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Awful lot of anti-Islam rhetoric and protest going on lately. Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of that one thing that happened nine years ago. Something about some angry Muslims, some planes, leveling some of the New York skyline…I don’t recall.

But whatever happened there, some other (not so angry) Muslims want to build a mosque and cultural center very near that same location.

Good. I think they should.

There is a lot wrong with America. A lot. One of those things is hypocrisy. Some guy in Florida wanted to hold a massive Qur’an burning. Many others don’t want the mosque to be built and are protesting accordingly.

We talk ad nauseam about our precious freedoms that God and Ben Franklin sat down and scripted a billion years ago…

That whole kite/key/lightning thing? Actually a telephone to God. P.S. You're welcome

It seems to me we would want to show the world how much we love those freedoms. You know, like freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression. We could say, “You know what, who cares what 19 Islamic anomalies did oh-so many years ago?”

Despite all my side-stepping of the issue and my inherent need to not take some historic events seriously, we do have a problem. No matter what, this will not end well. I can understand how some might perceive the endeavor as all of Islam thumbing their noses at us. Really, I can. But I’m also capable of the bigger understanding. The one that ends with, “Shit happens.”

There are bad apples everywhere. A certain Florida christian, for instance… And they will always spoil the bunch. If others could take a step back, stop and think about why such an act really offends them, they might come to some other conclusion, one that doesn’t end in them blaspheming an entire religion. A religion that wants to be our friends. And believe me, right now is a really good time to accept that friendship. We’re gonna need it…

Days ago, I was informed that fans of Lady Gaga believe her to be much more than a musical performer. Because she designs her own outlandish apparel. Or something to that effect. Okay, I can take that for what it is, not really knowing much about the girl’s music or her fashion statements.

I don’t understand fashion. Either as a result of my having a penis or of my not thinking it speaks to humanity in any way.

Now that my bias has been aired…

Eccentricity is not art. I’ve said before, in passing, that I think money brings out everyone’s eccentricities. It could be too much or too little. This morning, I stumbled upon a news article referring to a message Lady Gaga had written to her fans…on a five-thousand dollar purse. My curiosity peaked because, as I said, I’d recently been told Lady Gaga was a supposed artist based on her fashion sense, rather than her taken art form of music.

Throwing $5000 into (not literally) a purse is beyond ridiculous, in my mind. And is perhaps the best example of said artist’s eccentricity. The message (which I understand referred to her Japanese fans as “little monsters”) is icing on the cake of proof.

Art is supposed to speak to the human condition. It is supposed to represent something meaningful, something that transcends everyday language and communication.

Jackson Pollock was eccentric. So is Ted Turner. I’m not going to debate the major differences between those two individuals because it’s ludicrous. Simply put, one was an artist. The other is not.

I am not talking about individuality here, mind you. In fact, I might suggest that once you become your eccentricities, you’ve lost a portion of your individuality. Because you are no longer a person, but a broadcast of ideas that might somehow be interpreted as art.

Bah, the whole thing is sickening on many levels. If someone truly respected their art (in Lady Gaga’s case, music), why would they seek to draw attention away from it? I will concede that it does not begin with her. Fashion can exist as an artform if and when it defies social conventions. The problem I have with this, of course, is that I doubt the merit of the need to challenge today’s social conventions. They are rehashes of the past. It’s not daring anymore for four guys from Liverpool to come out with long hair.

There are certain things that get labelled as art ubiquitously, in order to keep them alive. Fashion is one, I believe. Pornography fits in there too. Pornography is not art. I’m not suggesting that I have a major beef with porno (I like the blooper reels, myself), just that calling it an art doesn’t help your cause. And yes, I feel the same way about fashion.

Before he was an artist, Dennis Rodman dabbled in mediocre basketball playing.

As I understand it, an artist will use their eccentricities, all of their little individualism hang-ups, to divert attention away from what it is they are actually doing because they don’t actually believe in what it is they are doing.

Jackson Pollock couldn’t paint for sour beans, so he covered it up by being crazy. Lady Gaga’s music is nothing special, so she covers it up with pointy dresses and eyeliner. The list could go on and on to include anyone and everyone, but it really doesn’t help to abate the problem.

Lunatic or daring seamstress?

Under these conditions, everyone, given ample moneys, could be an artist. And that is more than just unfair to those who are legitimately gifted in the art of humanity. Give me the $5000 Lady Gaga spent on her handbag, and I’ll give you artistic gold. And I promise it would be much more than a slap in the face.

Do what you do, and like what you like, but there are some things you really can’t cover up with make-up or hair dye. Talent is a different animal than art…

I’ve not much else to say, but I will leave you with one question. Feel free to answer if you like:

If it weren’t for Madonna’s sexually-charged and explicit music videos of the ’80s, would her music career have spanned these 30 years?

For those not in-the-know: Fred Phelps invented the Westboro Baptist Church in the mid-’50s. Said church has no actual affiliations with any other Baptist churches, and is pretty widely condemned as a hate group by just about every American. Except for about 70, which is the total number (almost all related to Phelps) of members in the WBC.

Fred Phelps believes that everything bad that happens in America is the fault of homosexuals. Natural disasters, dead soldiers, every time you wreck your bike…is punishment for a nation that tolerates homosexuals.

This has all come to a head in the past decade due, in large part, to America’s involvement in military action overseas. Phelps and his family have used this to exercise their cherished First Amendment rights to picket and pester the funerals of fallen soldiers.

It’s a tricky gray area, indeed. A paradox, even. Most claim that any American soldier who dies in combat, does so to protect his countrymen’s rights – One of those being the First Amendment, which warrants our beloved Freedom of Speech.

It’s the basis for the Fuck the Troops campaign – a supposedly ironic coalition designed to make it apparent how hypocritical our Rights actually are.

Fair enough. I agree.

In 2006 George W. Bush had to sign into law the Respect For America’s Fallen Heroes Act – a really long name for something that basically says, “Leave a 300-foot, 1-hour buffer between your protest and a military funeral.” It should be noted that the act only applied to about 150 cemeteries throughout the country.

So is it possible for our country to have it both ways? To laud our troops and make it okay to say, “Fuck ‘em” at the same time?

It is, apparently, if you blame it all on the gays. You see, Phelps and co. have just beaten the system. In Maryland, with Phelps’ own daughter representing their church, he’s won a civil suit brought forth by the father of a Marine whose funeral the WBC picketed in 2006. The ruling, which is to be appealed of course, requires the father to pay all of the WBC’s legal costs.

For the record, Fred Phelps was disbarred in the ’70s for many reasons, most notably because he reduced a witness to tears during a week-long cross-examination, in which he also referred to her as a “slut.” He lost the case.

Most Christians, if not all, are against the actions of Fred Phelps. But I don’t think that’s good enough. Fred Phelps himself believes that merely voicing an opinion is not good enough. He can’t just set up an internet blog and accuse gays of destroying our country. He has to organize gatherings…a physical presence…in order to prove his point:

Every dead soldier is the fault of homosexuals.

Not taking into account human conscience, common sense and decency, he’s been afforded that right.

So it’s not enough to say that Fred Phelps is a closet homosexual, whose religion has frightened him into such a tiny corner (in a closet) that he has no other psychological response other than to accuse all homosexuals of ruining his country. Because it is clear that Fred Phelps is gay.

I'd hump my Bible, if it weren't written by dudes!

There’s a second caption that I didn’t feel comfortable adding… But I’m just such a stickler for freedom of speech:

“Just behind this podium, Pat Robertson has his jowls pressed firmly against my balls!”

So…if there isn’t a way to respect the dead and our inalienable rights at the same time, at the very least we can shame Fred Phelps into submission by posting every picture we have of him sinning and sodomizing and having sex with puppies and inserting bottles of hot sauce into his rectum and – you get the picture – all over Topeka, Kansas.

If daughter Phelps wants to align daddy’s cause with the righteous and make a martyr of her gay dad, so be it.

In no particular order, I honor you with 28 things and/or people that, in the nature of the Seinfeldian observational pet-peeve, genuinely piss me off. Some more than others. I list 28 as an homage to our shortest month, which is now at an end.

  1. The line in that Steve Miller Band song, Fly Like an Eagle, that says, “want to shoe the children / with no shoes on their feet.” The word “shoe” is just such a bad word choice, especially when spoken, since it sounds as though one would want to “shoo” or drive away children in need. Not to mention the fact that the word itself isn’t even a legitimate verb. Also, not that Steve Miller Band ever delighted me lyrically or musically – that lyric, in particular, has always pissed me off
  2. People who rate their level of certainty in percentage form. Maybe I’m wrong (I’m not, and 100% of dictionaries will agree), but “certain” can only mean 100%. As in, I’m am (100%) certain, anyone who suggests they are merely 90% certain is 100% retarded and understands 0% of the definition of the word, “certain.”
  3. That 3-year period in the late Nineties where every up-and-coming band had to cover a song that was a hit in the Eighties. “Faith” sucked in 1988 when George Michael did it, why would anyone think it would be any better when Limp Bizkit did it?
  4. Going Green has become such a fad, yet Ralph Nader is still a political Nobody. A question mark was meant to follow that statement, but I’m conserving energy by not holding down the shift-key while simultaneously pressing another key.
  5. People who tout the sanctity of marriage, in regards to same-sex marriage. “Divorce is okay, but if you’ve both got weiners, ‘No way!’” I would venture to say that nothing is more destructive to the sanctity of marriage than the dissolution of a marriage…
  6. The casual disregard of all traffic laws when grocery shopping. I know you need to analyze in depth which cheese might be right for you, but would you stop to read road signs while turning your car at an angle so it blocks all traffic?
  7. The entire Huey Lewis catalogue.
  8. Guys who find it necessary to announce their intention to partake in a bodily function. I don’t really need to know what you plan on doing to the toilet.
  9. Eating while driving. I guess some people just don’t have the time to stop and eat their 3-dollar cheeseburger.
  10. The Avatar buzz that wrapped the country around its finger for longer than two months. If I made a movie that was mentioned in every single news segment, it might turn a profit, too.
  11. People who think a president can fix an economy that they broke.
  12. The concept of the Manifest Destiny…
  13. The Flaming Lips covering Dark Side of the Moon. I’ve heard a lot of pieces of shit, in my time here on Earth. That album is one of those pieces of shit. The remake, that is. The Pink Floyd version is not a piece of shit.
  14. Public phone calls. Seriously, what has happened in the past 12 years to cause everyone to need to be on their cell phones at all times? Idly chatting while you drive, or shop, or masturbate is not multitasking – it’s a mismanagement of your time. Get your shit together. I don’t want to over-hear a one-sided conversation, because I will pay attention, it will distract me, and I will have no idea what’s being said on the other end.
  15. Thirteen to go. This list is starting to piss me off.
  16. The seemingly acceptable belief that screaming obscenities at your child in public is not damaging in the least. But spanking them? That’s abuse.
  17. Song-syncs. I don’t really care what Britney Spears’ “Oops I did it again” might sound like when its vocals are laid over the music to “Semi-Charmed Life.” No one should care – it’s stupid. The Grey Album can go fuck itself.
  18. People who have something just slightly wrong with their voice. It’s not enough that you can pinpoint the exact condition, but something is definitely awry. Does she have a lisp? Is she retarded? Does she have a forked tongue? Something…not…right.
  19. People who, when asked what kind of music they listen to, say, “I like everything.” No. No, you don’t. Don’t make me prove it.
  20. Heath Ledger winning best supporting actor for The Dark Knight over Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt still pisses me off.

People will often use the memory of someone they knew marginally to catapult sympathy onto themselves. They will hijack the idea of mourning and make it the subject of their own personal use. This is not only offensive, it is unsettling and demeaning. And, not to mention, embarrassingly selfish.

There is a difference between mourning the death of someone and being sad about their demise. And it’s not even a minute difference – it’s vast.

People especially want to hijack the death of someone young. And everyone is guilty of, at least once, saying, “They were so young.” That’s fine. It’s one thing to be moved by the death of someone at a young age. It reminds us all of our mortality, it puts things into perspective, and it makes us think of how we might treat people differently in the future.

So that our reputations are untarnished, when we die.

It goes to ridiculous lengths. Posting messages to a dead person, on their Myspace and Facebook pages? Really, as though there were internet access in heaven (can you imagine the cable length? wi-fi is way out of range!), and the dead would use those means to check up on the goings-on in this realm. This is proof of your superficiality in regards to their demise.

I’ve mourned. And I’ve been sad. I mourn the deaths of people who have affected me personally – people who have influenced my life. I am sad about the deaths of individuals who merely died, empathetically. But I’ve never confused the two. And to take hold of someone else’s memory for personal gain – that of sympathy (which makes me wonder what that’s even worth) – is, at its very best, weird.

Recently, there have been two girls that have died in or near my hometown. They were both pregnant, and they were both young. The number of people affected by their deaths is staggering. People have gone so far as to mourn the unborn children, whom they have never known. The only person I could really understand mourning the death of an unborn child is the mother or father (and not really the father, even), and in both of these cases, the mother died as well.

What do we get from this? What benefit is there in claiming to have lost someone so dear to you?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I mean, I know the abstract reasons. But I do not identify with this.

I’ve always maintained that I will die young. I am 27 now and ready to go at any minute – not because I hate life or long for death. I just know that I will be unaffected (aside from the whole death thing) by my own passing. I am not afraid for my own outcome. I know there is no Heaven and no God and that I will be merely buried, no longer to exist. But if I am wrong – if there is some sort of afterlife, and you choose to mourn me and hijack my own death for your own personal sympathy…I will haunt the fuck out of you. There are probably about a dozen people who have loved me and I have loved in return, genuinely. These people know me and care for me. And vice versa. Anyone other than them in attendance at my funeral, or claiming to have been my best friend, will be met by the most vicious hauntings this side of Poltergeist.

Simply put, I don’t get it. It is downright creepy. And it has to border on some facet of necrophilia. I’d rather not analyze it too in-depth for those reasons, but still the question remains: What is gained? Why is our society so eager to profit from death (both financially and emotionally)?

I don’t get it.

We are a self-obsessed nation. This is not news. One trip through anyone’s personal profile on any one of the social networking sites will turn up hundreds of needless pictures from that person’s life. They’ve uploaded them for the approval of some unknown entity, I’m sure. Some are duplicates or near-duplicates. Some are blurry beyond all recognition…

I’ve never pretended to be a good photographer. Truth be told, I’ve always contended that I’m a rather poor photographer. For my needs, I’d much rather describe a situation. I mean, whatever happened to good old-fashioned imagery, anyway? I prefer a well-written personal recollection of an event to a snapshot, any day.

What is strangest to me, perhaps, is seeing pictures of people I know personally – these pictures being an obvious fraud of their reality. And I think that, really, this is the reason there is such a prevalence of this ‘internet photography.’

The internet proved itself a long time ago to be a safe haven for the socially maladjusted and those too inadequate to ever find themselves trying to be a real person.

So now, instead of individuals randomly skewering each others’ political leanings and favorite forms of entertainment via message boards, we’ve got a surge of people with photographed proof of what they are. An uncommitted, flunky, too-young-to-care parent can become mom of the year. The boring and lame are suddenly party animals. Hold a guitar, and you’re Eddie Van Halen.

In case you can't visualize a drunken haze...

We can doctor ourselves into anything we want to be now, in this new internet-environment. I am aware that people haven’t been real for a while now. And I am aware that this is never going to change. I am still bothered by it. Because I look back and think, well maybe that person read me incorrectly or maybe they didn’t know I was making fun of them or whatever… I would venture to guess that roughly 98% of my behavior is mockery. The other 2% is probably me being sleepy.

That point is moot. What I’m suggesting is that people have gone so far overboard on trying to force down the throats of others what they are or are not, that they don’t even exist as people anymore. A copy of a copy of a copy of a… Do you even remember what you are? I guess it all comes down to self-awareness. If you don’t even care to take a decent picture before you add thousands, taken seconds apart, to your Facebook page, then why the hell would anyone care to look at them? Unless of course, they’re for your benefit, in which case your time might be better spent taking a photography class or…something.

I have no intention of seeing Avatar.

One of my favorite things about being a living breathing person, is knowing that there are other people out there, being people. More and more, I see our culture becoming more and more identity-less. It’s not comforting, in the least. I do find myself with a better understanding of why I identify with cats, and dogs, and even children. Cats and dogs don’t pretend (if they do, they don’t broadcast it), and when children do, it’s the real kind of pretend.

My boyfriend left this over. Because I'm pictured with it, I am a musician just like Justin Timberlake!

Yes, we are becoming former-people, a race so focused on perceived image that we’ve lost all contact with the details of reality. It works out well for James Cameron, no matter how you look at it. I mean, that’s pretty much the plot to every single one of his movies, right? Eh, I guess no one else is getting hurt. Who really looks at this shit, after all?

On behalf of humanity, I will grudgingly welcome the new robot overlords.

One of the problems with a society that worships its celebrities, is that they hold them to this superhuman standard. We force this standard, one that we can generally not achieve ourselves, and we then flog them into submission when they bleed human blood.

I’ve always felt that a celebrity’s personal life is irrelevant to their public life. If Michael Jackson did actually have sex with children (though I don’t think he did), it has no effect on how I hear “Billie Jean.” Tiger Woods’ infidelity has nothing to do with his golf swing. And Brad Pitt diddling whoever does not change the opinion I hold over some of his better roles.

The only celebrity I’ve ever pictured Tyler Durden boning is Helena Bonham Carter.

I am not surprised by the media’s tabloid obsession with the Tiger Woods sex-scandal. But I am slightly offended by it.

The number of men in this country who cheat on their wives is staggering. Some don’t respect their significant others, some just plain like fucking, and some just can’t help but go with that primitive urge. You know, the one that tells us to bang as many ladies as possible.

So let’s turn the tables and again point the finger of blame where it belongs…

Isn’t that how procreation works, media? You loved Tiger Woods before. You thought he was a great guy, a 14-time champion, an all-around noble human being. Wouldn’t you want him to go out there and make a bunch more baby Tiger Woodses? Consider that, perhaps, you told him with your genuine fascination, you told him he was above other humans. He had some powers that were great and needed to be shared with the rest of the world. So it’s understandable then that his human mind would bungle this information and tell his penis to stick itself into whatever vagina would have it. Makes sense to me.

So wait to go media, you’re an adulterer. You give your undying love to Tiger and years later, you take it away. I hope you have a hefty prenup…

…no I don’t.

The media has systematically destroyed Woods’ shot at redemption, and then they complain of his calculated rebuttal.

It is beyond ridiculous to expect this much from the celebrity you helped to deify. Tiger Woods was never a god, but merely a gifted golfer. He cheated on his wife several times. Those problems can be dealt with without the help of tabloid media.

You brand a celebrity couple with a stupid name like Brangelina, then you wet yourself when said relationship fails?

Let go, America. If every single man who cheated on his wife or had sex without love was made to be run through the ringer the way Tiger Woods has, this wouldn’t be an issue.

It’s a sad situation, I will agree. A man being forced into family life to preserve his image. Then that family life and image being devastated. Who built this system?

I was a golfer, too. But more importantly, I was President! And that makes infidelity okay.

It’s no wonder America is a dying nation.

She’s back and at it again. Sarah Palin and co. just won’t shut her yap about the proper use of the word (only the word itself wasn’t used this time) “retard.”

Sarah Palin is a fucking retard.

-Stephen Colbert

When Rush Limbaugh calls a group gathering to debate the proper usage of the word “retard” a “retard summit,” Palin calls this satire. When Family Guy features a female character (who is retarded and whose father was an accountant and whose mother was former governor of Alaska) it is heartless.

Let’s be fair. I watched the episode in question, which aired Valentine’s Day. Like the past four years of Family Guy, it was unfunny. But it was also unoffensive.

The character spoke like a retard, but her words were coherent. She wasn’t drooling. And she didn’t harbor an obsession with pretzels, Disney Land or ice cream. It is my understanding that retards love those things.

Instead, the character was cruel and spiteful. Without reason, she was demeaning.

But this was not the focus of Sarah Palin and co.’s anger. Because the girl said her father was an accountant and her mother was the former governor of Alaska, it was clearly an attack on Sarah Palin’s retarded son, Trig, who actually is retarded. I mean, Trig is a male 2-year old, and the Family Guy character is a female teenager. Clearly, it’s understandable why Palin and co. would make that obvious association.

No, they weren’t upset that the girl was mean. They were upset that she had Down’s Syndrome. If you hadn’t noticed, Sarah Palin has appointed herself Ambassador to all things Retarded.

And that makes sense.

When I say "Retard Summit," I mean "Palin Household."

It’s a common problem with Palin – her inserting herself into situations that don’t really involve her. Or she worsens them with her involvement. Remember the David Letterman scandal? How she assumed that anyone and everyone knew which members of Palin and co. were in tow? How she demanded apology?

If Sarah Palin wants the insults to stop flying, she need do only one of two things:

A. Stop being a fucking retard.

or

B. Go away.

Our liberal media is funny that way. They tend to notice if someone is being a fucking retard. And they tend to notice if someone has just gone away. Eventually, the jokes will go away, too.

As Stephen Colbert so poignantly pointed out, Sarah Palin is a fucking retard. And it’s okay for us to say so, because it is satirical.

And while I’m at it…

As much as I dislike the past four seasons of Family Guy (or so) I hope neither Seth MacFarlane or any of the writers apologize the way David Letterman had to. There is nothing to be sorry for…

Sarah Palin is a fucking retard.

-Stephen Colbert

I could bitch about Sarah Palin until I turn blue. She is about the worst example of a human being that there is.

Instead…

At what point does a person become a representative of their chosen “whatever?”

I happen to believe that an individual who appoints him or herself head of the committee to decide the appropriate usage of the “N-Word,” to be the racist. And the person who thinks they can decide the appropriate usage of the word “retard” is the retard.

Sarah Palin is the lowest common denominator.

I know many people identify with her. But it is only because they are so very stupid. She does not represent anyone. Remember that. And we will all be okay.

They’re now calling them the “Twitter Generation.” And I don’t really know what that means.    

I assume it has something to do with them using Twitter.    

Twitter itself is something I don’t completely understand. It’s an unbelievably unnecessary social networking site employing the use of something called Short Message Service. Basically, it’s designed so people can “network” via text messages, in particular.    

If the past five years have taught us anything, Twitter has about one year left to live. MySpace went out like the T-Rex (and Marc Bolan). And Facebook is trying to figure out how to get Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck into space to bust up a meteor.    

America, as a whole, doesn’t have much of an attention span. This is nothing new, of course. It gets worse as time goes on. I have less and less in common with these people, and I’m not just referring to age. In short, this generation makes me feel old. I don’t want to feel old. I was happy… scratch that. I was content that I’ve maintained some of my more  youthful ideas.    

“It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded.”    

-Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage    

That was written nearly one-hundred years ago. Everyone should already know the story, but I’ll summarize anyway:    

 Philip Carey loses his parents young. His aunt and uncle then try to raise him, but they are too lazy to do so properly. Despite this, Philip proves himself to be a gifted scholar, mostly due to his isolation. As he grows, he scales the usual steps – questions his religious beliefs, wants to bang an older woman, lets his guardians try and control his future, yadda, yadda, yadda. All the while, he can’t decide what he wants to do with his life. He drifts a bit, and then finds himself in medicine, has a few flings, loses all his money to a bad investment and then gets a healthy enough inheritance to go on. He meets a physician, with whom he goes into business. Then Philip meets the dude’s daughter, bangs her and supposedly knocks her up. But he really doesn’t knock her up. Anyway, he forsakes his beliefs to marry her. In the end, he admits that the traditional route through life is the most logical route.    

Before I drift too far off topic… I like stories such as Of Human Bondage because they contain nearly an entire existence. And there’s your history. Without Philip Carey’s past there couldn’t have been an ending. His conclusion relies entirely on all of his past adventures, his trials & tribulations, etc. Though it is meant to be a tragic ending, he believes the easiest course is the best course. In other words, he gives up.    

Nobody likes history. Okay, some people do. But it’s fair to say that the majority dislike it immensely. I was not one of those people. I loved it when I was younger and still do. Most people don’t have the attention span for history lessons. Twitter doesn’t teach you to research the past. And it gives you no warnings about the future. The “Twitter Generation” is very painfully stuck in Right Now. (It’d be even more painful if it were that dreadful Van Hagar song)    

In school, they are phasing out the teaching of penmanship and cursive-writing. They already have major grammatical issues because of ‘text-language’, and kids use “U” in place of “You” and “R” in place of “Are” on papers they later submit for letter-grades…    

Say 'Hello' to your new god.

 

I might have been lucky in my youth. It may very well be that I just happened to be surrounded by many gifted people whom I respected and admired.  Then again, maybe those were more youthful ideals I was blinded by. Many people have gone on to be not all that different from Philip Carey. And more and more people will. I may be a Philip Carey someday.  

If tradition dictates that the easiest way out is the best way out, then you can expect nothing but mediocrity. And that’s all we will ever get from this “Twitter Generation.” I begrudgingly gave in to the likes of MySpace and Facebook. I eventually got to a point where I could understand how to use them in a way that suited me personally. Twitter is different, and I know this immediately. If for no other reason than its claiming of a generation.    

Simply enough, the new generation is being raised by people who don’t know how to raise children. People that elected George W. Bush (twice) and were giving serious thought to letting Sarah Palin into the White House (she got a book deal, anyway.)  Good intentions aren’t always good enough.  

Is there a stutter here? Did time hiccough? Did I fall asleep? Or was I, after all, just lucky all along.    

If you look over the past one-hundred years, you’ll notice that each generation had a different way of raising subsequent generations. The Great Depression, the Baby Boom, Vietnam…on and on, these things reverberated through society, and they had massive effects on how younger generations were brought up.  

The Information Age, ironically, has taught us very little. Except for the whereabouts of Ashton Kutcher… 

We have fewer values. I don’t mean that in the religious sense but the moral sense. We’ve become more self-serving and less self-aware. It will only get worse. It will never get better.  

We are doomed. Nothing has changed. And everything has changed. All at the same time.

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