Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Have You Ever Felt Like This?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Keith Olbermann Sends me an Email

Earlier this week, Keith Olbermann, political pundit and host of MSNBC's nightly show "Countdown", was suspended indefinitely, due to campaign contributions. Soon after, the twittersphere, and facebook was all abuzz concerning reinstating Keith to his original weekend. This past weekend, he was reinstated, and just today, Keith sent me, and many of his loyal supporters, an email:

BREAKING: Keith Olbermann just released the below "Statement To The Viewers Of Countdown"

Statement To The Viewers Of Countdown

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support.

Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small.

...I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about -- that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC.

Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations.

Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients.

When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty - support and loyalty that is truly mutual.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When Violence Is Uncalled For

Violence is always uncalled for. No matter what someone says, or does, violence is always uncalled for.

I have been picked on in school when I was younger. I was always beaten, and always abused, both verbally and physically. Everyone has dealt with bullies once or twice in their life, but they seemed to attract around me like flies to a light.

My stepdad, Piry used to tell me to man up. He used to tell me to work out, and fight back. This animalistic ritual of fighting is never the answer. Yes, it might get one bully off your back, but losing your civilized mind, to become like an animal, and giving into those animalistic feelings, are not worth it.

So if someone were to tell me Puerto Ricans were statistically lazy, or statistically more violent than white people, I'd agree. First of all the statistics are true. Puerto Ricans are more likely to join gangs, and less likely to have good jobs for long periods of time. It is all true, there is nothing to argue. I am Puerto Rican, and I am not like that, but that doesn't mean there isn't a trend, so I do not get upset. When they shout those statistics, I am confident in saying I am an outlier, and it makes me happy.

However some people are not so happy when they hear the facts. They start screaming racism, and resorting to violence, and thus, they perpetuate the things that are said about them. Instead of saying "Oh, I will show them", and going out and getting a college degree, and a good job, they get upset and act like animals, and become violent, or threaten violence. WHY??? WHY??? WHY???

In life I have fought to defend myself physically. That is the only time it is okay to be violent. When your life is in danger. It is not okay to be violent when someone calls me a spic, and not okay to be violent when someone says I am no good, or lazy, even if these things are not true. I do not feel the need to beat people up who shout out stupidities.

But I do think there is a problem when other people feel the need to get violent, or to threaten violence. Words should never lead to violence. Sticks and stones, remember?

If I am saying something, and we are having a discussion, no one should ever tell me to shut up or they will slap me. This urge to violence, this compulsion, this pent up emotion expressing itself in physical form is juvenile, and anyone who gives into it is setting their people back thousands of years.

A few days ago, I was mugged. They took some food I brought at a grocery store, and I didn't fight back. The people who resorted to violence against me, set themselves back. They became a statistic to add into a long line of statistics. But most of all, they showed the difference between them and me. I have gotten into heated discussions in high school and in college, but I never felt the need to harm another person.

Biophilia is the love of living things. I have biophilia, and so I became a biologist. I grow orchids, and geckos in my house, and I feel strange in NYC, where I am not constantly surrounded by trees, or birds. I am comfortable in my life, and my love of life. And just because I am an easy target for people with less than good intentions, does not mean there is anything wrong with me, or that I need to "Man Up". My stepfather was wrong, and now he is in jail, another statistic, paying for the consequences of his actions.

I wonder if people who have the "Man Up" mentality aren't setting themselves up for failure. Instead of getting strong physically to intimidate people into giving you what you want, how about being different than what the statistics say you should be? How about going to college, and then getting a job, and not losing that job? How about, instead of "Manning Up", you grow up, and live in a civilized world, where survival of the fittest doesn't apply because everyone is well fed and thus surviving? (at least this is the case throughout most of America).

Most homeless people are starving, and not even they have the survival of the fittest mentality. They walk through the train stations asking for food, and donations so they can get something to eat. And yes, many of them have mental problems or vices, but they do not resort to intimidation or violence to survive. Meanwhile, other people feel the need to resort to these tactics to obtain something less than survival, like a new pair of shoes or a coat. Why is this so? What is going on in these peoples heads? And why is such behavior more prevalent in some races than in others?

It may be cultural or socio-economic, but the truth is, no matter what the reason is, it is wrong. Violence, unless it is an attempt to defend yourself is always wrong. It is wrong to be violent against your family, against the people you disagree with, and even against the people who are out to get you. This is 2010, and we have cell phones, and the internet, and have put a man on the moon, and have found out how to get energy from the sun. Either join society, or go to the jungle and act like an animal. But don't terrorize society because you can't control your emotions and have a grudge. And certainly don't blame society for your obvious shortcomings. For your inability to control your anger, or your emotions. For your overreactions to mere words. Society doesn't need to Man Up. YOU need to Grow Up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bring on The Zombie Apocalypse, When Terrible isn't Terrible

Nowadays, it seems like you can hardly look at pop culture sci-fi on a forum without coming up to a reference of the zombie apocalypse.

Resident Evil, 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, ZombieLand, World War Z, Cell, and even the video game Left 4 Dead. In recent years people have become obsessed with the zombie apocalypse! In the 80's and 90's people were more terrified of the robot apocalypse, with movies like Terminator, multiple video games on the genre, and the book How To Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion

But will the zombie apocalypse be so bad? What is a zombie but an undead creature walking around in search for something to eat. Yes it is more animalistic than our current state, but is it anymore animalistic than any other scavenger?

The truth is, most of the time, people wander around, do some work, and get money, to then pay rent and eat. While working Saturday, the day before Halloween, a zombie came into the store and asked for some water, and the thought came to me, that a zombie apocalypse wouldn't be so bad. Not at all. While walking home from work, I passed by many people, and in my mind, I saw them all as zombies. There was no real difference. They seemed to walk around aimlessly, but it wasn't too hard to imagine.

It would be terrible though, but exciting. I think the sentiments were best expressed by Willy Wonka, in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Watch the video linked until about 3 minutes and 15 seconds in.

Willy Wonka knew when terrible wasn't terrible. Because sometimes terrible is used to describe degree rather than good or bad. For example, you can have a bad cough, an intense cough, or a terrible cough. They all mean the same thing, with the word before "cough" signaling it's intensity. If zombies were to start taking over, many people would be frightened, but I would welcome the change. We need a change. Any change. Too many things have been the same for too long.

Which I why I welcome small changes. As many of my readers know, I am not a very happy person, but I sometimes do get a chance to smile. This is a welcome change. It is also usually, very abrupt. But usually I stop smiling and look away after a while, not because it is bad, but because it is terrible.

Next time, I hope it lasts.

The Secret Cell Phone Sacrifice

My iphone is currently being restored to it's factory settings, latest firmware, and original software. Why? I am giving it away.

I got tired of the hackers being one step behind apple, and constantly waiting for the next unlock while I used an older phone which was less than adequate for sending text messages in 2010. Who texts using a dial pad anymore anyway?

My sister has connections, and she is going to get me a better phone. So I have to make a sacrifice, and give her my iPhone. So for a while I will have no text plus, no internet access where Wi-Fi is available, and none of the other great things Apple has made openly available to those with enough money.

I hope the new phone I get lives up to it's name. I hope the sacrifice I made by giving up my iPhone was worth it.

Very short blog today (comparatively). Also might not be able to tumblr much until I get my new phone, since I used my iPhone to take pictures, and post them to tumblr.

Oh what a sad day it is.