Saturday, April 23, 2005

Popular trends, an update

A little over a year ago, I posted an entry called Popular Trends that I hope will go away soon. I thought it might be interesting to see if anything had changed. So here is a status report:

Reality TV.
Status: the novelty seems to be wearing off, but its not waning fast enough for me.

Shouting news commentators.
Status: Fox is still at it, but CNN canceled Crossfire.

Breast implants
Status: there is a growing "natural beauty" movement. Websites such as DOMAI and Super Beauty honor the beauty of unenhanced natural nude women. A related picture book called Natural Beauties is a best seller on Dove, the beauty bar people, have launched a Campaign for Real Beauty with the goal of showing women of all ages that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. They've teamed up with the Girl Scouts on a self esteem program.

Electronically enhanced vocals of female pop stars.
Status: Still there, but may be waning as singers like Norah Jones grow in popularity. When Beyonce used her spectacular real voice to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a baseball game, I said "I'd buy her records if she sang like that in her recordings."

Corporate control of local radio stations.
Status: ongoing, but at least we've got KPIG.

Neoconservatives.Status: still popular when it comes to political generalities, but when it comes to specific issues their political ineptitude and moral emptiness is showing. They aren't really getting anything done because Americans, particularly genuine conservatives, resent being told what to do.

Low carbs.
Status: The movement is toast.

Self-appointed food police.Status: they seem to come and go. There is still an obsession with obesity, but a recent report debunked the idea that most people are excessively overweight.

One-party control of both houses of Congress and the White House.
Status: nothing can change until the '06 elections.

Liberal bashing.
Status: going strong. Liberal bashers came out in force during the election last year, and the outcome only encouraged them to keep it up. A favorite tactic is to take an an extreme statement by a far left-winger, and associate it with anyone that leans even slightly liberal.

Conservative bashing.
Status: waning, as the GOP has increased its grip on Washington DC.

Imitation Rob Lowe hairstyles.
Status: I haven't seen any for quite awhile.

Overreaction to a bare breast on TV.
Status: mixed. ABC was afraid of getting fined so they pulled Saving Private Ryan from the schedule. But NBC showed bare breasted women dancing at the Olympic opening ceremonies and nobody cared.

"John 3:16" signs at football games.Status: unknown. I haven't paid attention.

The "liberal media" myth.
Status: still accepted as gospel, but a few weak voices have tried to point out that most news organizations are owned by big corporations which tend to lean conservative.

Status: as gas reaches $2.50 a gallon, they don't seem quite as cool anymore.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Schapelle Corby

I just read of a disturbing story about a 27 year young woman from Australia who may be facing a firing squad in Indonesia, for allegedly smuggling marijuana into Bali. Schapelle Corby maintains her innocence, and there is reason to believe the contraband was planted in her bodyboard bag by smugglers without her knowledge.

At first I wondered if it was a legitimate story, since so much content on the internet is biased. So I did some research of Australian news articles which indicated it was true, and ongoing. But don't take my word for it. Do a Google search on "Schapelle Corby" for the latest news.

Here are a couple of relevant links:
Save Schapelle From An Indonesian Firing Squad
Petition: Free Schapelle Corby

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Things I've learned

At 45 I guess I'm officially at middle age. That means I'll live to be 90. Anyway, it seems like a good time to reflect on some of the things I've learned over the years, listed in no particular order:

If you hear or smell anything unusual, find out what it is right away.

Meals seem to be more satisfying when potatoes are somehow involved.

Cultivate your friendships. Time spent with friends and family is never wasted. (See Tiffany)

The time to buy drain opener is before you need it.

Read the owners manual.

Don't trust Mapquest.

You can never win a political argument. However, in the company of those who have open minds, you can have some very interesting political discussions. Ditto for religion.

At the grocery checkout, always put the bread on the conveyor last. This keeps it from getting squished by other items at the bagging end.

There’s nothing wrong with sex.

When you get onto the freeway, keep plenty of space between you and the car ahead. It makes it much easier to merge. If everyone did that there'd be no need for metering lights.

The best way to make your computer work blazingly fast is to use older software on a newer computer.

Every generation of popular culture has its garbage. The garbage falls by the wayside, while the good endures and becomes classic. People forget the garbage of previous generations and that's why they think the old days were better.

Today's snapshot is tomorrow's historical record.

Never ship Parcel Post.

Always check the stove before you leave the house.

Faster, bigger, and newer are not synonyms for better.

Love fulfills the law. Love is the spirit behind all true law. A law is not legitimate unless it conforms to Love.

Love is the basis for all morality. Morality is not a set of rules. Morality is love in action.

If in doubt, call a professional.

Don't do business with anyone who doesn't return your calls.

Don't patronize a business that provides bad service, even if they're the only game in town.

Internet shopping is just old-fashioned mail order with an electronic catalog.

Everything breaks down to either fear or love. Fear is to love what darkness is to light.

The problem with fundamentalist religions is that they never get past the fundamentals. Its like limiting your entire spiritual education to first grade.

Diet fads come and go, but good eatin' endures.

To keep you mind sharp, get interested in something new every few years.

Ideology is unimportant. The only thing that matters is what works.

It is better to do right than to be right.

Simple gifts often have the most meaning.

New technology is nothing without old technology.

Never mistake opinion for truth.