Speaking of research…

May 1, 2008

Speaking of research (see the last post), I have noticed lately that although I should not feel too busy or overburdened, I am finding that I have little time to do the things I feel that I need to do, so…

I am going to start tracking (writing down) everything that I do during the day and how much time it takes. Then I am going to take a look at what I am spending my time doing, prioritize, and adjust accordingly. There are already a few things that are obvious:

Work takes up the most time of each 24 hour period, with sleep coming in a close second. Beyond that, I have no idea where most of my time goes, but there are a few changes that I am going to make right now… For example, I am sure that I spend quite a bit of time camping in front of the TV, and I know that this is fairly low on my list of how I would like to spend my time… so for the next month, I am going to TRY not to watch TV… at all. I am not the kind of person that goes after these things in a “sort-of-kind-of” way (anyone who has witnessed my successful effort to give up soft drinks can attest), so I assume that I will: Not change my TV habits at all, OR: I am done with it completely. We’ll see how this goes.

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Who asked you, anyway?

January 21, 2008

Yesterday, Chuck Norris (an outspoken supporter of Mike Huckabee) made the statement that the president of the United States ages at an ‘accelerated rate of 3-to-1’ every year that he or she is in office. He then questioned “If John McCain takes over the presidency at 72 and he ages 3-to-1, how old will he be in four years? Eighty-four years old — and can he handle that kind of pressure in that job?”.

My first reaction was confusion… What exactly makes Chuck Norris think that I care about his opinion regarding the presidential candidates? Sure, I like watching re-runs of ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ as much as the next guy, but why would I be swayed by ‘Walker’s’ opinion regarding Mike Huckabee and John McCain?

I was then puzzled by the second confusing detail of this press release…

When did Chuck Norris find the time to do a scientific case study on how much the aging process accelerates (if it does at all) while a president is in office? Evidently he is not just ‘Walker’, ‘Delta Force Commander’, and six time middleweight Karate Champion, but also an expert on the human aging process.

What exactly makes all of these celebrities think that we care who they are voting for? I have a surprise for you, Oprah. I don’t care what you think of Obama, Huckabee, McCain, Clinton, or anyone else for that matter. Why do these candidates even want these kind of celebrity endorsements? Isn’t Mike Huckabee campaigning largely on his stance of social conservativism? Is he aware that his primary celebrity supporter, Chuck Norris, had a daughter out of wed lock and told reporters in 2004 that he didn’t meet her until she was 26?

This episode is one more notch in the belt of modern U.S. culture. The fact of the matter is that although anyone with half of a functioning brain wouldn’t really care who Oprah endorses, many people in the U.S. do, on some level, base their vote on who ‘Ranger Cordell Walker’ is going to vote for.

That is some scary stuff.


Modern Mass Media: How’d we get to this?

January 15, 2008

Here is a list of various things I have seen on TV over the past year, followed by some ramblings:

1) A girl competing to be ‘Miss Teen Universe’ (or some crazy crap like that) rambling about why kids in the United States cannot find America on a map.

2) Some jackass from an undisclosed location down south asserting that he finally has conclusive evidence that man has never set foot on the moon and that the Apollo missions were filmed in a Hollywood basement.

3) A whole series on The History Channel called ‘Monster Quest’ devoted to ‘investigating’ whether or not Sasquatch is real.

Ok, so here we go. There is a lot of pent up frustration here, so bear with me… I will try to stay coherent.

How on Earth did so much nonsense get put on TV? Has ‘The National Enquirer’ simply moved from print to the boob tube? I really pity children today, and I am frankly horrified by the idea of raising a kid in the modern world.

If you are lucky, you haven’t seen the now famous clip of Miss Teen South Carolina working “The Iraq”, “kids don’t have maps”, and “such as such as” into the same sentence. My issue isn’t so much that she poorly answered a question in a beauty contest, made Americans look even dumber, or that she can’t even form a complete sentence in english. My issue (question?) is how the heck it got on TV! Why publicize that a beauty contest girl couldn’t answer a question that MANY PhD’s can’t come to a consensus on? Why was she on four different channels and TV programs within a week getting even more air time for her stupidity? Is this what ‘we Americans’ really want to publicize?

I could forgive the media for repeatedly playing Miss Teen South Arkansas Connecticut butchering a silly question over and over again… but why broadcast a show whose ‘expert’ thinks that man has never been to the moon? This entire program was dedicated to showcasing the various theories surrounding a ‘faked’ NASA moon landing. Maybe I am reading into this too much, but I found this downright offensive. People died in the Apollo program!!! The only vindication was a brief mention of Buzz Aldrin punching this ‘expert’ in the face years ago rather than entertaining his idiotic theories. Another good one along the same line was this show about a 9/11 cover-up. Evidently there are enough morons out there to form an ‘Idiots Who Think the Government Orchestrated 9/11’ Club. There are even a number of celebrities who have joined the ranks of this prestigious organization!

Next up: ‘Monster Quest’. I don’t even know where to begin. I can hear my future children now… “Daddy, is Sasquatch real? Will El Chupacabra eat me in my sleep?” I can only imagine walking into my first parent-teacher conference to find out that my kid is struggling in class because The History Channel has taught them that ‘Crypto-zoology’ is a real science. Here is a suggestion to all of the cryptozoologists out there… stop looking for Bigfoot. Nessie won’t be stopping by for dinner. If you are that bored and really want an adventure, I haven’t seen my corduroy pants in about a year and would love for someone to figure out where the hell they went.

I guess I can’t decide whether this stuff is absolutely hilarious or really scary. On one hand, Miss Teen Arkantucky was really entertaining (funnier than the late night guys since the writers went on strike), but on the other hand it is horrifying to think that this is the future of our country. I could almost take comfort in the fact that weirdos and idiots have been around for a really long time, as seen with the 85 year old ‘expert’ on the ‘faked’ NASA moon landing… but then the ‘Club for Jackasses that think the Government Planned 9/11’ makes me realize that so many of those weirdos are out there that I should probably grow eyes in the back of my head.

Who knows, maybe Bigfoot has been standing right behind me the whole time….