Archive for September, 2005

Like, Ohmigod, That’s SUCH An Ugly Dress

September 28, 2005

In striving toward both a superior higher education and further increasing my understanding and knowledge, I decided taking a rhetoric of film class, through the lens of horror, would bring me closer to the world of academia.

It kicks ass.

We watch a horror movie each week, or just about, starting with the oldies and making our way up to the recents. We began with Dracula [1931], proceeded to Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1956], and just finished Psycho [1960].

I had never seen Psycho before tonight. Of course, the film industry is obsessed with this masterpiece [rightly so] and there have been countless movies that have been produced since then that are ripe with imitations. So whether or not you have seen Psycho, you can probably recognize almost every scene in it.

Which is why I don’t feel bad about talking about what happened at the end.

So Lila is in Norman Bates’ house, trying to find Mrs. Bates [the mother] to ask questions about her missing sister slash Sam’s girlfriend. Mrs. Bates apparently has some information about the missing Marion, but Norman has kept her out of sight from everyone who wants to question her. And when I say out of sight, I mean Mrs. Bates kills them, and Norman throws them in the swamp.

Sam, meanwhile, is down in the office of the Bates Motel, trying to keep Norman away from the house, meanwhile questioning him about his life and what not. When Norman suspects something is up, he bashes Sam over the head with some jar or something and runs up to the house, leaving Sam unconscious in the office. Lila sees him coming through the window, and runs down into the cellar. She starts to walk through a door, and suddenly sees Mrs. Bates sitting, with her back to the door, in the root cellar.

Lila goes up to Mrs. Bates, and taps her on the shoulder. The chair slowly swivels around to reveal a human skeleton wearing a wig and an old woman’s clothing. Lila screams bloody murder, and turns around in time to see another Mrs. Bate enter the root cellar, wielding a large knife.

Sam rushes in moments before the new Mrs. Bates can stab and kill Lila. Sam wrestles the knife and the old woman to the ground, thereby ripping off the wig and house dress to reveal Norman. This is the scene where the audience realizes that Norman’s mother has been long since dead. His psychotic devotion to her led him to keep her skeleton in her room, dressed up as a real person, while Norman played both the mother and son, having conversations with himself and even dressing up as her when committing the murders. Norman had been doing this for over 10 years.

After gasps of realization and disgust, there was a short silence from the class. No one said anything. Then, in the biggest Valley Girl type accent you’ve ever heard in your life, with not a hint of appreciation for what was just viewed, a girl in the back says with disdain,

He’s a loser.

Wonderful synopsis, classmate. Can I graduate now?

Not Gonna Lie, I Got Happy Pants, Too

September 27, 2005

I am a 21 year old senior in college who is going to be a member of the real world in a matter of months. I have important responsibilities that need to be addressed, issues and problems that need to be dealt with, and tasks that must be completed. I have debt to worry about, bills to pay off, and loans to pay back. I have a world of new oppurtunities ahead of me just waiting to be tapped into, and I need to find out how to accomplish this. I am growing up, maturing, and aging into an adult.

Then I saw this and hyperventilated with joy for about 15 minutes straight.

There’s A Change In The Weather

September 21, 2005

As you may have just noticed, there are two changes to my blog. I will give you a moment to figure them out.

That’s right! The name has changed and so have the comments section! I will tell you why.

The name changed because I felt the previous name, Attempted Prose and Perfect Nonsense, was too big a piece of academia to have in this blog. It just didn’t fit. This flows much easier and, I think, is a lot more relevant when compared to what I put in this thing.

I changed the comment section because I kept getting those annoying comment spams. So that is why you see the ‘type the word you see above’ thing when you try to comment. This prevents automated software from using my blog as a type of bulletin board for whatever sex site they are selling now. This will enable only real people to comment from now on.

Not that any of you fuckers did that in the first place.

You Killed A Cuddly

September 20, 2005


As a precursor to this entry, I have two things to say. Firstly, I do not intend this blog to become my outlet to preach to the internet about what they should or should not do, help, be involved in, or support. Secondly, it just so happens that this entry is something along those lines, such as my Katrina entries, but I am writing about it because a) I want to and b) it’s my blog.

PETA recently released a video [and when I say recently, I mean I just found it] concerning the fur trade and how fur traders are able to procure the pelts they sell from animals. Never have I worn fur, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, I think it looks very outdated. Seeing a fur jacket just screams 1985 to me. I picture a snobby, very well off woman walking down Fifth Ave with a giant pelt covering her body. She has her nose up in the air [and it is a very long nose, too], and for some reason is wearing a small blue hat with lace and a peacock feather. She doesn’t even pay attention to people as she walks by, and she accidentally knocks over little children with her bags from Saks and Bloomingdales. Don’t you hate her already?

Secondly, I would never wear fur because I feel that would be asking for a hate crime. And we don’t want that.

The video is a short [maybe 5 minutes long], and is hosted by none other than Martha Let’s Crochet A Cell Block C Quilt With Our Shoelaces Stewart. Now, if you don’t wear fur, this video will only bolster your belief that real fur is wrong, and faux fur is where it is at [because its fake and who doesn’t like to say faux]. If you do wear fur, then watching the video will make you cry and weep and seek counseling.

This is a warning. The video is graphic.

Happy watching, viewers!

‘For God’s Sake, Shut Up And Send Us Somebody’

September 8, 2005


After being bombarded with news reels, video clips, first hand accounts, second hand stories, newspaper articles, and everything in between concerning Hurricane Katrina, I can just barely quench the rage that burns inside of me.

It has been a little over a week since Katrina began it’s rampage over 90,000 thousand square miles of our southern shores. In that time, I have only heard the negative. I have read how our government has not responded in the way we as a people would see fit. Or even adequate. I have seen the damage done to schools, homes, families and land. I have heard the stories of drownings, contaminated water, stranded evacutees, and missing loved ones.

What I have NOT read, seen, or heard are the stories of a strong, brave leader jumping into action, saving lives, and making me say with pride [rather than disgust] That’s my President.

And that is revolting.

I find it hard, though, to place the blame of the storm upon one person or group. No one can prevent or change the weather. If it were possible, I wouldn’t be living at least 6 of my months in dreary grey gloom. I do think, though, that I can look upon those who are our elected leaders and ask them What the hell happened?! What are you doing?!

It would seem that our government has failed us.

In reading article after article, I have become more and more disheartened by our executive branch, yet more encouraged by the indomitable spirit of the American people. For the most part, Democrats and Republicans are evenly divided [more than 2/3 of Republicans favor Bushes actions, where as about 2/3 of Democrats think he is doing a bad job]. The only thing that they seem to have in common [a loose common ground, at that] is that the government messed up. Republicans believe it was the local and state governments, while Democrats think it was the federal government. House Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, said There were two disasters last week: first, the natural disaster, and second, the man-made disaster, the disaster made by mistakes made by FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency].

It is very hard to not take this as truth. Where were these people when the storm hit? Where are these people now? It is frustrating to think that we have a government funded Agency dedicated to cases such as these, only to see it flop when truly needed. According to Representative Henry Waxman, the ranking Democrat of the Government Oversight Committee [we have one of those?!], …the budget of the Corps of Engineers for construction projects in New Orleans district was cut by over 40 percent between 2001 and 2005, apparently to free up funds for the war in Iraq and homeland security projects. In 2004, for the first time in 37 years, the Corps halted all work on the New Orleans levee system [click here to see a picture of what the levee system is].

I’m not saying that Bush foretold this disaster, and took funds away from this project to hurt people. That would be absurd. I don’t think it is absurd, however, to say that Bush has taken money from too many places in his zest for war. Meanwhile, we [and by we, I mean Bush and company] have waited far too long in such a situation to accept supplies from other countries. Venezuela offered us supplies, but since some of the more conservative of our country don’t approve of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez [Pat Robertson called for his assassination], Bush lagged on accepting aid. And look where all this has left us at home.

And at home, who do we have to turn to but our government? Senator Susan Collins, Maine Republican, as well as chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee, said Governments at all levels failed. It is difficult to understand the lack of preparedness and the ineffective initial response to a disaster that had been predicted for years and for which specific dire warnings had been given for days. And with these apparent days of warnings, where was the evacuation help? Where was everybody? Where was Homeland Security?

Some argue that, while it is Homeland Security’s job to take a hand in things like this, Katrina has two big exceptions. Firstly, Katrina is a natural disaster, which have taken a back seat to preparations for possible terrorist attacks. Secondly, the damage done by Katrina far exceeds that by the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

That would be all well and good, if it weren’t for the fact that these two excuses are easily refuted by one simple idea. What if a terrorist were to attack us with a nuclear weapon, thereby causing a comparable amount of catastrophe as Katrina has? And besides, does it really matter where the damage came from? Whether it is rained down from above, or fired over from the Middle East, a crisis is still a crisis. This damage could just as easily have been caused by a terrorist attack, and many if not most of the same elements are involved in responding to natural disasters says Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican from Arizona.

This situation has gotten to a point where the people themselves have begun to speak out. Read almost any blog entry out there, and you will see at least one thing in common. Heart ache. Whether that comes in the form of grief, anger, support or love, it all traces back to a deep sorrow.

Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard [in Louisiana] has made rounds of many news circuits, trying to paint a picture for the rest of the nation. On CBS’ The Early Show, Broussard said Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area. And bureaucracy needs to stand trial before Congress…So, I’m asking Congress, please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don’t give me the same idiot. To hear a more detailed account of what is happening in LA, please click this link and watch Broussard on Meet the Press. I strongly urge you to take the time out of your day to do so.

Everywhere, people are speaking up and making their voice heard. Everywhere, there are those who are doing their absolute best to help in any way possible. There are even celebrities who are voicing their anger, support and love in almost any way possible. As crazy as I believe him to be, you can’t fault Michael Jackson for his efforts. He hopes to release, within the next two weeks, a music single to benefit the victims of Katrina. He plans on harnessing the We Are The World success for Katrina, and donate all proceeds to the cause.

On a television fund raiser for hurricane relief, Kanye West stepped forward and blatantly attacked Bush, saying the only reason this is happening is because these people in need of help are underprivileged and black [The first link is short, but with good sound, while the second link has more of the speech, but poor sound]. While you may address this as crazy and unfounded, it is easy to see why people think this way after hearing things from Barbara Bush. She is quoted in saying What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas…everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality…and so many of the people in the arena here were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them. With thoughts such as these escaping the mouths of even one person, nevermind it being the President’s mother, we obviously have a much bigger battle ahead of us, along with Katrina.

With my own ears, I have been moved with stories of brave individuals who have helped those in need. The other day, a friend recounted the story of a girl who deferred going to college, and instead went to go volunteer in Louisiana. She drowned while trying to save the lives of others. She was 18 years old.

Today in class, I was told the story of a few Duke students who drove down to the Superdome in an SUV. They said, even though news reports say roads are horrible, that they were able to drive right up to the Dome, and they began driving evacutees to triage centers. Evacutees said that this was the first vehicle seen in days.

What will you do? How will you help? We cannot sit idly by and wait for the government to help those in need. The past week should show us that they are inept and clumsy, and their half-assed attempts are not enough. God bless the charitable organizations, such as the Red Cross, for all their work. They are the people that will manage the healing of a nation. They are the people who are in the thick of it all, working day in and day out to save lives.

If we as a nation are to help in the VERY LEAST, we must help these people help others.

Please please please please PLEASE donate what you can to any organization that is helping out down there. Here is a good list to check out.

Do you want to help save lives? Then do it.

ps…this picture is from CNN’s gallery. The caption reads Nita LaGarde, 105, holds hands with Tanisha Blevin, 5, as they are evacuated from the convention center to a helicopter in New Orleans, Louisiana. After days of waiting, hundreds of people were evacuated from the city by bus and helicopter.

Don’t Be An Asshole

September 4, 2005

I know the above title may sound harsh, but if it is what it takes to make you help…

For the past few days, I have viewed what is quite possibly the nation’s worst natural disaster to occur within our recent memory. The effects of such a horrible entity as Katrina are so far reaching, I cannot help but feel that we will not attain a sense of normalcy or harmony in the near future.

Couple this crippling disaster with our pathetic excuse for a president, and we have a huge problem on our hands. Bush’s response to this disaster has been disappointing at best, leaving the responsibility to fall on those who have much less power at their fingertips, but an obviously much bigger heart in their chest.

Each and every single person reading this entry right now are more than capable of helping out in this nation’s biggest disaster since 9/11. While we all may not have the ability to travel down and volunteer our services to our brethren, we can at least pledge our support in the way of money. You don’t have to be the richest person to help out. Even $10 will help.

Please, take the few minutes to donate. You can now say you HELPED SAVE LIVES.

If you or your family or friends have been affected by this horrific disaster, you have my thoughts and prayers. Please stay strong, and know that an entire country, if not the rest of the world, has you in their hearts.

I leave you all with love, hope, and the responsibility to help out those in need.

Best,
John