Friday, April 04, 2003

Why Should Anybody Care What I Think?
The internet has given rise to an interesting sort of ego-ism. People suddenly thing their opinions matter. Witness the rise of the blog. (And yes, I am aware that I'm the pot calling the kettle...) Anybody with access to a computer and half a brain can post their views on everything from the war (no) to junk food (yes) for the rest of the world to find and marvel at. And the weird thing is....people read it. I know many intelligent people who have spent hours wandering through the electronic ether, reading the often moronic and frequently misspelled rantings of somebody they wouldn't want to have lunch with. Why should we care that Paul from Toledo thinks that chick from Junkyard Wars is hot? Why does it matter that "Dippy-Doo" from "some planet other than here" feels pre-marital sex is sinful? And why should you care what I think? You shouldn't.

Face it, the internet has replaced that little pink diary with the tiny lock on it that girls in the 50s used to have. Only now it's cool to keep a diary. What's's cooler to share that diary with the world. What used to be a completely private activity has now become a spectator sport. Secret musings about crushes and embarassing admissions about fat days have given way to public explorations of technology, politics, and how hot Jennifer Aniston is.

It is, unfortunately, all to rare to find a Web page with anything of more interest than adolescent rantings. And it's ironic that those that I find most interesting, are those which have been created by people I already know, love, and/or respect. Truthfully, I feel we need fewer Weblogs and more "salons"...where intelligent people talk to each other, share ideas, debate issues, and never once mention Jennifer Aniston.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Lighten Up
We all need to lighten up. Yes, there's a war on. Yes, people are dying and starving, killing each other and living on the streets. Yes, we all hate our jobs. But we cannot be miserable all the time. For one thing, it's counterproductive to actually doing something positive to end the killing, dying, and starving. (It's hard to be inspired enough to volunteer your time when you're exhausted from being depressed.) For another...well, we just need to have fun. Maybe it's insensitive of me, but I'm just really tired of being discouraged, disenchanted, and generally melancholic. And most pepole I know feel the same way.

So lighten up, people. We have a weekend coming up, and I want everyone reading this to do at least one (preferably more) of the following things:

  • Fly a kite
  • Play the kazoo
  • Don't watch the news or read a paper for 24-hours
  • Watch a Marx Brothers comedy, a Fred & Ginger musical, a Muppet movie, or your favorite classic sitcom
  • Bake cookies from scratch and eat them warm from the oven with a cold glass of milk
  • Skip down your street
  • Go for a long drive and sing along loudly and off key with cheesy one-hit wonder bands from the 80's (Come on, you know that you remember all the words to Walk Like an Egyptian.)
  • Speak in a funny accent for an entire hour
  • Read the Jeeves and Wooster Stories of P.G. Woodhouse
  • Hunt for interesting shells and rocks at the beach
  • Take a favorite book to a coffee house and read all afternoon
  • Have a milkshake, a sundae, or a banana split at an ice cream parlor
  • Do something you loved to do as a child...but haven't done since you "grew up"

Wednesday, April 02, 2003 hurt my tiny little brain
I hate the corporate equivalent of receiving a pat on the head and being told to go out and play. I hate the assumption that if you don't know technology, then you must be an idiot. If the phrase "database schema" doesn't make you perk up with excitement, then you're obviously of sub-optimum intelligence and therefore can be dismissed. Guess what, jerk? I've read The Iliad in the original ancient Greek. I can name every single one of Shakespeare's plays. Plus, not only have I read them all -- I've performed in several of them and seen most of them. I can explain to you the influence which Caravaggio had on the Dutch painters of the 17th century. I can discuss with some erudition (among other subjects) the War of the Roses, the course of WWI, the careers of Wilkie Collins (I bet you don't even know who he was, do you Mr. Database Schema?), Virginia Woolf, and Louis Armstrong, the creation of linear perspective, the orders of classical architecture, the Battle of Gettysburg, the sinking of the Titanic, the fight for university education for women, and the evolution of the hero myths. I can quote lines of dialogue from Aristophanes, Moliere, Shaw, Ibson, Shakespeare, Rogers and Hart, and Monty Python. I can use English properly, listen to opera without falling asleep, write poetry, and discuss hockey, baseball, and football knowlegeably. So I don't know what a database schema is? So f*****g what?

Monday, March 31, 2003

Here's the thing...
I can't fight violence with violence. Protesting the war by yelling at cops and getting myself arrested seems futile. Bush doesn't care if traffic is disrupted on Market Street. All that will do is cost the city of San Francisco money that they could have been spending on education, social services, and other projects to aid the human good. Instead, I decided to protest the war by supporting peace. I donated to the International Red Cross. I donated to the Mercy Corps. I sent money to organizations that will help Iraqi refugees. It's small, but it made me feel better -- and it's a hell of a lot more productive than carrying a "Food not Bombs" sign that no one will read.