Saturday, April 27, 2002

I wrote something vaguely resembling a thoughtful rant, and it still hasn't showed up. Makes no sense.

I've gotten involved in a GI Joe round robin, because Jane finally told me it existed. I'm having fun with it. People other than me can drive the plot, which is definitely of the good... plot is not one of my strong points. But with this, I can push forward a vague idea and make somebody else write it. Heh heh heh.

And I'm still working on my papers, so I'm clearly still not king.

Friday, April 26, 2002

We Hate You, Because You're Not Us: Prejudice in the Modern World

I just read an article on Slate about the new "Ugly European," talking about how anti-foreigner (particularly anti-Muslim) sentiment is high, especially after the attacks of September 11th. A week or so ago I read an article in the State Press about how Austria was attempting to pass a law requiring new immigrants to learn German within a year of immigrating, and if they couldn't pass a basic competency test, they'd have to pay for German classes. This follows the Wednesday Slate article regarding the Catholic church deciding to blame the widespread child molestation on... get this... gays. Not pedophiles. Right. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the Palestinians and the Israelis keep killing each other over a piece of land with little actual value.

There've been a lot of demonstrations on campus lately about the whole Israeli/Palestinian thing, which is an argument I really fail to understand. I can't grasp feeling so territorial about anything that I'd be willing to blow mostly uninvolved people up to try and get it back. Of course, now that suicide bombers (or homicide bombers, or tactical whatever the Palestinians are calling them now) can be young girls, perhaps they'll kill themselves off and we won't have to worry about them any more. (Kill 'em all, and let God laugh at them for being so short-sighted.)

The Palestinians piss me off, though, not just because they're willing to resort to terror tactics to try and... what? convince the Israelis to move? convince them to let the Palestinians live next door? (Oh, yeah, a good way to convince people that they want you as their neighbors is to BLOW THEM UP.) Anyway, resort to terror tactics to do whatever it is they're trying to do, but then they turn around and rationalize it. I read an article in the State Press yesterday in which a Palestinian supporter observed that they had to use terror tactics because they didn't have an army, navy, air force, etc. I don't know about the rest of you, but my reaction to "I don't have an Army and I want to take over another country" would be to go recruit an army, or hire one, or whatever. Clearly they don't have a shortage of people who want to get involved... or if they do now, it's because they've blown so many of them up. And not only do they have this list of demands, they're not willing to give any of them up, no matter how ridiculous they are.

They don't want to talk. They want to blow up Israelis. That's fine! (Well, it's not, because it's not polite to blow people up, but for the sake of my point it's fine. Bear with me.) If you don't want to negotiate with the enemy, if the only satisfactory state of being for the enemy as far as you're concerned is dead, and it doesn't matter how many of your own people die so long as They are dead, just say so. Don't pretend like you're willing to compromise. Don't sign another meaningless cease-fire that you're just going to violate five minutes from now. Don't rationalize blowing up people on buses or near cars by saying you don't have an army to fight in traditional fashion. You don't want to fight in traditional fashion, or you'd be blowing up military targets rather than schoolchildren. If you just want to kill them all, SAY SO. Be proud of your suicide bombers, don't go all mealy-mouthed and call them tactical whatevers. Trying to sound rational when you're not is an exercise in futility, so just give it up. At least Al-Quaida et al admits that they hate us all and wish we'd all drop dead.

I fail to understand hating people because of their religion, or skin color, or country of origin... particularly because most people, if you give them a chance, will give you a GOOD reason to hate them. Of course, that's because People Are Dumb... which perhaps explains why they're being stupid about hating other people for things they can't help. "I hate you because you're not me?" You know, I'm GLAD you're not me, because then I'd have to hate you because you stole my whole 'unique' gig. I'm not interested in your race, religion, sexual orientation, or whether you like Pepsi or Coke. The fact that you like *NSYNC and Britney Spears... well, it confirms my belief that you're stupid and have no taste. But it doesn't make me hate you. Pity, perhaps. Hate takes too much damned energy.

Plus it leads to the Dark Side.

The fact that YOU hate ME, even though you've never met me and wouldn't know it if you did... that worries me. How can you hate someone you don't know? Who really gives a shit what my great-grandfather did to your great-grandfather? It wasn't me, and it wasn't you. Get over it. Don't forget it - that's a bad idea - but don't take it personally. I'm not the oppressor. (Except of Dave and Nick. And they're white males.)

How do you take personally something that didn't happen to you, anyway? It's like the whole slave-reparations thing. Perhaps my ancestors owned somebody else's ancestors. It's possible; I'm a white woman born in the South. I've never owned anybody. You've never been owned. Why, exactly, should you get money because your ancestor got dragged here from Africa while mine fled from Ireland? If you're upset about not being in Africa, go back there. Nobody's stopping you. The Jews demanded that the Pharoh let them go, not that he pay them for their labor. People have been enslaving each other as long as there have been bigger, stronger people. Yeah, it sucks. It doesn't make you special. Hating me for something my ancestor did to your ancestor is back to the whole religion issue - my parents raised me Catholic, because my dad's parents raised HIM Catholic. So far as I know, nobody sat me down before I got born and asked me where I wanted to be born, who I wanted my parents to be, and if being a girl would suit me okay. (It does.) Nobody asked, "Would you like to be an infidel?" (Yeah, sure, where do I sign up?) And unless you've got some strange mojo going on that I don't know about, nobody asked you either. So get over yourself. Or next time, check that "infidel" box.

Enough rambling. Work to do.

Hey, where was the "king" box?

Thursday, April 25, 2002

And now that bastard piece of shit commonly known as MS Word has crashed, taking out half the stuff I've been musing on for the past few days. Fortunately, the one document it DID successfully recover was the five pages of quotes I've spent the past two days culling from this book. Otherwise...well, I wouldn't be responsible for the damage.

I've given up on being king for tonight. I'm going to bed.
My printer's childhood trauma is fucking up my life. Film at eleven.

(Or maybe that should be "on the next Springer?")

So far from king it's not EVEN funny.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Why is it, the closer you get to the end of the semester, the more teachers become convinced that theirs is the only class you're taking? What? Due WHEN? HOW long? How many hours do you think I have in my day, anyway?

And, damn it, finals should be held on the scheduled day. That's why they're SCHEDULED. Let's see... tomorrow I'm working. Then Thursday, I have a short paper, a final, and a presentation. Monday, I have a long paper due. Tuesday, I have two major research papers, another short paper, and a portfolio (of all the stuff I've done during the semester) due. (And half the stuff that's supposed to go in the portfolio, I haven't even gotten BACK yet... her lack of preparation is becoming MY emergency.)


Not king. Kings have other people to do stuff FOR them.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Okay, so every other day seems to be about average for updating. Not too bad.

Let me take a minute to rave about the new Michelle Branch CD, The Spirit Room. The first time I heard her was earlier this season on Buffy, when she played "Goodbye to You." Shortly after that, her song "Everywhere" was... well... everywhere. (Yeah, I know.) If you like the stuff that's gotten airplay, though, go out and get it. The whole album's that damned good. It's not terribly deep, but it's catchy and danceable - reminiscent of the best kinds of Sheryl Crow. ("Soak up the Sun," "My Favorite Mistake," that kind of thing.)

Speaking of CDs, I want to know how we've managed to have a dozen or so CDs without cases. Cases without CDs, I grasp - they're in a zipper case, or in the car, or just plain lost - but where did the cases go? And they're not all old, either. We've had Hayseed Dixie maybe all of a month or so. Where'd its case disappear to? I remember it being on top of the stereo speaker, and now it's just - gone. Gremlins are stealing our CD cases!

Two weeks left in the semester (whimper). God, where does the time go? I have so much to do in the next two weeks, I have no idea how I'm going to get it all done. (Yeah, and rather than doing it, I'm writing in my blog.) I'm really fed up with the ASU library system. There are a bunch of journals ASU subscribes to, and most of them have web sites, so you can download the articles and print them out, and they don't have to keep a bunch of microfiche copies lying around. I found a bunch of abstracts from home, looked them up, and determined that ASU did, in fact, have online access to them. Guess where I have to be to actually read them? If you guessed in the library, you get a cookie. Yep, in the library, where they not only charge you to print, but it takes FOREVER to actually print something. Of course, I could mail it to myself. So, let's get this straight... from home, I find the articles, print out the list, go to ASU, find the text of the articles, mail them to myself, then go BACK home to read them. Anybody else frustrated by the mind-numbing waste of time? Yeah, me too.

This is why I'm writing in my blog rather than doing research. Because the ONE article I could get to and read from home (out of approximately 25 I want to look at)... is useless. Argh!

So still not king.