell me why are the event pages in our local papers so sparse, why do I have to be so envious of places like New York.
Of all of the things to do on the City’s Commissioners list of things to do, “Things to do” should be on the top. Miami needs more art, which means more galleries and a real museums, not one a visitor can traverse in fifteen minutes. It needs more music, more live music, because I keep hearing about how much culture this city has, because of the Latin influence, but I don’t even know where to hear live Salsa. Oh, there is plenty of “canned” music here with superstar deejays, playing other artist’s music, but what nice venues can you go to where you can hear an actual band play. And speaking of play, try more plays on for size. As “gay” as some might say this suggestion is, it would provide people with a choice, other than the movies. Now, I know that the Performing Arts Center (PAC) is there for those types of events and I applaud whoever was able to put that project together, but it is an island. . . in a not so good neighborhood. Maybe if Miami invested in more venues, smaller venues that didn’t cost so much, but created a variety of entertainment choices in one location. Perhaps then, we could start enticing people to come for the sun, but stay for culture. Maybe if there were things to do at night, other than go to a club or a movie, both of which people can do in their hometowns, visitors might not find themselves bored after a few days.
Stop spending so much money renovating all the buildings and let the city age for a while. That money would be better spent giving the residents reasons to get their friends and families to visit. Instead of attracting people here with shiny new high rises, why not give those who move here something to do outside their new domiciles? I don’t want to trivialize the more serious issues that plague the city. I know that we need to feed the hungry and house the homeless, but what happens to those who are less fortunate when one of our biggest revenue streams dries up, because people stop visiting?


Karma, May 24, 2010

Now, I might not be the most religious guy in the room.  I just haven't found one that I felt comfortable believing, but I do feel that I am spiritual.  I believe that their is something out there that created us (mankind) or at least had a hand in our creation, but omnipotence and omniscience is a stretch for me.  However this higher power rules or guides or treats us is less important to me than how we treat one another.  Wouldn't it make sense that if our creator deemed us as his favorite, he or it would want us to treat one another with respect and kindness?  Or maybe this almighty doesn't want us to get along.  Maybe this life is some kind of stress test for the next one and if that is the case, I don't want any part of it.  Personally, I believe that kindness breeds kindness, no matter what religion you belong to.  I believe that whatever you put out there comes back to you, and this is actually the point of today's daily observation.  What if the America and the world are doing to poorly these days because we have been treating each other with a certain amount of contempt?  What if the world continues to worsen as hatred and strife grow around the planet?  Maybe something or someone is trying to signal us that the direction we are taking the planet is not the direction hoped for at the beginning of this experiment.  To me it seems quite obvious that we might want to diverge from our present course, perhaps even take a few steps back to see where we're going wrong.  On the other hand, I could be wrong and the direction that we are heading is just fine:  Greed is good, unless you're on the losing end, poverty is not that big of a problem, starvation is nothing that needs to be stamped out and war is the way to go to get to peace.


Sci Fi . . . Why?  May 21, 2010

Thanks for all of the bad movies, but no thanks.  I give the
Sci Fi channel an 'A' for effort, but an 'F' for their efforts.
While I do appreciate that they are creating original content
for their channel, that content is a bit lacking in substance.
Currently, I am watching a movie about a dragon, which at
first seemed really cool, but fell short upon closer inspection.
Let me set the scene for you:


Somewhere in the English countryside, there is a grand castle.
It sits atop a small mountain and overlooks a quaint village,
which, despite being surrounded by mud is surprisingly clean.
All of the villagers appear quite happy and life couldn't be any
better, even if they had indoor plumbing.  Now, cut to a large
dining hall where a King, Queen and princess are enjoying
breakfast.  The three are discussing the princess' future, 
precisely, her marriage, to which she seems most opposed.
While the mother attempts to convince her daughter of the
virtues of marriage, the daughter compliments, jokes with
and flirts with the King in a manner that would make Electra
blush.  Their banter and flirtations grow to the point where it
seems that the pair are only seconds away from lunging across
the table at one another to consummate their illicit relationship. But wait! . . .  There is a tremor that causes all three to freeze and the princess to ask.  "What was that?".  A millisecond later there is another tremor and another that is greater than than the previous.  Soon enough, the entire kingdom is being shaken to its foundation until suddenly all is still once again.  Showing his concern, as most kings did in the dark ages, this benevolent ruler dispatches his men to "see to the injured".  And with his permission, the princess follows.  In the scene that follows, the princess is helping those peasants who have become trapped under fallen debris.  Overall, there doesn’t seem to be that much damage . . . It’s no Katrina . . . But wait for it.  There is a swooshing sound that seems to emanate from everywhere, but nowhere at once.  In the terrified eyes the villagers you can see the fear and almost hear their thoughts.

“Oh great!  First the shaky thing, now the creepy sound.  What’s next, a dragon?”

Then, to everyone’s horror, the dragon bursts through the clouds.  Like A meteor entering the atmosphere, it is a flaming streak, trailed by an ever-extending plume of smoke.  Unlike any dragon that I have ever seen in a movie, this one seems to consist only of a head, a tail and wings, which actually looks cool, until you see the way it flies.  Instead of the usual flapping wings seen on every flying creature known to man, this dragons wings only curl at the tips, the way a string ray glides through the water.  Curious, the rays weight is supported by the water.  What is holding the dragons sufficient weight?  Maybe the dragon is gliding on the thermal current created by the extreme heat given off by its body, which is complete engulfed.  Yeah that’s the answer . . . but.  If the dragon is gliding on thermals, why does he curl up the ends of his wings like he’s flying.  That’s a waste of energy.  And why . . . Oh, I could go on, but I don’t want to.  Let’s examine the look of the creature, which came to mind as I was criticizing the motion of the wings.  As this creature twists and turns through the air, at one time it looks like a giant kite that has caught fire after being struck by lightning.  At other times it looks pretty cool, as long as you don’t consider the fact that it doesn’t have legs and most likely has to glide and scrape along the ground until it comes to a full stop.  But, if it does that, how does it take off again.  Maybe that’s why, in this tale, there haven’t been any dragon attacks in twenty years.  But let’s get back to how it looks flying.  As, I said, it looks cool at times, but then it angles in for another dive bomb attack and what’s that.  It’s looks like a giant, flying, flaming Snuggy.  That’s when I turned the channel, so note to Sci Fi:  Stop making movies, or start making good ones, because I for one have lost interest in what was my favorite channel. No more dragons, no more piranha, no more snakes or frogs or alligators.  Just stop making these crappy movies.  If you want ideas that will work, let me know through this post.

P.S. – Bring back SG-1


Musical Garbage  May 20, 2010

When did music become disposable?  I was driving my
girlfriend's daughters to school and was subtly surprised
by what the oldest one said.  Apparently, the students at
their school are provided with laptops that get turned in
at the end of each school year and cleared of all personal
files the students have downloaded over the course of the
year, including any music files.  The deletion of these songs
did not surprise me, it was the child's response when I
asked whether she had saved those songs to an external
device.  This reaction surprised me, because I remember
how much those of my generation cherished our records
and/or tapes.  I still have friends that can't let go of their
vinyl, something about the warmth of the sound and how it
outweighs the cracks and pops that inevitably plague most
albums and 45s.  It didn't seem that copying these songs to
an MP3 player ever crossed her mind.  It was then that I
realized just how bad the music of today actually was or is,
because I don't see the music labels doing anything to change
this problem.  What I realized and confirmed during my
brief discussion with the girls was that . . . One, they can get
this music from a myriad of sights and Two, they won't listen
to these songs in a years time, or a months time for that matter.
This to me was a foreign concept, because when downloading
songs became practical, I grabbed all of those songs I
loved from my youth first.  This I don't imagine will be the case
when my girlfriend's kids grow up . . .  In essence, today's
music has a very short shelf life, which is sad, in my opinion.
To what music will the youth of today tie their fondest memories?
I doubt that it will be any of Lady Ga Ga's songs or any of the
singers from American Idol or even Star Search.  My only hope
is that the music industry will be forced to create a better
product, as sales continue to plummet.  The worst thing about
all of this crap music is that there are artists out there who
warrant attention, but the corporations that control the industry
don't seem to care about quality.

P.S. - Click on the MP3 player on my home page and buy a song



Feces Pieces  May 19, 2010

Why is most underwear 'white'?  Wouldn't brown make more
sense, or at the very least yellow?
 
 
Has mankind gone Bad?  May 18, 2010

Do those devout religion people who believe that mankind is
God's favorite creation may be right, but they may be wrong.
My doubts come from the changes that out world is
experiencing.  Could man be causing global warming? . . . Are
we doing something that we shouldn't be doing or not doing
something that we should be doing to stop the disappearance
of the bees?  Is the precious oil that we're pulling out of the
ground and from the bottom of the ocean a resource that we
can continue to deplete without dire consequences to our way
of life, our lives and our future?  Even if we are the All Mighty's
favorites, would he really appreciate what we're doing to his
lesser creations?  I remember a dog my family had when I was
a kid.  He was out favorite pet at the time, which is probably
why we named him Star, but my mother and my sister and I all
got very upset with Star when he bit the head off our parakeet.
We were all so upset that we didn't replace Tweetie.  I can only
speculate, but I believe that my parents thought it best not to
give Star another opportunity to enjoy head cheese.  And, if I
were to create a bunch of things, like animals and plants and
planets and the Universe, I still wouldn't want my star pupil,
tearing it up, just because they can.  Have we gone bad?  Are
we spoiled like milk that was refrigerated?  Are we past our
expiration date, and just don't realize it yet?
And for those who might protest my opinion, I say this:  I am
not questioning God's will, I am saying that I believe his will
would dictate that humankind stand down from it's destructive
ways.

Global Economy, or "G.E., it sounded like a good idea" May 17, 2010

I wonder exactly who this global economy is supposed to be good for, because it doesn't seem to be helping anyone I know.  I guess I just don't know anyone who is in whatever inner circle is benefiting from the ever blurring line between the world's various economic house of cards.  Would Greece have brought the world to its knee twenty or thirty years ago?  I would guess not, but I could be wrong.  On a separate, but related note, wouldn't our economy have been bolstered by the war in Iraq?  As harsh as this my sound, a "War Machine" historically enhanced industry and created jobs, but that was when this offensive and defensive equipment was actually designed and and assembled in the country of origin.  Where was the hundreds of billions of dollars of equipment used in the "War in Iraq" designed and built?  Perhaps, instead of calling it a global economy, we should call it a corporate economy, because the only entities that seem to be making money these days are the nearly monopolized companies that appear to be above the laws of any country of this planet.


If the World Had a Do-Over May 14, 2010

Too bad the Earth wasn't created with a reset button, because I would definitely have pushed it until we were back in the 80's.  As cheesy as this may sound, I believe that this decade was the pinnacle of American society.  At least it felt that way to me, because life was much simpler back then and the strides made towards equality were probably as advanced as they are today.  Now, people will argue that the 60's was the best decade, because of "Free Love" and the expansions that many people's mind underwent.  While this may sound cool, there were plenty of strings attached and racism was still prevalent.  The 70's, I really won't even consider, because that had to be the least cool decade of all time.  The only decade with worse clothing than the 80's was the 70's.  As for the 50's, they seemed quite cool, but only if you were Caucasian.  I can't even think of a movie that depicts how good people of color had it in the fifties.
    So, I refer once again to the 80's.  While the music wasn't the greatest, we had all of the music from all previous decades and we could listen to it over and over again until the cassette tape got worn too thin or the record got too scratched up.  As for the fashion, it may have been out there, but it seems to be all the rage these days, while no one is dressing like they're going to the disco, sock hop or VA dance.  The fashions of the day were taken so seriously and maybe that's how it should be, because clothes were still affordable.
    As for technology, I love the things that have been created in the past 30 years, but have they really made life better.  Cell phones are an electronic leash that people wouldn't put down if they could, even when it comes to performing important tasks like driving.  Personal computers haven't lessened the amount of paper wasted, help people deal with social interactions or shortened the workweek:  Paper is still wasted, probably more than before, because companies just don't seem to trust digital storage.  People interact less now than probably any time in history, unless you count customer service calls routed through some Indian call center.  And, the work week is still forty (40) hours long.  To be honest, the work load these days is greater, because there are fewer people doing it: That's the legacy of the personal computer.  Cars are safer now and for that I am thankful, but the rest of the advances, what for?  All these additions simply made it impossible to work on you own vehicle; even changing the oil is a chore.  I miss the days when I could change the water pump in my Cutlass.

    Socially, as mentioned previously, people don't know how to interact with one another anymore.  Instead they discuss their ideal lives online, through Facebook, Farmville, Farmtown or text messages.  Why don't people just 'hang' anymore?  Why don't people play cards from Friday night until ? . . . Could it be that we're just too busy or too tired from excessive meetings, redundant paperwork or  . . .time-saving typing on the computer?  I miss those unimportant conversations about philosophy, politics, life and the future, seemed so bright that we had to wear shades.  I wonder how many could make that claim today?
    While I could go on about how much better the 80's were than today, I won't, because all that it boils down to for me, and I imagine many other people, is the quality of life that is lived.  Personally, I know that my parent's life was better "back in the day".  The same could be said for the lives of my Aunts, Uncles and almost all of the adults I knew in the 80's.  Could that be said about life today and, if not, what can we do about changing that?  Any and all suggestions are welcome.

If you could pick a period in Earth's history, what period would that be and why?  Let us know in the comment section below.


 May 13, 2010

Now, I can't guarantee that all of my daily posts will be positive, especially since most people believe me to be a pessimist with a futile slant.  I however like to look at my attitude towards the world in a "glass half full" manner, and would call myself a realist who is seeking ways to fix what I believe is wrong with the world.  With that said I will no present my daily observation


One percent  May 13, 2010

People are mean.  Although this is true, it doesn't have to be that way.  If everyone would commit to what I call the 1% Rule, things would improve dramatically.  Think about how you interact with people everyday.  Do you greet them with a smile or do you scowl and walk by, avoiding any and all contact?  Now, consider the worst that has ever happened to you, when you smiled and said "hello", "hey" or whatever people say in way of greeting in your neck of the woods.  The worst that has ever happened to me was that the person ignored me and kept on their merry way.  Although, this didn't make me happy, it didn't necessarily bother me and when it happened, it didn't necessarily hurt my feelings.  For the most part however, I was rewarded with a smile or nod and that did stick with me for the day.

By way of an example, I submit the following.  In Miami, traffic is always a problem for its residents.  The problem is that given the instances of road rage that have been reported upon by the local media, too many Miamians think that the frustration they feel is exclusive to them.  "All other drivers have to cater to my needs", seems to be what so many drivers are thinking in Miami.  When traffic is slow, too many drivers are willing to block driveways, even when there is a car waiting to enter.  Why not yield to the waiting car?  You're not going anywhere.  And how about putting the cell phone down while driving.  If the yellow light is closer to red than green, why not stop?  So, you'll get to your destination two minutes later:  If those two minutes are that important, why not leave two minutes earlier?  And, by the way, why is everyone in Miami in such a hurry in the morning?  Very few people seem to like, let alone, love  their jobs here.  So try driving nicer, at least in 1% increments, you never know where it could lead . . . Perhaps a nicer city.

No matter how you do it, try being 1% nicer today than you were yesterday and 1% nicer tomorrow than you will be today.  Hopefully, kindness is contagious.


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