Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

Daily Archive

Go on, throw it...I'm rarely incited to genuine anger over media biases, at least not the kind that everyone in the media seems to think I should be upset about. Here's a good example of the kind of bias that actually bothers me.

So, this mom basically can't take a joke, goes apeshit over her fucked up cars – all in the name of being a rolemodel for her kids – and now some douchey high schoolers are facing felony vandalism charges. The subtext of this article is that this mom's a hero, and oh my, isn't it great that Mrs. Housewife took matters into her own hands and found those obviously evil adolescents. By the end of the article, we're supposed to be jumping up from our seats calling for the blood of these little assholes.

Whoever has TP'd someone's house in high school raise your hand. Wasn't

it great? I'm not going to sit here and bemoan the end of a Golden Age of toothless suburban vandalism, but things have taken a turn for the worse.

First, I know this is on par for the immovable 'slice of life' category of articles. It will always be around as long as there's war and suffering to make us look for something a bit lighter from our daily news. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

What really totums my scrotum is the celebration of a vengeful property owner amidst a dirth of publicized civic activism. Where's the story about a mom investigating where all the money went that used to go to her kids' music and art programs at school? Is it going towards a media blitz during her kids' cartoons trying to preen them for future military service? I guess not, since all the recent cuts for student loans won't really leave them much of a choice. Or whatever the parallel would be for this news turd. (This one's just for fun)

I know, even I'm bored at the idea of reading that story. But there's got to be a better way. The pleasure of reading the original article is the American Beauty syndrome, where the routine of not having much to worry about is broken by someone breaking their mold and people feel empowered to do something that's not expected of them. The image of a regular old mom, or any denizen of normalization, going through security footage at her local grocery store is just too seductive to bear.

This is activist journalism for the economically wronged. It's condoning vigilanteism as long as a quantifyable crime has been executed against your estate. Most papers try to adopt the neutrality of silence on most boringly relevant issues facing their community, taking a pro-economy stance on everything else. When a civic issue is raised, no matter what the angle, they're immediately condemned for taking sides.

I think it's sad that the mom took things to the police and pressed charges. Finding out who the culprits were is one thing, calling for the heads of kids from your community is another. I think these things are possible because no one really thinks of it as a community. Suburbia's adopted the facelessness of big cities without the excuse of social overload. People are pulling back from the terror of uncontrolled interactions, building castles on the hill, and releasing the boiling oil on anyone who knocks on the door. Meanwhile the anger of isolation just builds and builds, waiting for that first fateful roll of butt-rag to be lobbed through the bare branches of their favorite tree.

Let's all just get to know our neighbors and try to calm down a little.

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A recent study using data from the 2004 “General Social Survey,” reports that

“Americans have one third fewer close friends and confidants than cialis 5 mg en chile two decades ago, and the number of people who have none has more than doubled.”

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digital media like IRC, the web and World of Warcrack. Have confidants moved to viagra pro a “virtual” category that didn't have a bubble on the General Social Survey? Probably. While the data showed a drop in confidants who are friends or who how long does for viagra to work are family members, there was viagra information a far greater drop-off in friends. While close friendships are dwindling — or is it consolidating? viagra cialis levitra canadian pharmacy — nuclear familial bonds are strengthening. Networks of trust and kinship have grown more sparse. american pharmacy online reviews What are the ramifications of such dramatic social change? Bradley Heinz suggests

We're becoming more self-referential by relying more on family. In our growing isolation, I see a genetic analogy: our waning social exposure sildenafil citrate is like inbreeding…

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Does anyone know whether or not the “exploding cigar” assassination plot was an actual CIA budget busting effort that never left the lab or simply a comedic jab at the government's neverending loathing of Fidel Castro? According to a recent BBC web-news posting it's gospel but then again no one bothered to claim authorship of said article so my trust isn't pouring out all down my pants and filling my shoes with the gushy love of humanity juice… What's more important to me is that exploding cigars make as much sense as any of the popular American opinions and responses to Cuba over the long tenure of Castro.

Little Havana sure is boiling over at the news of Castro's temporary relinquishment of power and the White House, or at least members of congress haven't been shy about expressing the same amount of unbridled greed and excitement as pampered little rich kids on Christmas Eve… Everyone hoped Castro was dead, his nearly 80 year old body quitting under the knife while Cuban surgeons trolled through his intestines… If you were a farmer across the Carribean in any other nation you probably would have died but Cuba has Latin America's best health care system and it's probably better than what many uninsured Americans manage to scrounge between emergency rooms and free clinics and helpful little pamphlets with self-evaluation guides… Does this look cancerous to you?

Those more on the left of the political spectrum seem to have a soft spot for Cuba– Jimmy Carter even went and smoked cigars with Castro… Yes, the country has a great health care system (triumphed by the WHO) and better literacy rates than Louisiana (my guess) yet also has more political prisoners than those rotting across the razor wire at Guantanemo and isn't too shy about executing them periodically… Not political prisoners in the sense that Timothy McVey would be considered one- that is to say no one's blowing up government buildings– but political prisoners in the sense that writing newspaper articles critical of the Cuban government will very easily wind you up in prison for twenty years… The left seems willing to overlook such pesky little dark spots on the Carribean's great social experiment and besides, maybe these authors, professors, scientists and other guttersnipes were funded by the CIA and Castro has every right to protect himself… Meanwhile people have no qualms about not buying Chinese goods, or at least they like to say that but then find a really good deal down at Target and who's got time to check every tag in the store seeing where things are made?

Then you have people on the right side of the political spectrum who think that the Chinese are alright if you don't look

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too carefully at their willingness to imprison monks, pro-democracy pamphlet writers and drive over students with tanks… Actually even the left doesn't mind that so much if US-China trade relations are any indication… We trade with China and we've pressured most of the white world into not even having regular diplomatic ties with Cuba…

The history of Cuba and America maybe sheds a little light on why the US government still views an isolated pocket of totalitarianism as such a big deal… Through-out the cold war Cuba was the USSR; before the government privatized industry and expelled US business interests no one gave a shit about Fidel and his Pancho Che galavanting about the Americas. The US didn't offer any notable support to Batista when, after repeated attempts, he was forced to abandon Havana to the revolution, nor was the US terribly concerned when Cuba began to support (failed) insurgencies in Panama, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Pataguay or Guatamala… No one cared when the Castro regime went about cleaning house of old Batista supporters and executing over 200 people within the first year of the new order… Sure, Batista wasn't a nice guy but US foreign policy, expecially in Latin America, likes the bad guys…

But a year after privatization and a declaration of communism Kennedy was in office and three months after he took oath the US conned a bunch of exiles into invading– the Bay of Pigs. Frankly even then the US wasn't too concerned about Castro since we couldn't even be bothered to follow through on any support and left the invasion force to die on the beach… It's an old trick we, decades later, pulled a couple of times on the Kurds when we weren't really too concerned about Sadaam Hussein…

It took the Cuban Missle Crisis and further buddying up to the Soviet Union to get America really aggressive about Cuba and suddenly there's a worldwide trade embargo (world being not the communists who like to send starving children rifles) and posturing and exiles en masse to Havana… If you bucked the embargo, like Allende tried to do, Pinochet magically appears on your doorstep and you, eh, commit suicide. You can't even blame Che for any of this since he was in Angola at the time saving the Marxists from the, well, no, they all died too…

You'd expect that, with the decline of the USSR and a simmering down of the cold war that the US would open, as it did with other communist countries (of economic consequence, not Vietnam or anything) new dialogue and get filmed shaking hands for television… The Russian invasion of Afghanistan didn't merit as much intervention as socialists coming to power in Grenada– maybe the Cuban soldiers fighting alongside the revolutionary army got Castro excluded from the love-fest…

But then the wall came down and the Russians decided to stop pretending and concentrated power amongst the rich in a capitalist fashion instead of a communist one and every former communist nation, even Vietnam, is able to once again have their markets flooded with American business investments… Except Cuba, which has absolutely no way of being a menace to anyone but Cubans… Is there even a navy? I think Texas is safe…

So the liberals can't be bothered to keep in mind human rights and the conservatives (who ignore that readily) can't be bothered to ignore the sucesses of Cuba and the fact that the chessboard's not even a chessboard anymore, it's a fucking dartboard… Cuba receives less respect as a nation than any of the axis of evil countries Bush keeps jabbering about when he's not down in Little Havana prepping exile community leaders for the great opening of Cuba to freedom and McDonald's and some fancy hotels… According to those back on the island Miami business interests have started sniffing around waiting for Castro to croak…

So maybe exploding cigars makes more sense than anything the US has ever thought of in regards to Cuba… You used to be able to buy them from the back pages of Boy's Life…

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