Political Cartoons

It is rather peculiar that President Obama supports offshore drilling. I was under the impression that he wanted to appease the environmental tree huggers, but clearly that is not the case. In all honesty, I believe he has a hidden agenda with this decision. Sure, this will provide a new source of oil while the country is in the process of becoming energy efficient. However, I think that President Obama is looking at the big picture. President Obama may begin to appeal more to the center-right wingers who support offshore drilling, thus increasing his chances of being elected for a second term.

It’s sad to think that race may actually play a factor in whether or not people agree with the president’s decisions. I figured we as a nation had come so far, that is not the case if race actually plays a factor in this regard. Of course everyone has the right to protest, so by all means, PROTEST! Just don’t let race be one of the underlying reasons for protesting. I understand why the Tea Movement is happening, but it is sickening to think that race would even remotely play a factor.

A couple of mistakes? Excuse me, Cleetus McImbecile (thanks, Bill Maher), but many would argue that your entire presidency was a complete and total disaster. I’m sorry if Barbara didn’t provide you with enough coloring books and crayons to keep you “busy” while you were president, but that’s no excuse for your horrific job as the leader of the free world. Don’t you get it, Bushy? Much of the world hated us because of you, and only recently have we began to mend the relational damages your stupidity caused. I bet you are one cool dude to sit around and have a beer with, but as far as leading the free world–I don’t think so. Take your coloring book, go sit in the corner, and let the grown-ups handle things from now on, okay big guy?

As a Christian, it pains me to see how much the Catholic Church has tarnished the image of Christianity around the world. Initially I thought the extremely inappropriate behavior among the Priests was only a few incidents in the US, but the fact that it has been happening all over the world has been brought to the forefront. The situation really causes me to question my morals because I would never wish any ill-will on a man of God. However, I feel that anyone who is capable of harming or sexually abusing a child serves absolutely no productive purpose in society and should be eliminated. I’m not talking about prison, either. Why should my tax dollars pay for a low life bottom feeding scum bag to receive 2-3 meals a day, a cot to sleep on, and possibly recreational time outside?

This goes to show you how corrupt the top 1% income earners are in this country. Not only do they get bailed out after being completely irresponsible, but they use the bailout money for extra bonuses and vacations?! This is absolutely appalling, and these individuals should be fired and even indicted. It must be nice to bleed green and care nothing about anyone but you and your little inner circle.




Music: My Passion

Everyone is passionate about something, whether it’s one’s work, children, sports, or my personal passion–MUSIC.

Music has been a big part of my life since I was a child. I look back on my child hood, and a significant amount was spent trying to play rock and roll music with my friends in my Dad’s garage. The key word is trying because I’m no Neil Peart, but I do have a tendency to let myself go behind a drum kit.

Not only do I enjoy playing music, but I thoroughly enjoy kicking back and tuning in to some smooth jams by my favorite band, Perpetual Groove

Perhaps it’s the trance-inducing jams by Perpetual Groove that appeals to me, or maybe it is the camaraderie that I have developed with an assortment of fans from all over the United States.

Perpetual Groove fans are basically one big family, “Perps” if you will. I see the same faces at every show as well as new ones, and that only increases my passion for this band. Perpetual Groove’s fan base is ever increasing and my passion for their music will continue to increase.

A Radical Republican

Regardless of whether you vote Republican or Democrat, there are always going to be those individuals on the far side of either spectrum. Possibly the most right leaning political commentator is Sean Hannity. He is known for offering out of context quotations, stifling alternate viewpoints, attacking the messenger of opposing views, dismissing facts, and even masking factual errors as truth. Hannity’s success ultimately lies in his uncanny ability to discover that “the left” is to blame for practically everything wrong in the world.

Moreover, his two books are extremely supportive of his practices. Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism, which equates liberals with opposition to freedom, and Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Against Liberalism, which has a slightly different cover.

Not Much of a Break, but Spring Nonetheless

I realized how much I envy some of my fellow classmates over Spring break. “So and so” is going to Daytona Beach, Panama City, Key West, etc. It must be nice knowing your family is willing to dish out so much money for you to have a week-long booze fest.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely respect those who paid for their own vacations. I am just sick and tired of listening to those freeloaders talk about their “wonderful” vacations when they have never had to work a day in their lives.

On to a lighter note, my Spring break was fairly uneventful, but still nice. On the other hand, I had to spend a lot of time doing research for a study I am doing on gender biases and stereotypes in mass media and the professional world. My Spring break was basically time for me to get serious school work done.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to work over breaks from school, and I also sometimes wish my family would give me the funds for a week-long booze fest. However, it makes me feel pretty good to see some of those coming back from their booze fests panicking and stressing because of their blatant procrastination. Again, I completely respect those who actually paid for their vacation trips. Now, to those who were given the funds for week-long booze fests, I hope you’ve enjoyed that silver spoon over the years. Oh and by the way, I wish you the best of luck in meeting all of your deadlines. Glad it’s you and not me!

Brief Totalitarianism Presentation

Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. It is usually under the control of a single political organization, faction, or class domination.

Basically, “ordinary” citizens have no share in state decision-making. In a totalitarian state, the government controls every aspect of the lives of its citizens. Totalitarian regimes maintain political power by disseminating propaganda through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of state terrorism.

Benito Mussolini used the post World War I turmoil to his advantage and founded the Fascist party. Mussolini led a “March on Rome” supposedly to prevent a communist revolution, but he actually led the march to frighten the government into naming him prime minister. Once he was in office, Mussolini increased his power by appointing Fascists to top offices, censoring the press, organizing a secret police, and banning any criticism of the government. He controlled the army and the schools, urging Italians to accept the slogan: “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

Joseph Stalin used propaganda, censorship, and terror to force his agenda on the Soviet people. Soviet newspapers glorified Stalin and his work, probably for fear of being killed. Secret police spied on citizens, and anyone who refused to praise Stalin and the state faced severe punishment and even death.

Adolf Hitler adopted some of Stalin’s and Mussolini’s totalitarian practices, leaving no rights or liberties to the citizens of Germany.

Bad Playlist, but the Good Outweighs the Bad

I’m all for long and improvised jams, but I cannot stand to feel a sense of redundancy during any song. The “Long Songs” track list provided unique tunes, but some of them did not live up to my expectations by any stretch of the imagination.

Before I rip a few of the songs apart, I should point out that there were two songs I really enjoyed. “Life is colder than beer,” the first song on the album by an unknown band, had an unorthodox sound with a lot of guitar distortion. The transitions from fast pace to slow pace and vice-versa gives the song a “trippy” feel. The band uses keyboards, and I personally feel that no band is complete without someone ripping up the keys. The song has both a high and low energy–it calms yet excites.

“Vinyl Fever” by Japancakes is definitley right up my alley. The tune is trance-inducing, psychedelic, and soothing. “Vinyl Fever” is a song that can help someone tap into his or her creative juices. It’s very mind-enhancing. Listening to this song definitely makes me curious about additional material by Japancakes.

Now, on to the ultimate disappointments. I had heard of The Dismemberment Plan prior to listening to the play list, but I couldn’t have been more let down after listening to their song, “Respect is Due.” The song has such a great opening–heavy bass with a smooth transition to the bass and guitar harmonizing the opening cords. I wasn’t all that impressed with the vocals from the beginning of the song, and eventually things started to seem a little redundant. A 12 minute song should have some jam in it! The song consists of poor vocals and practically the same chords and slow pace until the last minute and thirty seconds!

After having my expectations way too high for The Dismemberment Plan, I decided to keep more of an open mind for “Donelectro 2 (Nobukozu Takemura remix)” by Yo La Tengo. Believe me, I can dig some freaky-deaky techno jams from time to time. This, however, was nothing but a pile of noise. I’m not even sure it’s right to call it music. This was 11 minutes of racket, and I was ready for it to be over from the opening beat.

“The Diamond Sea” by Sonic Youth had an excellent start with the guitar using aquatic and “wa-wa” effects. I assumed it would end up being a really cool, relaxing song. The lovey-dovey lyrics brought the song down a couple of notches in my book, but the music was still carrying on from a good start. However, heavy guitar distortion starts around five minutes in, and continues as somewhat of a “teaser” until around the six minute mark. I felt as though the band was teasing me with the distortion, and a face-melting jam was eventually going to blast through my speakers. Instead, I got more lovey-dovey vocals. That’s fine. I can dig it. The song is almost 20 minutes, so I figured I could remain patient. Eventually the distortion started up again, only this time it was more of an insane, psychedelic acid-test distortion that went on for nearly the length of an average song. It is clear Sonic Youth has talent. I’m just sure it was expressed to its full potential in this song.

Overall, I will say I enjoyed the play list because the two songs I enjoyed outweighed the ones that let me down. It’s always a good thing to find new, good music, and that’s exactly what I did with the “mystery” band and Japancakes. I look forward to finding more of each band’s material.

Snoochie Boochies?

Kevin Smith is unquestionably a talented writer and director, but Mallrats was not one of his finest projects. With that said, I couldn’t help but catch myself laughing out loud at some of the foul, juvenile, yet surprisingly hilarious jokes throughout the film. “Say, would you like a chocolate covered pretzel?”

It was blatantly obvious during the opening credits that this was a vintage 90s comedy, so I factored in two scenarios: The film would be painfully horrific, or it would be painfully hilarious. Unfortunately, neither of my hypotheses were correct.

It’s not difficult to conclude that Mallrats was a low-budget film, but I commend Kevin Smith for the work he did. Word through the grapevine acknowledges Mallrats’ appeal to viewers at film festivals, but it’s box-office success is definitely another story. The film struck me as a very raw project, but it had an all-star line-up of actors and actresses. On the other hand, I may be getting a little carried away with the “all-star” term, but Jeremey London, Jason Lee, and Shannen Doherty are definitely well-known, and perhaps even notorious.

The whole “I lost my girlfriend, but I’m going to win her back” story is very played-out in my opinion, but those stories become much more interesting when Jay and Silent Bob are tossed into the mix. With a plethora of joke topics ranging from marijuana to genitalia and flatulence, Jay and Silent Bob definitely added a more extreme sense of humor to the film. Jay is played by Jason Mewes, and some claim it is hard to distinguish “Jay” the character from “Jason” the person. Silent Bob is played by none other than the writer and director himself, Kevin Smith. Silent Bob is indeed silent throughout the film aside from a few surprisingly insightful comments.

As a whole, I enjoyed Mallrats. However, I cannot confidently say it was a great film. Perhaps my warped sense of humor contributed to my laughter during Mallrats, but I would be careful who I recommend this film to. What I can confidently say is that this film is in no way, shape, or form suitable for children.