03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
Superfast post before I go back to packing my stuff for Killbear. I leave tomorrow morning at ten. I hafta wake up at 7:30. I've been waking up at 11 every day for a month.
I'm bringing Toronto with me to Killbear. Between my PS2, laptop and expanding DVD collection, Parry Sound wunt know what hit 'em.
Oh and how come no one's posted the rych anectdote involving the inebriated high school girls? I would divulge in detail had I the time.
Best of everything to everybody. Will post as often as possible, visit T.O. as often as appropriate.
I haven't posted in so long that I've practically forgotten how to...craziness, I know.
Before I get to my reminscing of what has happened in the last while, this must be said. Dave, I am more jealous of you than anyone else on this planet. You met Matt Good. *tear*. Seriously, he has the most beautiful voice ever....I'm not one for female singers and when it comes to male ones, he's got to be my favourite vocalist. Not every song he's ever written is one of my favourites, but he really has the knack of empassioning and breathing life into his songs with his voice.
So, where the hell have I been, you ask (well, at least I hope a few of you ask)? Well, my new-for-me, old-for everyone-else computer, Elsie, has been going through some hard times of rejecting service packs and leaving me in the lurch. She seems to be in a better mood now and let's hope she holds on for the next few years. Now I can post again, and even better, get back to drawing my series of crazy pictures in paint. =)
I've also been spending time at work, and plotting my escape from the domain of my big sis, which seems to be giving me some promising leads. Later this summer I get to meet my benefactor...I know, it's all very Dickens. See, a rather kindly old gentleman is paying for my university education, since I don't know who would if he didn't...I got the scholarship through my high school and I'm supposed to go out for lunch and a chat with him. I guess to see if he's getting a return on investment, ha ha. I don't know, it's just so strange. I'm so indebted to him, and I don't even know him...Anne once joked that I should make sure I order a lobster dinner....while my guidance counsellor alluded to asking him about where I could get a private loan to use towards getting my own townhouse or summat, renting to other students to pay the mortgage and then later paying the loan when I was established. I can't picture myself as a landlord... Still, it's so crazy. I literally owe my freedom, future, and the basis of the rest of my lifetime to this guy. If it weren't for this scholarship, who knows...so to meet him is going to be, I don't know, humbling and crazy and interesting.
I had an interview at Blockbuster the other day, and let's all hope I get it, so I can leave my post at Laura Secord's when the summer ends. It's alright, but I'm somewhat tired of hearing my boss demean other employees behind their backs, and her comments like "why would you want to be a writer, anyway?". Whatever, I doubt her job will change the world. Andy (my boyfriend) drew me the greatest pic of me jumping with glee shouting, "Blockbusta!!!", so let's hope it's prophetic. Gotta love Andy. *girly sigh*
That's all for now, folks. I can't wait till second year starts!
I had to attend a family function. A cousin of mine, Teresa, got married today at the tender age of 21. Stupid move in my opinion, but anyway. They live up north near Collingwood/Wasaga Beach. She registered as a bride at Canadian Tire. The gifts for which they were registered included a 24-piece drill bit set, a circular saw, and an 80 Litre garbage can.
The ceremony was pretty unbearable. I have a hard enough time stomaching a Catholic mass without a stiff drink beforehand, but this one was particularly bad. Since it was a rural area, the priest was evidently a reject that wouldn't survive in a downtown parish. He made anecdotes about toilet paper and other non sequiturs, and forgot what he was talking about on several occasions. Also, the music (I learned later that it was delivered by the groom's aunts) was torturously bad, especially for me with my perfect pitch - I noticed every time they hit a note off key, and it was incredibly often. That and it was 1960's/70's strum-an-acoustic-guitar kumbaya crap. I wish I had been brought up Anglican - at least they have an appreciation for good old organ music.
After the mass about an hour and a half was spent lounging around in my uncle's back yard, which was by far the most bearable part of the day (aside from the hours of Starcraft I got in on the way there and back). T'was lovely - I had me a few beers and just enjoyed the weather. The only thing was that my cousin Michael (who's mentally retarded and "behaviourally impaired', shall we say) was constantly bothering me about one thing or the other - he hasn't progressed much since we were little kids, and it's a bit difficult to see eye to eye with him even though he is about my age.
As if they needed to add to the ruralness further, the wedding reception was held in a room above a hockey arena. One had to pay for his own drinks (granted, it was only $2.00 for a bottle of beer) and the food was terrible. I'm only glad I left before the dancing started.
The only saving grace for the whole thing was that my cousin Sara's daughter Rebekah (my "niece", of sorts), who's now 7 years old, was the flower girl. She was ever-so-cute when I last saw her at 2 years of age (I took her to the dock up at Lake Simcoe and we said hello to the fishies and the [dead] crayfish on the dock). now she can talk in complete, lucid sentences, and she's adorable. I hope she and her mom come down to visit us soon. Because there's no way I'm going back there for a very long time.
I hated Reagan, and now that he's dead I can finally cross another person off the list of living people I hate. Anybody who says he was one of America's best presidents should eat nothing but ketchup until they die.
My exams are almost over. I can already smell the sweet heady air of freedom. All I have left is world religions and law. And a current events essay. And then I'm DONE!
So, this morning it turns out they dumped money in my account. I immediately went out on a mission - well, okay, not immediately. First I had lunch with my parents at some restaurant on College St., then I went on my mission. What mission? To fix my goddamned computer, namely by replacing its fan/heatsink assembly.
People have been telling me since my fan started squealing to invest in a Zalman fan, as they are the quietest on the market. I eventually found one at Filtech which is the first time I'd actually seen one of them. Let's put it this way: they're behemoths, circular and huge whereas the norm is small and boxed (pictures of the model I'm talking about here and here). All that orange stuff is copper - very heat conductive so as to dissipate heat quickly without too much fan action. Does it not remind you of some sort of warp drive component, or perhaps a piece of the Delorian from Back to the Future (not the flux capacitor but something equally cool and scientifically ambiguous)?
Worried about whether or not it would fit, I finally decided to take the chance on the somewhat pricy chip cooler, and I'm glad I did - the thing fit fine and runs absolutely silent. The only problem is that now that the CPU fan's so quiet I'm starting to hear other weird noises that other components are making (like a loud buzz that I presume is coming from the hard drive). Ahh well. I'm quite pleased with my warp coil nonetheless.
It looks like they're remaking Batman. He must be spinning in his grave! That's the new Batmobile... ITS NOT EVEN BLACK!
Sorry about the triple post earlier, my computer must've been laggy and I got impatient and clicked a lot, but I've fixed it now!
I had the single most humbling experience of my life, today.
Salsa, you know, the kind of dance. Basically, the man has to lead in the whole thing, which is pretty fluid. Everything that happens is the man's responsibility, and the woman follows what his hands tell her to do.
Of course, if you've just begun, you don't know much. In fact, you know nothing, even after the lesson which you're told was taught by a kind of shit teacher but probably that was just being nice because you suck. What do you do? It's not a dance for beginners. Feelings of inadequacy abound. You can't keep up, you lose it all the time, and it's fucking frustrating.
Therefore, you take two shots of vodka and walk home.
I bought wicked clothes today.
OK Neil, I'll see Riddick, just STOP REPEATING YOURSELF!!!
Funny/cool Names I called today:
Speaking of my job, it's looking less and less likely that I'll be staying on much longer, given my utter failure to MAKE ANY FUCKING SALES. Christ! I'm just too goddamn nice is the problem! I mean, in a job where you've gotta keep badgering people into doing things they normally wouldn't, there just ain't no room for the guy who doen't like to push pople. I mean, if I'm going to be conning these pople, I'd at least like a cut.
Final thought on job: why do people who can't speak English take so long to tell you? I mean, I've gone through a ten minute phonecall where the only thing coming from the other end of the line was "ya!" or "ya?" before they finaly fessed up.
In other news, Reagan died, and we are all apparently supposed to find this meaningful. Personally, I was 2 when his term ended, so I dunno what all the fuss is over.
This is The best onion article in a while. Look around on the website; there's another article with someone with my last name!
That is all
Oy what happened to my link? Lemme try this again Romeo Dallaire
So anyway... On my way to see Gen. Dallaire speak at UFA I met my dad on the subway, I just walked onto the subway and there he was, totally unplanned I didn't even know he was going.
Gen Dallaire is an amazingly powerful speaker, if you ever get the chance you should go see him. French is his native tongue so he's not a smooth talker in English which makes him very frank and adds to the impact of his words. He described his experience in Rwanda and the feeling of helplessness as the the western world ignored his pleas for more soldiers while he could do nothing but watch 800, 000 Tutsis and Hutus be massacred over just 100 days. He now works towards the demobilisation of child soldiers around the world. He emphasized that the soldiers who were killing and dying in Rwanda were no different that the audience of high school students listening attenively in front of him. He said that no human is more human than any other. He siad that the reason the UN intervened in Bosnia but not in Rwanda (more people were killed in a 100 days in Rwanada than in 9 years of ethnic cleasing in Bosnia) is because the UN values the lives of Europeans more than black Africans and Bosnia held stategic value whereas Rwanda is smack in the middle of Africa and it's only resources are coffee and tea. Meeting him and listening to the stories he told of actions by the Canadian soldiers made me proud to be Canadian. The three countries that kept their soldiers in Rwanda were Canada, Holland and Guyana.
So, the second of three shows Matt Good was playing down at the Mod Club was last night. It was just as awesome, if not more awesome, than the Tuesday night show. He changed up the set list a bunch, we got to hear Everything is Automatic, one of those quintessential Canadian 90's tunes, as well as a few extra tracks off of Avalanche that I hadn't heard the night before - namely Avalanche itself (fucking awesome tune), In A World Called Catastrophe and a really intense rendition of Near Fantastica to end off the night.
So here's the really wild thing. I had sent him an e-mail earlier that day, and told him about the Citizen Lab where I work, since I figured he'd be interested in that kind of thing - censorship and the like. I told him the intriguing but really unsurprising fact that in all the countries that censor the Internet, the software used to implement the filtering is developed by companies in the good old freedom-of-speech-loving (hah!) United States of America. Well, he mentioned this during the show! He was showing the crowd this really crazy toy someone had given him (certified for ages 3 and up) that was a woman soldier with an assault rifle for "bringing freedom and liberation" and a Colt 45 for dealing with "those pesky embedded journalists", plus a life-sized Rambo knife and hand grenade. Someone asked where it was made - sure enough, China, at which he told the crowd about my e-mail and my censorship anecdote. At both shows, he had Amnesty International there with them, except at the first one they were hidden up in the corner of the second floor - by Wednesday night Matt had them moved downstairs, clearly in view to everyone as they left.
The best was yet to come though. I waited around, in the slim hope that I might get to meet my hero. Eventually I somehow got past the security guards and up to the balcony and there he was, sitting with a bunch of people. I shook his hand and introduced myself and he remembered the e-mail and thanked me, said he was going to use it on his blog soon.
And so I got to hang out with Matt Good and his band for a half hour or so, before Matt had to split. It was great talking to him, he really had a lot of interesting things to say and seemed quite interested in Cit Lab and the like. Needless to say, it made my day/month/year. Got my copy of Avalanche signed too.
The new record, White Light Rock and Roll Review, is out on Tuesday. From what I heard over the last two nights, it's going to be quite awesome. I strongly urge anyone with the means to pick yourself up a copy.
Ok, so Riddick tomorow, for cheap.
Showtimes are as follows:
I propose we see the show at 1:40, or maybe 3:40. Its 119 minutes long, so everyone should come (this means you Sam, no excuse not to!)
Ok, here's how we can see Riddick for CHEAP! I have some movie passes, so we could get tow tickets for free and then scam reverse our way in as per usual. Now the one small hitch, is that usually opening week we can't use passes, but what we could do is get tickets to something else, and just go into Riddick.
So who's up for seeing some good old bad sci-fi action?
Supid sucky ditchers, ditching us because you suck and are lamewads.
In other news... I've been running, swimming and going to the weight room a lot recently to get into tip top form before I head off to be a cadet recreation instructor for 7 weeks.
Lt-Gen. (ret.) Romeo Dallaire is speaking at UFA today at 1:30, I'm not sure why that's all my dad told me. If you don't know he was Canadian general in charge of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda in 1994. check it out to learn more.
Ahh, work. It's kinda like play, but less fun and more money-y.
The whole staff (not including Neil, for reasons which I'm sure he'll love sharing with you) basically got told in a large meeting that the company (the name of which escapes me) will be eliminating the bonus pay for making sales, and that somehow this is a good thing. Very Orwellian, Hate is Love, War is Peace, Minimum wage is wealth, etc.
Another thing about my job is the elderly. I don't know if it's funny or heartbreaking, a large number of the aged pople I talk to seem to have resigned themselves to their impending deaths and will thusly not enter into any "long term membership" because they could "pass away at any minute". In other words, they deny themselves any enjoyment or distraction because they're going to die and why bother?
Anyhoo, because o' work, I missed Leo's birthday bash(?), so Arrrggghh on that.
In other news, I saw the first episode of DS9 with the Dominion in it today. Good times.
chronicles of riddick: not so much, thanks... unless I'm being scammed in cheaply during matinee hours.
but we should totally hang out. remember that time... I came over.. and ate all your ice cream? we should do -that- again. (I'll make it up to you, promise. y'know, karma. etc.)
babysitting: I totally know the winnie the pooh theme song off by heart. except that part about "stuffed with fluff".... yeah.
piercing: tomorrow? maybe? i'm scared.
monnnayyy: got paid. almost as good as gettin' laiiiid. ("haha, shirin made a funny")
artemis fowl: want to say foil. I would shred that book in a nanosecond in a shredder made by NASA.
ice cream: need to cut back. just because it's hot out, doesn't mean ya hafta get the cold IN.
we should make old skool popscicles where it's like.. an ice cube.. of juice? yeah? remember those? mum used to make 'em.. and they were kinda lame, but good enough cause it was badly hot. ah nostalgia.
Saw Matt Good last night. I've never been so satisfied with a rock concert. Not only did his opener Wil really play a mean guitar, but Matt and the guys still know how to rock. Played a lot of stuff off of the new album, so most of it I didn't recognize. There were, however, a number of old favourites - Giant came quite early in the set. Later on, Hello Time Bomb and Load Me Up. He played Apparitions acoustic, by himself. He must be so sick of that song by now. It was great fun, and I get to do it all again tonight!
Munk Centre BBQ today, yay for free food. Best of all, I was actually supposed to be there, since I am on staff, so I didn't need to pretend to be someone else! Trinity College is filled with a lot of older, rich-looking white folk. At any rate, the food wasn't especially great, but it was food. Now I can go to my calculus tutorial sated and without spending any money.
UPDATE: Ben, you and me both, on the extravagance. We ought to stock up on 2 litre bottles of wine, cheap wine, Chateau Thunderbird, like. It makes more fiscal sense. Neil, are you crazy?
I know what the general opinion is, but I'm still going to ask: Does anyone wanna go see Chronicles of Riddick on Friday?
C'mon, I hear he shoots a guy.
...then either they be HAIRDRESSERS or in the GARMENT INDUSTRY, in which case, beware of a LOS ANGELES.
I live far too extravagantly on too modest a means. I think the perfect metaphor can be found in some episode of Futurama or another: A six pack of champagne. That's me. I'm a six pack of champagne.
As we speak I am training myself to be one mother fucker of a frugal son of a bitch. Let's hope it works, tomorrow, when I go shoppins'.
It's funny, trust me.
I went up to Yerk today to handle some bi'ness. Turns out they don't handle bi'ness until you sign up for your courses. Like they don't trust me to sign up, I'll just fill out the scholarship and run. Actually that makes a lot of sense now that I consider it. Just a pain in deeez nuuts for me to go all the way out thar in my ig'nance.
Politicians are okay, but they don't go crazy enough. My belief is that when anyone, politicians included, (in fact, especially) say something wild and controversial everyone is shocked and pretends to be offended, but deep down inside, they love it and the love the politician more for going wild. But everyone in politics plays by this set of rules that says no crazy talk. Trudeau is remembered best for those times when he said "fuddle duddle" and answered "How far will you go?" with "Just watch me." The best Dubya line, in my opinion, was "Bring it on." That's amazing. He actually got blasted for it, for insensitivity to the troops or whatever, or just looking like a zealot or a dumby, but he was doing it wholeheartedly instead of saying it like a politician.
Oh no, what have I done? More dry ideas on a funblog. Neil, Sam, tell all these goons about your fab new jobs. And some funny anecdotes about said occupations.
Well I come back to Ape and turns out I accidently threw in a politics grenade which ignited a debating firestorm. The waters have since calmed (I can mix metaphors if I wanna!) and who am I to stir things up again. I had an interesting conversation with Leo about the meaning of whiteness (based off those posts) last night, but then he mentioned how Peter Burtess [sic] was against music sharing and I was all "Hold Me Back!" I guess people who were more coherent than I would've said how Leo, Ben, Box and I (and later Neil and Sam) met up last night.
Anyway as we were going back I was looking at campaign signs and I wasn't too impressed.
First off, you'd think that the Green Party signs would be well green. Nope. The letters are, but the sign is yellow. Yellow! With the pukey green and muddy yellow it looks like a billboard from the '70s.
The Liberal signs are kinda blah too. They don't even parade "Liberal" now it's "Team Martin" with Martin looking like some ghoulish reflection in the corner. I guess the signs were made back when Martin was popular and when he decided that before he mopped up the election he could start a purge in his party. In retrospect pissing off the Chretienistas before he won the election was a bad move. If Chretien was Teflon-Man, Martin is Velcro-Man, because he was left a big stinking pile of merde and it stuck to him, not his nemesis (I wonder if that whole "Oh please don't make me quit as PM early" thing Chretien did was a "Please don't throw me into the Brier patch thing")
I don't mind the conservative signs, they look good. Course, I haven't seen many. They're trying to run as moderates in this election, but every day there's another MP saying something dumb. Poor Stephan Harper, he kinda reminds me of Bob Rae. A very smart guy parachuted into a caucus full of lunatics and whackos. Actually, that comparison is unfair to both parties. No one in the NDP ever said that blacks should go to the back of the store (though to be fair to the Tories, none of them ever took a lie detector test to prove they were lying).
The NDP signs are actually pretty nice (and their showing makes you wonder why they didn't stick the knife into Alexa a long time ago). But their flaw is they have a big picture of the candidate on them, and some of the candidates are all that attractive (unattractive politician isn't that redundant?). The candidate in my riding (Norman Tobias) looks kinda like (as Leo pointed out) Wallace from Wallace and Gromit.
So I got home today, and the house was hot and muggy. My father refused to turn on the AC today, believing it was haunted by an evil older than time itself, and the exorcist/serviceman hadn't had at it yet this year. I get up to my room and, presumably due to the extra heat, my CPU fan is working overtime. Dear god was it working overtime. I figure "The dust inside that mofucker ain't helping any." So, instead of eating my dinner, I proceed to disassemble my beautiful Pentium 4 box.
This is where the problems start. In addition to the fan directly above the chip, there's a big huge case fan that is supposed to aid in general airflow and maintaining ambient case temperature (Pentium 4's generate a whole lot of heat - think of all the coffee I could be making). The case fan is affixed to the case with shock absorbing rubbery grommets (I looked it up in the manual), which proceed to rip in half as I try to remove them. This case, for what I paid for it, is proving to be quite a piece of ass after a year - save for the nifty blue LEDs and the fact that it's black, it's nothing but trouble. I learned a valuable lesson: don't try to stop a fan going at >4000RPM fan with your finger.
The case fan is now held on by screws that don't fit and lots of sticky tack. My CPU fan is still too fucking loud, and I've had to turn it off for the night. Going to invest in a super-quiet one this weekend and maybe a new case. Until then, I'll try and stick to the laptop and my computer at the Cit Lab as much as possible.
Now that the issues has been resorleved, we cann go back to poor, vocabuling! Did you happen to get the name of that moth? Maybe the moth and I could meet and have coffee and it could tell me about itself. Then when I become an assistant naturalist I could ta;lk about mothes. This moth is named Rick, he eats nothing but babies. Feeding will commence in one hour. Of course it's acceptable, Rick is endangered, babies are not. Well, yes, that baby over there in that pen is personally endangered but you und4erstand the concept. God, I feel like I'm SouthPark or something. The last two weeks.
Submitted my first time sheet to MCIS today. 70.5 hours, at $15/hour, plus 4% vacation pay. Minus deductions, of course.
My cash problems shall soon be over.
I swear to god this was the biggest moth ever. It was like, three inches long, and ugly as sin, and it went straight for my head.
At least it didn't bite my lip.
firstly, stop being so pc. womenfolk? what?? ben. you're omish, I know it. the giveaway? ahhh I can't really put my finger on it, cause that would offend your people, so we'll just say it's mutual understanding that doesn't need to be put in words.
also, harry potter is god.
one last thing, just because I"m the only girl who really posts here anymore, doesn't mean i'm a nerd.
just for the record, y'know.
one also last more thing: you guys's perfect grammar and good vocabuling has made me the opposite of you.
Racial profiling is probably not such a great example for your purposes because of invisible crime that is simply uncovered through unfair profiling. The only reason that more blacks drive drunk is because more are CAUGHT because they are profiled. It's a self-perpetuating system.
Otherwise, I think we've come to a pretty close approximation of agreement.
Leo, you make a good point. Accents and such get drowned out in a generation or so, skin colour remains. I don't argue that in our world, race should factor into a hiring decision, and the Ontario Human Rights code is there to ensure that it doesn't for the most part (Note: the "Record of Offenses" clause isn't in there, so that looks like a UHN-specific thing, Jacob. Thank God.) I do take issue with enforcing diversity for diversity's sake, or diversity for appearance's sake.
And no, we are most certainly not off the hook fighting prejudice. I believe it will come naturally given time, but for the moment, society is obligated to do something about it. However I don't believe that racism-reversal in the school and workplace is a sound approach; I believe it makes the hiring/acceptance process altogether much less credible. My reasoning should be pretty clear by now.
With the "not every", Leo, I'd agree, somewhat - less with the Asian part. You won't find any hard statistical fact on this, because it's not politically correct to keep statistics that anyhow display racial correlations. However, if we are resigning ourselves to these stereotypes and using them as grounds for implementing or continuing affirmative action, tell me - what's wrong with the Toronto Police practicing racial profiling? If it's obvious to them that the majority of violent crime in this city is committed by individuals belonging to a certain ethnic group, why is it so wrong for them to act on this fact, just as schools and employers act on the "well known fact" that blacks and Asians are poorer and have less opportunities? Let me make it clear that I'm not a proponent of racial profiling - I just don't see why it's okay to allow generalizations to influence our actions in one way but not another. Because one of them helps people but the other potentially hurts them? What about those who are denied a job because the quota for their ethnic group is currently full?
Finally, Sam, I apologize profusely for bringing my views on free speech into this arena. Ben, you poppycock: pistols at dawn.
Well, I hate to interupt the current intellignet argument that's raging back and forth here, but I wanted to make a post.
I went to a Star Wars convention today. IT was pretty small, but it was good, I finally got a snowspeeder, and for just five bucks no less.
Now I haven't really been into Star Wars for quite some time now, but when they said there was going to be a trivia contest I knew I had to participate. It started well, the event starting with 3 tables who would fight it out till just one table was left, and then the people at that table would battle it out. My table turned out to include a group of 4 or 5 typical scruffy, nerdy, over anxious Star Wars nerds. Our table of course was the one table left. Then the real event started. I'm not sure how but I came in second, mostly because one of the other people fumbled one of the questions which I then stole. So I won a Darth Vader action figure, suprised at how much Star Wars stuff I rembered, and unsure of wether to be proud or ashamed.
Sam, that place need any more telemarketers?
The Irish, Jews and Italians all have the skin colour thing on their side. They could be identified for their accents and perhaps their garb, but that would not be an issue for future generations. Also, the longer your family is here, the more mixed-white you become. I consider myself an average, white Canadian (1/2 French, 1/4 Polish, 1/8 Irish, 1/8 German). Now,who's gonna not hire me because I look too Polish? But if you're Black or Asian, it'll be an issue long after the accent and old mannerisms fall away.
Further, I have issue with the inisinuation that because Jews or Italians overcame fierce prejudice in the past, that anyone should be able to overcome prejudice with enough hard work and luck. Does that leave us off the hook in fighting predjudice?
Now, not every Black person has to deal with neighbourhood poverty and not every Asian person has to work in mom's shop for 5 hours every day, but hmm, it seems to happen at a stastically high rate.
Not that I believe this 100% completely. There was a lot of merit to Jacob's post and Dave's posts. The only thing I would say to Jacob is to use Toronto statistics of the general population, and not Canada-wide, because their hiring pool is probably out of the GTA, the most racially (ethnically?) diverse area of Canada. Also, I agree wholeheartedly about catchphrases and euphemisms.
I'm convinced that more than the truth is at stake,
When people use language that pretends to communicate,
Euphemisms are misunderstood and interpreted as mistakes
"I disagree with what you say, but I would lay down my life for your right to say it."
I hardly think that this quote captures the spirit of "goin' ape". If you two are gonna disagree, do it right. Call each other names, question each others' sexuality, drag embarassing incidents from each of your respective pasts into the conflict. That's what Goin' Ape should be all about. Feel free to hold a kickboxing match.
But enough about you guys...
Me? I'm great. I just got a job, so I'm no longer scrounging for money between the cushions of my couch (as much) and I can stop wasting my time job hunting! The best part is it's in the evenings (sun-thurs, 6:45-10:45) so I can sleep in and watch daytime TV (I consider this to be good). The worst part is that it's more telemarketing, so I could be fired at any moment. Fortunately, it's for charity (the Glenbo museum in Calgary), so their performance evaluations are more charitable.
Other'n that, I've released my turtles. It was clear that nobody wanted to take care of them anymore, and a suitable site was found in Centennial(sp?) Park for them to live. It's a nice little pond full of tadpoles, so they oughta be happy wit' it.
Music plugs: Blind Guardian, for anyone who enjoys prog-metal. This is the kind of band that would readily make a concept album based on LotR (and did). Good stuff, loud.
Puffy AmiYumi: Japanese band. Don't know much about 'em, 'cept that they do the theme for one of my Saturday morning cartoons, "Teen Titans". It's a quality theme.
Finally, to anyone interested, my birthday will be arriving post-haste on June 14th, so start getting me presents. Right now.
So, I'm arguing that there's no way that everyone can be a scholar, whereas you're arguing that not everyone can make a fortune. Comical, no?
Poor white kids benefit from affirmative action? Not to my knowledge. I rarely hear of quotas being set regarding "low income" students, merely students of one ethnic group or another. Sadly, the real point of these quotas is so that an organization can appear diverse. Let's face it, it reflects well on your organization, in the current political climate, if you've got a bit of a rainbow going on. Everyone deserves an opportunity, yes. So tighten up the school system, institute better standardized admission tests, ban private schools. Don't grab the first few ethnic kids you see and stick them in your school for photo-op purposes. A very wise black friend of mine once told me that he'd rather march with the Klan than with the neo-liberals who leap to his defense at every opportunity - at least the lynch mob are open about their real intentions.
"Not every white kid who gets into university deserves it." Hah. Really? I had no idea! You're forgetting that I went to De La Salle College "Oaklands". We were like UCC at 1/4 the price, double the ego and minus the pedophiles, add a (big) dash of religious bull and stir. There were some affluent caucasians there who didn't deserve to live, much less graduate and attend university. Did they have access to a better education? In some respects, yes, perhaps. Are you going to be able to put an end to the two-tiered education system? Probably not - in fact you'll probably have to deal with two-tiered healthcare soon enough if Stephen Harper gets elected. The point is it's always been that way. Centuries ago only the upper echelons of society were educated (and the clergy who were educated in order that they be fit to subjugate the masses with their religious crap). The legacy of "buying your degree" lives on, most visibly in the all-American miserable failure.
No, I don't believe that every immigrant who works hard can "make a fortune". Not all of us can be millionaires, but most anyone with a bit of ingenuity can keep their heads above water and live a modest life, and perhaps provide an upbringing for their children that is conducive to a better future. There is strategy to this stuff.
The Irish, the Italians, the Jews, while they did come from Europe, by no means had it easy. Even if they could do skilled jobs (which most of them couldn't, being farmers and labourers in the Old World), people didn't want them. We all know that Jews were despised, but so were Catholics, an unfortunate label that can be applied to both most Irishmen and Italians. Even as late as the 40's and 50's in Toronto, my father can remember signs that read "Help Wanted - No blacks, Catholics or dogs need apply" hanging in City Hall. Yet they walked up the slippery slope as the janitors, toilet bowl cleaners, gravediggers, and eventually prospered. Some became wealthy, others merely got by. That's not to say that some won't fall through the cracks, and hopefully a decently woven social safety net will be there to catch them, once again, barring a Conservative government.
The real answer is simple: put money back into education, bring the public school system back to a respectable state, fully subsidize post-secondary education for those who qualify for it. Then at least two barriers are knocked down (not having access to proper early education and not being able to pay for school) and the only one left is human prejudice, which as we all know is the far more insidious enemy. The problem with affirmative action is that you can't help everyone this way, and those that you do help may not be the most needy/deserving/potentially brilliant.
While I'm glad you see that affirmative action is a simple-minded band-aid solution, I disagree that it's "the best we've got". Over in Europe (specifically in Ireland but I hear Germany does it too), if you can demonstrate your qualification (via a standardized test or whathaveyou) then your education is gratis. The drive to fill this quota or that quota destroys efforts towards an optimum by requiring that student/workplace populations be adjusted to a certain ethnic distribution rather than selecting 'the cream of the crop', all in the name of keeping up appearances. To use Jacob's description, they're enforcing a "rigid mathematical model of society", which just doesn't work.
(Ironically, I've found, the phrase "affirmative action" didn't always mean giving preferential treatment to racial minorities. President Lyndon Johnson coined the phrase when he decreed that federal contractors must "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." Without regard. Huh.)
Poor white kids benefit from affirmative action, also, Dave. I furthermore find fault in your "not every member" argument, because that's not something you can necessarily tell until after having given someone the opportunity. I can tell you one thing, though-- not every white kid who gets into university deserves it. I guarantee you that a whomping number of rich prepster kids up at York are wasting their time.
And surely you can see the flaw in a belief that any immigrant who works hard can make his fortune. Remember: this Capitalist claim is fundamentally flawed because everyone can't be successful, or else the system doesn't work. Competition requires a winner and a loser. I'm sure for every successful family, there are three who don't make it. My grandfather worked for years and years and years, and his moderate success lay in putting money away until retirement. He was fortunate enough to land some decent jobs. But not everyone has that, especially people who don't have skills that are deemed "useful" in our modern society. The Irish, the Italians, the Jews, they all came from EUROPEAN countries that were much like our own. The transition is not great, and likely they benefitted from education etc. before coming over. The same cannot necessarily be said of refugees and immigrants from Third World nations.
You are correct that affirmative action is too simplistic an answer to an increasingly complex problem. However, it's the best thing we have at the moment, and thus we must continue to institute it until such a time as we have a better.