Cynical Thoughts

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No Data = Bad Calculations

Alright, so I know I haven't put anything up here in a while, but I make my own schedule and I had nothing to talk about.

So recently I've been helping out Youth for Human Rights Int. again, and I'm sorting through their backlogged emails. I came across two messages that were frankly hilarious. Okay, here's one.

Scientology is a violater of Human Rights and a cult,shame on you for shilling for these offensive monster.

Alrite, so they have a couple of things wrong here. Scientology is a bona fide religion according to the United States Supreme Court and the Internal Revenue Service. It also doesn't violate human rights, it's one of (possibly THE) biggest supporter of this issue. Lifetime Scientologist and human rights advocate Mary Shuttleworth is the head of YHRI. Her son, Taron Lexton, also lifetime Scientologist, recently turned out the 30 Public Service Announcements depicting each of the points of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So whoever sent this message needs to get some damn data.

And here we have message #2, sent right after this one but from a different person.

This is a culr front group.I am (was) OTIV but am out now.You will be exposed.hehehe.

Hrm...basically the same thing happened here. Someone doesn't know what they're talking about. YHRI is a group supported by Scientology and has Scientologists as its members but the term "front" and "exposed" is out of place because there's nothing to hide. Nor, as I said, is Scientology a cult. So these messages are pretty funny, even if the humor is dark.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Fence

The Fence.

Oh noes the evil capitalist USA is building a Berlin Wall to keep out the poor immigrants who just want a fresh start in life! Let's all complain to the United Nations and they'll give the US a reprimand. Then we'll tear down the fence and let all the Mexicans come to where life is good and they will be supported by all the American billionaires and Texas and California will become part of Mexico again because of the shifting demographics. Won't that be great?

Fuck no.

Comparing the fence we are going to build to keep out ILLEGAL immigrants that STEAL money from our taxpayers to the BERLIN WALL which was a tool used by a bunch of ASSHOLES to keep in the OPPRESSED citizens and prevent them from running to FREEDOM is the kind of comparison you could make only if you were a MEXICAN OFFICIAL who knew that sending his population to America would help reduce his state of EXTREME POVERTY brought about by OVERBREEDING because they're all Catholic. I'm probably wrong about the overbreeding and Catholic part but the rest is right. And the UN couldn't do jack shit to the US, we practically fuckin fund them! The American people want a fence, the American people got a damn fence, and no foreign official is gonna say otherwise. You know why? Because it's election time. How's that for cynical. Politicians only do what the people want when it matters enough to them. The rest of the time they can cooperate to fuck us all over because the big bankers tell them to.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Reconquista!

The walls, they are closing in.

Michelle Malkin's Blog Entry

Those are some powerful pictures. Really shows you the extent of this crisis. Look at the one where it says "Brown is Beautiful". Imagine if I went to the streets with a crowd of my friends and carried around banners that said "White is Beautiful". We would get beaten to a pulp in no time.

I guess my cynical thought is...how are we gonna stop this? How can we combat terrorism abroad when the very fiber of our culture is destroyed from the inside?

(Though that blog entry is old and illegal immigrants are no longer marching in the streets, realize that this is the sentiment, it will remain so, and there are still illegals coming over the borders.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Definition or Usage?

Okay, so I've lately been doing some studying and I've come across something strange in dictionaries. You'd think the term "definition" would mean how something was defined; what it meant. How you then used that word would be a different thing entirely, right? One could argue that so-and-so was what the word meant when it was used in that context, but fundamentally it is not what the word means. To demonstrate, I'm going to go get a dictionary and go to a random word. (Sorry, once again posting in "real time".)

Webster's New World Student's Dictionary (Revised Edition)


fledgling n. 1
a young bird that has just grown the feathers it needs for flying 2 a young person who has had little or no experience

Okay, so they made the mistake here. Definition 1 is the correct definition, a newly flying bird. Definition 2 is a figurative usage of the word, creating a metaphor between a fledgling bird and a person who is new at something. Definition 2 is in fact not a definition of the word, just a usage. I'll find another example.

rail (1) n. 1 a long piece usually of wood, metal or stone that lies on or between the posts of a fence, banister, balustrade, etc. 2 either of the metal bars forming the track of a railroad 3 a railroad [to ship something by rail]

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Once again, the first definition is the real definition of the word. The 2nd definition is a usage of the word rail to mean specifically the rail used in train tracks. Take the sentence "the crash busted up the rails". This is really "the crash busted up the train track rails" only with the word "rails" representing a phrase. It's a usage of the word that has become common in English. It's not a freakin definition!

And as for this third "definition" snuck in, it's nothing of the sort. The fact that they had to include an example to demonstrate what they were talking about proves my point that it is merely a usage. "To ship something by rail" eh? In this case "rail" means "railroad", meaning the trains that go on the railroad. It's firstly an abbreviation of "railroad" and secondly a usage of the word to mean the cars that travel on it! Nothing at all resembling a real definition! I just hate that it's given as one. Forgive me if I seem picky but I can't help but repeatedly notice this and it irritates me.

Anyway...I guess my cynical thought is that if our literary experts can make the mistake of swapping the definitions of "definition" and "usage" then we are well and truly screwed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Er...Say What?

It's been a few days since I've posted on here, mostly because I've been working on creating Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne maps. It's lots of fun and you can get products very quickly. Thus I haven't had really any cynical thoughts. I'm in a lighter mood.

However, I wanna level with...I guess anyone that reads this. (Speaking of which, just an FYI to myself and anyone who ever reads this, I'm writing this blog as a sort of open diary to the world, assuming that someone will read it, but not seriously wanting anyone to.) The last post about Tom Cruise was actually totally unrelated to what I originally started to write it on. I noticed this when I looked at it a bit later, stepped back objectively and recalled why I had originally started the post. I 100% refuse to use the Edit button--sorry folks, I just don't want to. I want everything in here to remain as it originally was without editing, so it can be a sort of record. So I'm going to correct myself in this post instead of the offending one.

Basically when my friend told me that I shouldn't say that Tom Cruise donates a lot to charities (and just doesn't let on) in a thread regarding the late aussie Steve Irwin because Cruise had "bad pr" (meaning public relations, or publicity) I got a bit upset at him--angry actually--but I tried not to show it. His request for me to edit my post seemed just dumb really. Instead of outright cussing him out or something, I went into a bit of a sarcastic rant.

Actually, I'm going to go find the chat records and pull it up. *Time passes* Hm...not exactly professional of me to put time gaps into my posts as if I were actually talking to someone, but I like to think of it that way. ^_^

Friend: I suggest editing the part you posted about tom cruise
Me: sup
Me: ...
Me: it's true
Friend: very
Friend: it is
Friend: but it's contoversial
Me: want me to take out the church part?
Friend: it's about to turn into an argument
Friend: just take out tom cruise
Friend: he has bad PR right now
Me: I took out the Church part
Me: you know what, fine
Me: I was actually going to put something more inflammatory
Me: but for once in my life
Me: I'll forego my integrity
Me: to keep good relations
Me: cause we should all be reasonable*, right?
Me: I mean, PR is for the media
Me: not for us little people who know the truth
Me: ;)
Me: duh, now I see the light
Me: Big Brother loves me
Me: and yeah, I took out the Tom Cruise part
Friend: cool
Me: lol
Me: sorry, ranting in the throes of cynical idealism
Me: if that's possible

*Reasonable in this case means overly reasonable, inventing excuses for things that shouldn't be. For instance, seeing a person lying naked in the snow and assuming that he must like the cold.

Anyway, I had originally wanted to make a post basically duplicating that chat, but I got sidetracked and then forgot what I was originally going to do. So there it is, my original post idea.

Now I've been noticing this as somewhat of a trend, I just kinda say whatever pops into my mind that run with it, even if my original plan was different. So to prevent myself from having to Edit posts or make correction posts like this one, I'm going to Save as Draft before Publishing Post from now on. Then I'm going to wait 10 minutes, go over it again and then publish it if it looks right. So hopefully the quality of these posts will increase.

No cynical thoughts for today...just a quiet reflection on the ways of the world.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tom Cruise

So today I was on GM Guild and someone posted up an email they had sent to TIME magazine, asking for them to name Steve Irwin (the sadly deceased aussie TV animal guy) the Man of the Year or whatnot. In this email, the writer compared Steve Irwin to "big-name stars" like Tom Cruise, noting that Irwin donated most of the money he received from his $33 million dollar Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course movie to help animals. In my response to this person's post, I said that Tom Cruise did in fact contribute massively to charities and churches but simply did not make this known.

I quote from Vanity Fair's October 2006 issue, page 293: "(Tom and Katie chose not to link Suri's first photo session to anything financial--even though they praise their fellows stars' decision. [Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie] Tom contributes extensively to charitable causes but declines to draw attention to such donations.)"

And you know what? My friend advised me to take down that comment because it would start a fight and that Cruise had "bad PR" (the rest of my post congratulated the noble soul for nominating Irwin for the Man of the Year but said I didn't think he deserved it, nor did I think TIME would either). At first I somehow doubted that my friend's calculation and association faculties were malfunctioning or lacking, but then I realized that he was simply thinking along the lines of every other "sane" and "reasonable" and socially correct person out there, particularly the media that often defines what is socially correct in this day and age.

Let's face it, the media is targeting Cruise. Oh yeah, all the stories associated with him are just too juicy to pass up, but in my mind being ecstatic was never a cause for a public stoning (verbal stones). But wait! His social incorrectness did not begin there. He started out being a Scientologist. Now, people can ignore that if he's quiet about it. I guess the gestapo passed over Jews that were quiet enough about it. But then he went and spoke out against drugs. UH-OH! So the whole weight of the pharmaceutical companies was now against him. I mean, it's all hypothetical, but big-name companies that are involved with dangerous chemicals have a historical tendency to invest millions of dollars in coverups. Read A Civil Action and tell me how much you think it cost to bribe that judge.

So then Cruise goes and falls in love, gets happy about it, and then expresses himself. You know what I was doing in New York? Promoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That's a document drawn up by Eleanor Roosevelt, adopted by the United Nations and then promptly forgotten about by the vast, vast majority of the world's population. We're talking maybe 99% of the people out there don't even know this document exists. And you know what one of the 30 human rights on it is? Freedom of Expression. So Tom Cruise went and jumped on a piece of furniture in order to express how happy he was. Whoop de fucking do. (Gosh, swearing, what next from my dirty, nonconformist mind?) It's his human right to express himself, whether it be joy or sorrow. Since when did exercising a human right constitute such a gross social error as to justify enormous media coverage talking about the incident? Or rather, how did our society degrade so much so that expression became a scandal? That's my cynical thought.

Parting shots:
*Maybe one day soon, freedom of thought (another one on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) will also become an act of "social suicide" warranting Watergate coverage.
*I think the most similar and yet different thing I've seen lately was the front page coverage of Mel Gibson getting a DUI and ranting about the Jews causing wars. Talk about blowing out of proportion.
*I didn't lay out the entire track of Media v. Cruise in my cynical thought train (chugga chugga) so I will here: Scientologist, anti-drug, expressing joy, marrying Katie Holmes and most lately not wanting to expose his newborn child to the world. Those are his crimes, and on every count the media has skewered him with rumors and cruel conjecture as punishment.
*$10 says the media finds some way to make the Vanity Fair article into something bad.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Before The War

I remember what it was like before September 11, 2001. Before the terrorist attack that brought down the "twin towers" in a cloud of smoke and rubble. The suicidal crash of the planes into the World Trade Center towers has sparked a lot of controversy surrounding the question of "whodunnit". I won't go into that, but I will say one thing: a third tower, some distance away, fell to the ground in almost exactly the same manner as the two primary towers--supposedly caused by fires started from the billowing ashes of the first two towers. Fascinating story.

Anyway, I remember what it was like before that faithful day. When I just recently went to New York and back, I was not allowed to carry any liquids on the plane with me. Not even bottled water. Just no liquids. I remember back when I was 10 (2000) when we could go to visit my grandparents in Texas and we'd pack our luggage and put the little locks on them. My mom would always have the keys because no doubt I'd lose them and we'd have to break off the locks or something.

My mom would never let us eat the food they gave out on the plane, she always brought lots of snacks and water. Now you can't bring water anymore. Maybe next month they'll discover a terrorist plot to bomb a plane using C4 packed into a sandwich. Then we won't be able to bring food at all.

Anyway, I would have my little carry-on backpack full of toys. Back then you just couldn't bring weapons on, such as firearms or knives. When I was about 6 I brought a toy gun, one of those silver wild west revolvers with the neon orange cap on the barrel. It was taken away from me and I never saw it again. Now, if I brought a toy revolver in my carry-on, or put locks on my luggage, I would no doubt be detained, possibly arrested. Funny, eh?

I think that's my cynical thought for the day. Or maybe it's just a sad thought, I can't really tell. Possibly a little of both...

Friday, September 01, 2006

About Me

So anyway I haven't had another cynical thought since I last posted so I wanted to put it out there that this isn't a daily or a weekly or even monthly blog--it's just something I'll be updating when I feel like it. There's one thing I remember from New York that's not really a cynical thought, just a funny fantasy I had.

First off, I'm a Scientologist. What that might mean to you is of no concern to me. I like being one, and as long as you don't hold it against me I won't care. For those people out there that think Scientology is bad in a big way, and want to harm the religion, I would naturally defend our group.

When I was in New York, Youth For Human Rights International worked in tandem with the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology. YHRI did the work while the Church provided funding and some personnel and resources. So I was going in and out of the Church on a daily basis. It's right next to Times Square so you get plenty of traffic going past. At one point when I was going inside through the revolving doors I overheard a snippet of conversation from a passing couple. I caught the words "Dianetics seminars" and "brainwashing" which I concluded to be an explanation by an "informed" person to a friend of his that was not yet biased against us.

So later on that day I thought: it would be so wonderfully delicious to sneak up behind an anti-Scientologist--one of those people who think we're a cult and we're brainwashing and we're all Communists and homosexuals--tap him on the shoulder and shout, "BOO!" I'd then pat him on the back and say in a confiding voice, "I'm a Scientologist! Watch out, I might brainwash you!"

And if they didn't notice the thickly layered sarcasm, the moment would be all the more hilarious.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Introduction

This last week I was in New York working on an event at the United Nations. I work with Youth For Human Rights as a volunteer and we were putting together a summit of delegates from all over the world to discuss the issue of human rights. I worked up to 14 hours a day, sometimes more (up till 4:00 AM at one point) but I was with wonderful people and had a great time. I made loads of friends and I can't wait to do it again.

On the day of my return I arrived at the airport and got through security about 4 hours ahead of schedule (entirely by accident) so I had plenty of time to kill. As I sat among the mostly empty seats near my gate I alternated between reading my book and watching the CNN news on the TV above me. When the reporter began talking about Iraq war veterans experiencing PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the loose label for a score of symptoms war veterans experience) several cynical thoughts penetrated my mind. This wasn't the first time--it's been happening ever since I was old and sophisticated enough to suspect that all was not well.

Another example was earlier that week when I was watching a bit of television at my hotel, and I saw an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It featured returning Iraq war veterans doing things like shooting their wives and committing suicide by ramming their head against a wall. As the story went, there was a drug that was administered to these soldiers by the army, and was reputed to have caused these killings and suicides by inducing traumatizing nightmares and deadly uncontrollable urges.

But wait--recent researsh has revealed to me that this drug does actually exist! It is named Lariam (though it was called something else in the show) and does cause homicidal and suicidal tendencies, like the fictitious drug in the Law & Order episode.

Anyway, as I sat there in the airport, I forumulated this cynical thought: what if PTSD is being used as a way to cover up the negative effects of such chemicals as Agent Orange and Lariam? It could easily be argued by a medical "expert" that the homicidal and suicidal tendencies were merely a result of the soldiers' traumatic experience in Iraq. And what could we do about it?

Nothing. And that's the scariest part about it all.