Author: Jackie

  • Total Posts: 16

To Be’otch, Or Not To Be’otch

on July 13th, 2005 ( 27 )

There are people who mutter expletives every other word, and there are those that dive under the bed and cover their ears in defense. So who’s in the right, and who’s in the wrong? Is there a way to bring up this subject without invoking the rage of English speakers everywhere? Uh oh, I may be in trouble…

I personally don’t mind cursing, in moderation. I am not one of those people who never curses and is appalled at the the widespread use of cursing in today’s world …no… I wouldn’t say I swear regularly, but stubbing my toe or running into a pole or knocking over all the bikes in my garage will produce a hearty “shit.” If the person I’m talking to decides to throw in a few profanities, so be it…whatever… I just don’t tend to go around calling my teachers bitches and my enemies assholes…(I’ll just use…prettier language to achieve that purpose) I don’t like cursing people out, and I don’t like those shouting matches in which every other word would be bleeped on public television. I’d have to say, in general, that I don’t approve of cursing in mainstream language…but once in a while it’s acceptable. (Now aren’t I a supercilious sycophant…goody-goody who thinks too much of herself)

But who am I to put a label of good and bad on anything? Obviously some people think absolutely nothing of it and don’t see any difference between swear words and …er… non-swear words. What I want to know is why these few words are so special, why some people love or hate them so much, and what their meaning has come to be. I suppose these words were first used for the shock factor…or even before that to actually mean whatever the word was supposed to mean. Psh…who does that anymore. Sure, “screw” and “fuck” are still used to describe sex acts, but as far as what I’ve been hearing… the majority of the time they are just completely out of context. In fact, most swear words are just completely out of it. For example… some guy calls this girl a complete bitch for annoying him in class all period. Now bitch was originally female dog…and began gaining use as a term for a female who would gallivant off with any guy out there…and how did it get to being annoying? Some heartbroken guy calls his ex a bitch for running off with another guy…and slowly it becomes a term for any female (typically…not to say that it can’t be used for males…or objects…or tasks…etc.) that displeases the name caller in any way.

In Reality, How Much Farther Can They Go?

on June 22nd, 2005 ( 17 )

Three kids run around screaming while Mommy and Nanny go out of their minds figuring out what to do. Three high-school seniors stand sweating at podiums answering biology questions (which weren’t hard at all…) in a spelling bee style while about 10 others sit in the stands scrutinizing them. One hundred volunteers rush at a house towing wrenches and hammers while the owners ride away in a limo. And all this happens on the couple square foot LCD screen that we like to call the television. The other night I was busy at being the lazy bum on the couch, flipping the channels mindlessly, when I realized that on just about every channel there was another reality TV show. Maybe it wasn’t every single channel, but I don’t have cable, so when two or three channels play the same sort of show, every channel is playing that sort of show. My point is, REALITY TV IS TAKING OVER THE WORLD!!! Not quite, but I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at.

It used to be that when one thought of reality TV, Survivor or Big Brother would come to mind, but now we’ve got new breeds such as Super Nanny and Extreme Makeover. Where reality shows used to just take a bunch of random people and stick them on some random island or in a single house, they are now taking on every aspect of US life and twisting it into something the we Americans somehow find amusing. We’ve now shows for singles, shows for those who want to improve their looks, shows for parents who can’t control their toddlers, shows for parents who can’t control their teenagers, shows for high schoolers who want to get a scholarship, shows for wannabe divas, shows for fixing up the house, and even a show (which I heard about in Chem class) that has to do with putting weird stuff on and in a car to make it …cool… NOT to mention all those that were already in existence, shows that test fears, shows that race around the world, and shows that stick you in a house or on an island to test your people and not-going-insane skills.

Why are we so attracted to this sort of entertainment? Why are these shows that pose as a representative of real life so successful? I’d say there are many reasons. One is something I’d like to call the point and laugh factor. Anyone who’s ever watched Survivor will know that the producers always stick a couple of wild characters together, and this inevitably leads to various upsets and havoc and downright stupidity at times. And when this happens, us viewers at home have nothing to do but laugh at them, or get mad at them, or feel sorry for them, or cry with them whatever the case may be. In this way, these shows create a mini-reality for the viewers. An artificial reality, but something the viewer can connect with yet remain distant from. Of course, other typical TV shows like comedies or soaps do the exact same thing, so how are the “reality” sort different? It has something to do with the unpredictability, the fact that these are actual people and not actors reciting lines. Maybe real people don’t come up with as funny lines all the time as our favorite characters, but real people just do the most random and crazy things sometimes that we are kept entertained anyway. There is also a certain appeal to the, “what would I do in that case…” scenario. It’s much easier to imagine yourself into arguing with your boyfriend while catching a train to Beijing (though it’s unlikely to happen) than into some pretty, well set scene from, say, Less Than Perfect or Friends. It’s a bit easier yelling at the screen at someone voting the wrong way on Survivor than at an actor spewing scripted lines.

I admit, I watch these reality shows from time to time and am amused by them. However, I am starting to also get really disgusted. A good example is a show that hasn’t gone on air yet but has been being promoted everywhere, Brat Camp. If your kid is horrible…forget military school, send them to Brat Camp, where instead of just being humiliated in front of their teachers and classmates they get to be humiliated in front of the entire nation. What I really want to know is what sort of parent would subject their kid, or themselves to this. Doesn’t the fact that their child is so out of hand shout out to the world what kind of parenting they’ve done? I’m sure it will be entertaining to watch these monsters turn into kind, loving members of a close community that will come home with hugs and kisses for Mommy and Daddy, but the whole concept still sets my eye twitching with the whole…hmmm…something is wrong here…feeling. The same concept goes for Super Nanny which I have watched and then wondered why I kept watching it. Parents send out a help cry and Super Nanny comes and saves the day. In the meantime we see all the parents faults and tribulations. It’s a bit perverted watching people in pain for amusement, but we do it anyways. Watching this particular show might even help some poor parent who was dealing with the same problems as the hour-long stars. However…to open up your life to anyone in the US or beyond who has a TV…igh…

Reality TV…not really reality, but we still flock like the ducks to the bread crumbs those cute little toddlers throw in the pond. Anything seems to do nowadays…wheat bread, white bread, pastries, rye… And it’s all out there. What will they think up next, a reality show for pets? (if that hasn’t been done yet…)

3rd Quarter Blues

on April 6th, 2005 ( 2 )

It’s almost over! The third quarter of the 2004-2005 school year comes to an end in two days. Time to celebrate! Ok, so we still have a quarter left of school, enough time left to screw up our semester grades, but we are coming to the final stretch, that last straightaway that leads right to summer, and freedom…more or less…

So what is it that makes the third quarter so agonizing? Maybe it wasn’t agonizingly bad, but there is something about the third part out of four that always seems to drag on and on… I’d like to make an analogy to running the mile (on a quarter mile track). The first lap you zip off the line, settling into a cruise, finding your pace. The second you hold up, feeling a little pain, trying to move up within the competition. And then the third…pain…aaaah you’re tired, and even though you’re already more than halfway done, it seems so far from the end. Third lap is the time of hopelessness, tiredness, boredom, the whole why am I doing this trip… and it’s the same with school. By third quarter we’re all drooping. Classes are putting us to sleep; homework gets more and more sloppy and neglected. Even the multiple week-long breaks don’t seem to help much, I almost would rather just keep on plugging away at school and get it over with! We’ve been in school for so long, yet the end isn’t in sight…

And now we’re almost over the hump, and BANG! Time for the gun lap. Now the race begins. Now it gets exciting. Fourth quarter, the fastest, the most frantic, just what we need in order to wake up from the drone of 3rd quarter. Tomorrow is Friday! There’s only one more chapter in the book! Just two more problems on that endless math homework!

So here’s to the end of 3rd quarter and to the beginning of the Finish!!! Good luck to everyone!!!

*Anyone who doesn’t feel the 3rd quarter blues, speak up! Let us in on your secret to survival!*

Not My Fault!

on March 27th, 2005 ( 7 )

I’m asking—Can any of us be held responsible for our actions?

“Of course!!” you say…duh, if I didn’t do my math homework it was just me being lazy wasn’t it? Well, look at it this way. Is it my fault that I’m so lazy that I can’t get myself together and copy a couple numbers down on a piece of paper? Say I just don’t understand this stuff, and I got home late due to various important activities, and fell asleep before finishing. Do I have an excuse? If I don’t get up early to finish in a rush am I at fault for not being motivated enough? Or is this just how I am, and there is nothing to be done about it?

There is always going to be a reason for something getting done or not getting done. If one doesn’t have the will power, or power in general, to do something, well then that person just won’t be able to do it. Is that his fault? Can anything actually be anyone’s fault, if a person is what he is? If I decided to rob a liquor store and head for Vegas, would it be my fault or am I just prone to an overwhelming hormonal rush? I think it was Kierkegaard that made the point that the only reason a person would commit a wrongdoing is if they were ignorant.

Ok, so if we can’t be blamed for anything, can we be rewarded. Hey…so I wasn’t born with supreme intelligence and intuition such as Einstein, so why does he get all the credit? So the person who sits next to me is willing to spend a whole weekend on her English essay…does that mean I’m in the wrong for not being trained to put so much emphasis on my writing? At this moment I’m wishing that I had a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, because there’s a great quote by Atticus during his closing speech. It makes the point that we are not all created equal, it’s just in the court of law. You can look at the music stars and say, well I could do that, if I had their opportunities, I could do that if I had their talent…etc. ****Not to brag…no I’m not saying, oh look at me I’m smart, Ian**** I give myself a hard time about a math test, and my score turns out to be 98. People say to me, “I hate you, you’re so smart!!” and I’m thinking…what did I do… Should I get credit for being good at math if I’m not working at it at all? Once again back to To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus doesn’t want credit for his shooting abilities, because it’s something that is completely natural, and he doesn’t feel like he should get credit for something that he hadn’t had a part in creating. So to generalize this, we could say that everything we do is driven by internal and/or external forces, and we don’t have too much control over this, so should we be given credit.

This raises the question of whether we have free will. Do we have some power as to direct the course of our lives, or are we machines? Is thought an illusion? AAAAHH freakiness he he

Ok, so say that we can’t be held responsible for anything…and weren’t…THINGS WOULD BE CHAOS! If we can’t be held responsible for anything, the justice system would be rendered irrelevant because there would be nothing to justify. Bad deeds would increase because punishment would be unjustified and that takes away a major external force that keeps the deeds from being committed. Stuff wouldn’t get done because there wouldn’t be any motivation to rise above the rest, since it would just be nature anyways. In short, it doesn’t matter whether we have free will or not. It doesn’t matter whether we can be held responsible…it has to be done no matter what. It holds us in line. If I don’t get a presentation finished in time to present it to the big time contractor and let down my company, I may have had a valid excuse, but it didn’t get done and I’ll have to be punished. Will this punishment do much…maybe not…but it is done in hopes that it will not happen again, to show how serious the misdemeanor was. Sometimes nobody is to blame, but that doesn’t mean the event can just…go away…

And this is why we get so good at making excuses…:grin:

Napoleon Dynamite

on February 12th, 2005 ( 4 )

I just finished watching the movie Napoleon Dynamite, and to tell you the truth I’m not sure what to think. I watched it twice last weekend as well and I have to say that it’s quite perplexing. I’ve heard different opinions about this movie…some say it’s completely hilarious and others that it’s completely stupid. I say that my opinion doesn’t fall into either of these two categories.

If you haven’t seen this film, it is about a high school boy named Napoleon who is, in nice terms, a complete dork. The plot includes Napoleon helping his friend Pedro…the underdog…win class presidency, but I found that the plot was not the key point of this story. This movie shows what life as an outcast is like, but also shows that you can rise above, that you don’t need popularity. Some of my friends have said that it was the funniest thing ever…that every little thing Napoleon said (i.e. Whatever I feel like, gosh!) and did was completely hilarious. And the first time you watch it, it is. This guy is just so out of it-he draws pictures of unicorns and ligers, he takes his phone all the way out of the front door to call Pedro-that it’s hard not to be at least a little amused. However, the second time instead of just laughing at his actions, you feel sorry for this guy. He’s a hopeless dork with an uncle who’s living in the past and a brother who spends all his time in chat rooms and his only friend is the new guy who just came in from Mexico. I must say that the actor who played him portrayed the character extremely well. From the first time you see him you can tell what a dork he is (this is also due to the clothing…but oh well). He consistently managed to keep a sort of dazed look, and the posture fitted the character quite well. Anyways, so you start to feel really sorry for this guy, and it’s depressing because you know there are people like that out there and that you would treat them pretty much the same way. But, in the end you learn that he has a place in the world, even though his situation doesn’t change at all.

This is the kind of movie that you can’t really ruin the end of…even seeing once doesn’t really ruin the end. Though it is simple, there actually is a lot to this movie that is hard to notice, especially the first time through. In the end, it conveys a happy message, but its also rather depressing. (other people have told me that they thought it was depressing too)

One thing that I found really funny about the movie, was not in the movie itself but what people did after the movie. This movie doesn’t seem like it would have much impact on people…but strangely it does. Right now I’m intstant messaging someone with a screen name that is one of the things that Napoleon is always saying, and I’ve been hearing people in class and elsewhere saying stuff from the movie. Not quoting, but saying stuff as Napoleon would. (i.e. an under the breath “yes” after accomplishing something). There’s this one guy in my English class who has the “Vote for Pedro” shirt that Napoleon was wearing to support his friend.

In conclusion, this movie may have seemed a little stupid and somewhat pointless, but somehow it has an effect on people. Somehow it touches them in one way or another…as strange as this may seem.

I dono…I liked it anyways.

Humble Apology

on January 19th, 2005 ( 6 )


Thank you Ian for bringing me to my senses. You’re right, I was being a total hypocrite and I probably just shouldn’t have written it. I want to express my most humble apologies to anyone who has read and taken offense to my previous posts. I am truly sorry, especially to Andrew as it is his site and I have ________ it up (insert your word of choice…I know what a lot of you would pick).

Now you may be wondering why I am not just deleting my post. This is because I want it to stand. I am not just going to hide my mistakes, despite what other people think of me (here I go with the bragging again-but not my fault this time). Ian, if it bothers you that much, you’re an author and you can delete it. You have my permission. I just need to stand up to what I’ve done. This shows that like everyone else, I’m not perfect and that I don’t always make the right decisions.