Year: 2008 Page 1 of 2

One Nation, Indivisible

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Editor’s note: As I wrote this, I started nodding off. It has been a long day. I may revise it later, to make it a bit more clear.

My friends and family, and fellow Americans:

We did it. We stood up across the country and made our voices heard. Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike flocked to the voting booths in incredible numbers, and many Americans made it clear: it’s time for change.

But as our new President-elect, Barack Obama, spoke from Grant Park in Chicago this evening, he made a point that rings true with me now. He said that this election has always been about us. It has always been about the American people. The change we want, my dear friends, is not something we should lazily expect from Washington. This is a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, and we have to remember that we have the power. Not gigantic corporations, not faceless entities. We do. This is our country, and we must remember to make our voices heard– and listen to those that are speaking.

Listen. Now that’s something none of us have really done in the last eight years. How many liberals, myself included, have shut out President Bush as soon as he mentions “nuke-yuh-ler weapons” in a speech? How many of us have become so proud and angry that we’ve begun viewing the opposing party as a bunch of enemies? How easy has it become to look at someone– a well dressed businessman, or a casual-looking college student– and think, “Well, they’re a conservative,” or, “Well, they’re a liberal”?

The unfortunate fact is that we’ve allowed ourselves to make our political parties more than political. What was once only an issue around election time has permeated every day of our lives, and “Republican” and “Democrat” carry weight even when they shouldn’t. We see our neighbors as “like us” or “not like us,” and no idea has ever been more divisive than that.

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Behind the Scenes

Upgrade!

Southwest in the Northwest is now running a newer version of WordPress, and has a sexy new theme. Isn’t it awesome?

And that’s all.

Rediscovery

Tonight, I opened my giant chest of Legos and built things.

I was in the bin of plastic bricks, my face inches away from those tiny little choking hazards that were my childhood, hearing the roar of a plastic ocean as I pushed wave after wave away from my face, looking for that one exact piece.

It was so much fun.

Dear Disaffected Youth…

 

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Dear Disaffected Youth of America:

What haunts you?

I see you every day, walking down the street in your heavy black jackets or your baggy skater clothes. I’ve watched you angrily kick over the sign of a local business simply because it was nearby. You’ve shouted at my car, “What the fuck are you looking at?” when I took a look at you to see if I recognized you. You’ve tried to break into my theatre department late at night, and almost succeeded.

So what haunts you?

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The Reflexive LOL

The Reflexive “lol”

 

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

I will not lie, this drives me absolutely bonkers. lol.

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Conviction

 

Stale Content Alert!

This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Come on, people!

What’s happened to our conversation? We’ve become a bunch of spineless, light-footed lemurs, afraid to say anything that might step on someone else’s toes or offend anyone else in any way at all. All of us. We’re caught up in modifiers and justifiers, constantly making excuses in order to keep ourselves from pushing people too hard.

It’s too late at night to come up with examples, but watch your discourse with others. Watch others’ discourse. We’ve become ridiculously self-censoring, myself included.

I’m not advocating going out and being rude, that’s absurd. Manners have their place. But there are manners, and then there’s simply regularly cutting your feet out from under you, and the latter is happening one hell of a lot.

Random thought of the night.

Open Letter

 

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

To the few moronic teenagers spitting on cops and climbing buildings during today’s protest in downtown Portland:

Congratulations. You just shot your own cause in the foot–and not with a slingshot or a handgun, but with something more akin to a tank-mounted anti-aircraft missile. (Shh, pretend they exist.)

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Scraped Knees

 

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

You see, the funny thing about other people is that they’re human.

Everyone messes up. Everyone has faults; everyone makes mistakes. And when they do, they often inadvertently end up causing someone else grief. It will be you at some point in your life. It may be you often in your life, if that way land the dice.

We get frustrated with the things other people do. We look at them and say “Oh my God, why can’t you just X?” or “Jeez, why do you Y?” But how many times have you been on the other side? How many times have you used the defense, in your own head or out loud, that you’re only human, or something to that extent? The fact of the matter is that sometimes people mess up.

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Making Education Intelligent

 

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

I am not a fan of the current American public school system. I’m quite grateful that I have the opportunity to receive a decent free education, but I have a number of beefs with the system itself.

Let’s start with a misconception.

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Improving Ubuntu

A while ago, sensing that I was not enough of a nerd yet, I decided to install Ubuntu 7.10, a derivative of Linux. (That’s an operating system, like Windows or Mac OS X, for those completely out of the loop.) Ubuntu, like Linux, is open-source, meaning that anyone can not only view the code that makes it run, but also edit it, tweak it, copy it, and use it in various projects, all free of charge and without treading on any copyright. Also, it’s free (so, for my out-of-the-loop readers, think of it as something akin to downloading a fully functional copy of Windows, already stocked with many applications necessary to perform your daily computing, all for free).

Ubuntu is, in my opinion, the version of Linux that’s pushing hardest for public acceptance. Dell, for instance, recently added an option for customers purchasing laptops to have the computers shipped with Ubuntu installed instead of Windows. I respect that. I believe that there will come a point, given the recent surge in open-source development, when someone can download for free perfectly functional and feature-ridden open-source alternatives to most popular programs, including the operating system. Theoretically, in the near future, someone could work on their computer for years without having to spend money on software. I believe Ubuntu will be at the forefront of that wave, since the most fundamental part of that goal is a free operating system.

But I can almost guarantee you that that goal will not be realized in 2008.

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