Wednesday, March 31, 2004
More new columnists
The Wednesday columnist for the second half of this semester is Henry Lopez. Not only is Lopez the Opinion Editor, but he also had a column last year. There must have been a real dearth of applications for second-half columnist. Also, baseball is boring. Especially if it parallels life, because life is mostly boring. So boring, in fact, that a lot of people spend part of it watching baseball.
Also, I didn't think it possible, but the chalked campaign literature on the ground are even stupider this year than last year. I realized this about the time I saw "Student Action Hopscotch."
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004
I'm pretty bored, and ought to do something useful with this site. Maybe we can use it for campaigning and stuff. If you have or know of a campaign site or some such, let me know, I'll throw up a link. I've thrown up a Student Action link but not a CalSERVE link. Am I really that biased? Well, yes, but actually, since the CalSERVE site lists NEW! NEWS as elections being delayed last year, I think I'll wait for them to update their site before I link it, or at least for someone to point out a different site. (Does CalSERVE not use its site for anything other than elections?)
Hovannes "The Armenian" Abramyan has a nice blog running with statements and plans and such, so check it out. And I'm linking it even though I haven't received my bribe yet, so it must be good.
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Whine about Hugo post
This topic should be closer to "Oh my God, Hugo took off comments on ProgCal" then "Student dies from drinking game" on Calstuff. Since I'm not using my blog for anything interesting, you can whine about it, and Hugo can defend himself if he feels it necessary.
My take, though: It's his blog. No one's forcing you to read it.
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Monday, March 29, 2004
Yay for new columnists
The Daily Cal has hit on something good with their idea to switch columnists in mid-semester. So, the first new columnist of the second half of this semester is... Amina Sutherland-Stolting. Finally, some fresh blood to lift up the level of... oh, wait...
"Growing up as the child of foreign-born parents isn’t easy."
That's news to me. I grew up as the child of foreign-born parents, and I probably ran into a lot less trouble with them than most children of domestically-born parents do. It really depends on the kind of people your parents are a lot more than it depends on their country of origin.
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Thursday, March 25, 2004
Where do babies come from?
So nothing is actually happening in Berkeley, that I can see. The weirdo ratio's up, but that's to be expected when the students are gone. Here's a tale passed down from generation to generation in my family that I'll share with you all.
There was a hermit who used to live in the mountains. But then he stopped living in the mountains. He came down from the mountains and lived among the cities. And then he went back to the mountans. Boy, travelling sure is boring. Don't you wish you had an expensive car to make travelling more fun?
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Sadly, perhaps, Sproul actually looks a lot nicer now, without the people, the student groups, the pavement, the people... um...
Where are campaigners going to be displaced to? Hopefully nowhere that I walk, but I'm sure they'll be there, since I have to pass by "The Building of Fake Majors" (Barrows) every day and those people have way too much time on their hands.
I hope nothing important has been happening in the world while I wasn't paying any attention to it. Did the world burn down? Did the polar icecaps melt? Did we run out of fossil fuels?
Meh, I'm bored. I get bored over weekends, you can imagine how boring things get over spring break.
Oh, right, local news analysis...
Apparently, ProgCal considers it a convincing argument that Student Action isn't moderate because Toby Frankenstein writes for the Patriot. No, I don't know who he is, either. Daniel's brother? Okay. So... the brother of last year's presidential candidate for the party writes for a right-wing newsletter. Well, I'm convinced, aren't you?
Yeah, yeah, boring boring. Check out the comments on ProgCal's Monday's post for some fun.
Some new links added, but I haven't been looking at the new blogs around, so if there's anything interesting to link, point it out. (Yes, free advertising!)
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Friday, March 19, 2004
Yay spring break
It's everyone's favorite 9-day weekend! Too bad I'm stuck here in Berkeley. If anyone has, you know, plants that need watering, or maybe fish to feed, let me know.
Of course, I think we're supposed to be having fun over break. I don't watch enough TV to know, though.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Tastes like licorice
This story trumpeting how "cool" absinthe is has great humor value. Consider:
1. I've never gotten over how comfortably folks admit to federal crimes in newspapers. From drug use to border-hopping, we can find stories about people breaking the law, with names and photos, rather frequently in newspapers. How easy would it be for some federal agent to pad his resume?
2. "Absinthe’s artistic legacy is a notable part of its appeal." You people are stupid. Really. "Oh, look, some whiny Frenchmen did it, it's 'artistic.'"
3. "In his tale entitled “Hills Like White Elephants,” Ernest Hemingway places absinthe at the center of a conversation shared by a young couple at a crossroads." Oh, man, this is hillarious. I just read this story (not out of choice, I assure you). Absinthe is "at the center" of the conversation in the sense that it is referenced somewhere near the middle of the conversation. And only in that sense. The central issue is abortion, or, perhaps, relationships. Absinthe is probably just how she got knocked up. Also, the conversation occurs at a railroad station, not a 'crossroads.'
4. If you need drugs to get "stoned" or "high," you're pretty pathetic. Do it yourself. It's cheaper, safer, and a lot more memorable (because you can actually remember).
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Sunday, March 14, 2004
It's almost that time of year again. People sell their dignity for several weeks in order to get the honor of sitting in a boring building for many boring hours spending boring money on boring groups until 3 in the morning once a week. I get offered, and accept, a Snickers (TM) bar for my vote (unless a better offer comes along). Campaigners who represent the students' interests no longer feel the need to represent the students' interest in not having to deal with campaigners. Really bad name puns earn votes, rather than stonings.
Yes, it's a few short weeks 'till the ASUC campaigns start up. As usual, I'm throwing my lot in with Student Action, which earns the dubious distinction of being "least annoying" in how they spend student fees. Misha should be able to rake in a lot of votes for doing the unthinkable while in office: things. That's something most other candidates won't be able to trumpet. I suppose CalSERVE can say "Hey, we do our best to get the university sued, and we're also Jessica Quindel's collective bitch," but I'm not sure how far that one will fly.
Not that the rest of Student Action has much to brag about. Yes, I know what you're thinking: "There's a rest of Student Action?" I sure haven't noticed their existence, either. It's really going to be a matter of "Do people dislike CalSERVE's stint of power enough to vote Student Action?"
You could, of course, vote Squelch. They'd do what Student Action would do (hand out money to student groups) but they'd do it while being far less annoying.
Or, you could vote for the candidates themselves. After all, who doesn't want to spend the time to become familiar with more than twenty senate prospects to make an informed selection on the ballot?
In general, though, *yawn*.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Mother Nature gets me all hot, too
Oh, come on, people. Do you really love the sun that much? "Yay, we get to sweat, squint, and strip! This's great!" Where the idea that "Sunny days are great" came from, I don't want to know, but it's completely nuts. I will laugh uproariously at your sunburns, and toast your sun-induced skin cancer.
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Monday, March 08, 2004
Raise your hand if you're sure.
We all love freedom.
We all love equality.
Too bad you can't have both.
A very basic freedom is the freedom to not care about the plight of others. Any and all "freedoms" can be traced back to this one. So you've got liberal anti-freedomeers: "Well, I think we should help the poor, so you have to." You've got conservative anti-freedomeers: "Allowing these unions trivializes the sanctity of marriage." You've even got libertarian anti-freedomeers: *spit*.
So do keep in mind, when reading sprawling debates about outsourcing, or the environment, or Sproul plaza rennovations, that we are not free until we are free to not care. And if you're the type that does care, remember that having the option not to care makes caring all the more valuable. If caring is forced ("Service requirements are part of the curriculum, now!"), then it cheapens the whole concept.
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Friday, March 05, 2004
Another reason to hate CalSERVE
Not content to merely squander our money on pointless causes, whine about free speech while inviting lawsuits, and generally suck at keeping track of money, the ASUC wants to add a service requirement.
This should remind folks of the American Cultures requirement. I remember satisfying my American Cultures requirement in Litwack's history 7b class. But don't ask me what happened in America after the civil war, because I still don't know. I can, however, sing "Once I built a railroad."
Here's a quick multiple choice question: What is the purpose of a college degree?
A) To oppress minorities through exclusion
B) To teach individuals the importance of being tolerant and respectful of other cultures
C) To learn how to do a job, and then prove that you learned how to do a job.
If you answered C, you're right! If you answered B, you probably support this idea. If you answered A, you were chanting on Sproul this afternoon.
I think folks are missing the essence of community service. You serve the community because you want to serve the community (or have been court-ordered to do so), not because you have to in order to get a degree so that you can get a better job in the future. Forcing community service just makes people hate community service, just like students have grown to hate the AC requirement.
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Monday, March 01, 2004
Miss Under Stood
Gina Merlone has a pretty nice column today. I object, however, to her characterization:
"Bioengineering, or anything else that has the prefix “bio” or the suffix “engineering.” Wait a second … this isn’t a party. This is a library. Keep your voice down. This guy isn’t afraid of commitment, but he may be more dedicated to his studies than he is to you. Prereqs for this major: Bio 1A, Chem 3B, social anxiety disorder, virginity."
Does she not know any engineering students? To be a successful engineering student, you may need some number-handling ability and thought processes so rational that the concepts of right and wrong fade away into the genetically engineered smoke monster, but the number one quality to a successful engineering student is arrogance.
Any student who doesn't refer to real majors such as engineering in an arrogant fashion simply isn't an engineering student. If such a person is enrolled in the engineering major, she's just a poser. David Mourra was a poser. Questioning the superiority of an engineering major over other majors just isn't done.
Dedicated to studies? Ha! If you ask any engineering student, she'll be happy to tell you how easy her classes are, "except for that dumb English student who tried to take real math. Ha, we learned her. Go back to your essays about nothing!" Oh, sure, they're challenging, but we're engineering students. We can handle them because we're better than you.
Virginity? Any engineering student worth her salt can engineer some sex. After all, what good is the engineering mind if you don't put it to use? I suppose some engineering students just won't lower themselves to mingling with the lesser students for sex, but they're missing the point. The lesser students are our food. It's Darwinism. We are strong, they are weak, so we take advantage of them.
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Oooh... Mother Nature makes me all wet...
There's an old saying, passed down by my father, and his father before him, and his father after him who invented the time machine. (Father in a general sense, considering the bond of interhuman brotherhood) "A little rain never hurt nobody." This is clearly untrue. Before there were people, rain clearly never hurt anybody.
An umbrella is a device used to ward off the rain. The spanish have a great word for it, the paraguas. Now, last Wednesday, we had rain. An umbrella may have been called for. But the following are inappropriate uses for an umbrella:
A) Using an umbrella designed to shelter a school bus as a personal umbrella
B) Using an umbrella when it's not raining (Yes, people do that here)
C) Using an umbrella when it's drizzling (Hey, dumbass, the water's so light it doesn't even fall downward, your umbrella doesn't do anything)
So don't expect me not to laugh at you pathetic ozwitches when your umbrella gets screwed up by the wind. It serves you right. Don't disrespect Mama Nature. Who else is going to give showers to the homeless?
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