Kansas City Idol

A while ago Sponge dared Chimpo and me to Karaoke, we both kind of let it go for a while but when we attended the red balloon tweet up she did not forget her previous request. We were glad that she did not sign us up for a song that had the word beaver on it from what I remember but an actual semi cool song that we proceeded to kill… no not the song, the crowd. Don’t care what anyone said, the whole place was having fun… laughing with us or at us they ended up cheering.

American Idol started again and my wife was watching it as I made it home so I got to enjoy some of the bad. I still think that Simon’s facial reactions are priceless. As far as how they portrayed Kansas City, I hope that the country does not judge this city by the people that audition to this show. To quote Joey about on our video, very, very frightening.

Communication Issues

Our society is killing communication every single day. I believe language is under constact attack. Corporate America fills its people with keywords and are supposed to condense ideas to terms, text messages exchanged by people shorten words to vowel deprived puzzles, political correctness replace words with easier to take terms making the company with no cash flow financially challenged. I think none of these things enhance meaning but rather dilute our ability to communicate.

Thoughts are extremely difficult to express. Try word association with two people exiting the same movie and you will still get different responses. The same situation affects everyone in very different ways based on our own experiences and what we believe. Trying to explain what is in our heads is a difficult task and since the amount of language used is getting smaller and smaller we are all exercising on the dangerous game of guessing what others are thinking.

Are we really so crunched for time that expressing full ideas is now reduced to finding the easiest way to express it rather than the more accurate?

Some will blame just plain laziness when asked about this issue, but I believe that our society is really heading in a dangerous direction. Diluting our forms of expression to bite size easy to swallow snacks will only make us less capable of sharing our lives.

Quote Trivia

I’ve had this idea for a while. The characters might change, but I think it will be fun and maybe in some cases even enlightening. I love using quotes by other people when I talk about a subject. Calling it Trivia so that Mesha does not freak out, because we all know I blog just for him.

So the game is simple. I will give you three quotes and three sources, your task is to guess who said what. Most of my favorite quotes come from these three sources (The Bible, Confucius and Anonymous) so we will start with those two. You can guess (or know) and answer right here, or you can challenge your readers. You might think its pretty straight forward, but you might be surprised. So have fun

“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”

“Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

“You can’t truthfully explain your smallest action without fully revealing your character.”

A Little Bit of Juan Valdez in Every Can

Cartoon about Colombia

Coffee growers in Colombia are pissed off and are going to sue. The cartoonist in question is Mike Peters for his strip Mother Goose and Grimm, and even though I do not know much about him I have to say I enjoy his drawing style. I also want to say in his defense, before I start to state my opinion that he said “he loves Colombia, his strip is being taken out of context because it is part of a series, and he always means to be humorous and not offend.”

Zapiro, a very famous political cartoonist in South Africa, has been drawing Nelson Mandela for years. He was recently interviewed by the BBC, and one of the things that surprised him is that Mandela actually followed him even when he was very critical of him. Mandela was even upset when he changed newspapers because he could not follow him every day now and called Zapiro. Mandela told Zapiro that he would never be offended because being a counter voice was his job.

Peters used a joke that I have heard before. That was my first thought when I saw the cartoon, that it was a little unoriginal. I am not saying I have heard every Colombian joke, but I have heard plenty. As an Immigrant I have always wanted to hear those kinds of jokes because I think they make me informed and give me an opportunity to tell the truth about a stereotype of a misconception.

Peters also is not a political cartoonist, and in that context bringing up violence in Colombia would probably have worked as satire. For a country that is working very hard to change its image, has the fastest growing economy of Latin America and its doing everything it can to stabilize itself a cartoon like this can be damaging. Unless it opens up the doors to conversation.

I think the coffee growers of Colombia are taking this opportunity to create a little publicity. I don’t think Peters meant any harm, and I hope that at the end of the day everyone that comes across the story can at least say they know a little more about this beautiful country where I was born.

Go Ahead and Complain

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”
Jane Wagner

Somewhere in the 90s during the whole grunge era the world started to change. I believe political correctness got a hold of this country and kids playing little league stopped being able to keep score. Just like in Vegas the world is wonderful, magical place and everyone is a winner. So why is that 2008 felt like such a Sunday morning after a night of partying? Y2K did not happen and everyone opened up the champagne and started to party like it was 1999 into the 2000s… the new millennium. Sure there was the fight at the neighbors house that made everyone gawk at the police taking everyone in, but then the party continued.

When we started to wake up from the party, we saw that there were new rules on our block. Now everyone wanting to enter our block had to go through metal detectors and have their shoes examined. It did not make a difference for our block being secured, but it sure made everyone feel better… or more annoyed. We are all still trying to decide. Maybe the TV will tell us how to feel. Maybe we should let the news tell us that everything is ok “status quo.” Why institute radical change when the slow change in giving up our personal liberties for a false sense of security is so much better.

We have been programmed to think everything is ok, and just saying it makes it so. Go buy a new car and it will make everything ok. Here is 600 dollars that will help our economy, go spend it. We are safe now that cannot bring liquids into the plane… oh wait, did anyone notice that bomb components keep on getting by TSA like they are UPS trying to deliver a “package”?

I have seen real poverty and know what hunger does to people. Trust me when I say that desperation makes good people do bad things. I did not just watch some commercial on late night TV asking me to sponsor a child, I saw those children with own eyes. Now that I hopefully have your attention let me say what I have been building up. Even though I have seen all of that, and plenty of other things that many of you will probably don’t even want to talk about, it does not give me a magical flying pony where I can look down upon everyone while I sprinkle fairy guilt.

Last year sucked. Having bad days at work suck. Having surgery sucked. Having vertigo sucks. Trying to hold back puke from the anesthesia sickness while you do not want to tear your just patched together eardrum is scary and SUCKS! So spare me your, be glad you are alive, last year was great, at least can hear now because it is O.K. to complain, and we complain to be heard and hopefully be comforted by people that care about us, not to be told someone else has it worse than you. I still have not met a person that has it worse than the kids in India that by birth are made to clean poo all day.

Some people think that because I have a “glass half full attitude” I don’t have the right to complain. Well, reality check people! I do have a lot to rant about and will continue to do so because this is MY BLOG :) and I hold complete editorial power… well not complete, Bea and Daniel both have the power to edit my posts and at times even make me sound smarter.

If something in your life is not going great, complain about, being realistic is not a synonym of being pessimistic. Sure, it is great to have a plan, but we have to formulate a problem before we try to solve. So save your empty positivism about last year or the state of the economy or whatever it is that you want to counter my complaining with. Trust me, I am one of the most positive people you will ever find, and even when I have been at my worse I have not forgotten to smile. So go ahead and let it out! Complain!