No, I’m not going to address the Casey Anthony trial except for one thing. All I’m going to say is that everyone stunned by the verdict needs to answer one question: is there reasonable doubt? Yes. Is there evidence to show she did it? Oh yeah. But go back and look at that last answer. Reasonable doubt? Oh yes. That’s the basis of our justice system. There were so many pieces of evidence that were not linked that while most of us might readily assume she was guilty, it’s an assumption.
And finally, Neil Gaiman alone is already nerd fuel. Adam Savage of Mythbusters? Also cool. Adam Savage serenading Neil Gaiman as Gollum doing a spoke-word rendition of “I Will Survive”? The only way this could be cooler is if Gaiman was being knighted with a lightsaber.
It’s been one of those days. Months. Three months. Short version: this job is killing me for all the wrong reasons. I’ll elaborate more later, but suffice to say that my letter of resignation is in the mail and I’ll be going back to teaching and tutoring, something which, amazingly, is less stressful that working with deer.
“Diego’s Day,” the next chapter in Charcoal Streets got caught in the maelstrom and won’t be ready for a few days. It’s a combination of work that caught up with me and the fact that it turned out to be a little more personal than I thought.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy an assault of links from the world wide intertubes!
First off, a little something from hom. I was unaware we could not eat vegetarians, not just “vegetarian.”
Even if marijuana isn’t “legalized” in California, it’s apparently still ridiculously easy to get pot through the restricted means. Check out this informative video from CNN!
Almost everyone has seen the map of the internet, but at xkcd, they have a new, updated map. Looks like Facebook has grown quite a book, and if Skype isn’t careful, it may get invaded by Farmville.
Some parents are apparently mad at a photoshoot featuring some of the cast of Glee. They say it promotes pedophilia to have these girls dressed up in school outfits and then stripping. It makes sense… except that the actresses are in their 20’s and I’m sure no one outside of a school has ever worn a plaid skirt and pig tails. Right? Huh? Right? Also, in a final slap to these idiots, you can see the pics if you follow the link.
Mexico is being torn apart by the wars between the cartels, so the only obvious choice for a new police chief is… a 20-year-old woman who ran unopposed for the position. Okay, I have to give this young lady points for guts… but I have no clue what she intends to do. And I hope she stays safe.
Dark Archivist wrote a wonderful post on the tolerance of intolerance. She makes some good points, and she’s always a fun read. Check her out.
Dan Savage wrote a powerful response to a Christian who said he was offended by remarks that intolerance from Christians contributed to the recent gay youth suicides. I can sum it up thus: “Fuck your feelings.” It’s one of the most moving responses to the “It’s what my religion teaches” argument.
Rumors of a remake to the cult classic The Crow starring Brandon Lee have been running around since at least last year. I’m on the fence about this. On the one hand, I love the movie, but think something closer to the comic would have been so much better. On the other hand, the original will always have a special place in my heart. Then again… now the rumor is that Mark Wahlberg may be staring in it. And right there you lost me.
And finally, are you still voting Republican? Let’s look at the Republican goals for this year, shall we?
Listen to the furor on the right. This nation has been changing, little by little, until it is almost unrecognizable by the hard-working average American. Health care, gay rights, secularism, and a host of other problems are taking this country and changing into something our own parents won’t recognize in a few years.
Progress is not evil. “Progressivism” is not an evil term. I am not a Marxist. I do not condone genocide. And as much as I cannot stand Beck and the Fox noise machine, I don’t want them censored. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I am a naturalized citizen. I wasn’t born here, so it scares me when I a) can writer better than the “patriots” in the Tea Party, b) understand American history and government better than the voice of the people, Fox News, and c) must explain to people the difference between liberalism, progressivism, Nazism, and communism and that we don’t believe in government handouts.
Let’s take the evolutionary viewpoint. Everything that lives must adapt to its environment, to different conditions. If it gets too cold, those creatures that could withstand a little more cold will thrive. If food becomes scarce, the more efficient hunters will survive.
Likewise, our country’s changed. In the last twenty years, the internet, television, and mass media have brought us all together. Whether we like it or not, we are living in a global community. What happens in China affects us in America. Drug violence in Mexico stirs up political movements in the Southwest. These connections always existed, but now each one of us can participate. This site alone has readers in the North America, Australia, and a few other places.
With zero advertising budget.
Imagine the kind of impact actual world-shattering events create.
This multiculturalism and melting pot of ideas is the new environment for our country. Like an animal in the wild, we find ourselves in a world filled with new creatures, new neighbors, and limited resources. We have to adapt, learn from others, or else risk sinking into stagnation. There are already signs the United States is losing ground in the global stage.
Of course, the fear that America will change hinges on one basic premise: the United States of America cannot be better than what it already has become.
Anything can be made better. Anything. Your mom’s cooking? Could use more salt. That perfect date? There were no fireworks. Your favorite movie? Wasn’t narrated by Christopher Walken.
My point is that America can be better than it is. In fact, it can be better than our Founders intended.
What!!? The Founders were WRONG?!
Well, that assumes they all agreed. They didn’t. The biggest mistake we can make is thinking America has a destiny. It doesn’t America isn’t a government. Government is people. Americans come from dozens, hundreds of backgrounds. We came from different countries, spoke many languages, and today we live together and believe very basic principles. We may disagree on how to get there, but if we’re not trying to make this country better, what are we doing?
Every person who says we need to go back to the way things were is dangerous. They’re dangerous because they wish to relieve the mistakes of the past based on some vague sense of duty to the intentions of our Founding Fathers. They want us to just have faith that, somehow, the work we did getting here was a mistake and everything will somehow right itself.
I can’t trust the Founding Fathers since I’ve never and will never meet them. The only thing I can do is rely on years of education, common sense, and the observations of tangible reality all around me.
And what do these observations tell me?
We can do better. We can always do better. So next time someone tells you that we need to go back the way things were, or that we’re not doing what the Founders wanted… Tell them that the Founders aren’t here, they were men, flawed men, and that if they know of a way to stop the social inertia of hundreds of millions of people, go right ahead.
If the America of today dies, ask yourself what part of it is dying. Is it the part that clings to outdated ideas, beliefs based on emotion and gut-feelings instead of reason and observation, and a need to fight against the “other”?
Then yes, let it die. In fact, take it outside and shoot it.
Ever flown and picked up a Sky Mall magazine? The things in there are neat, sometimes, but sometimes I see something that just… no one needs crap like this. No one!
Justin Beiber recently said he was this generation’s Kurt Cobain. There are SOME similarities. Apparently someone took offence and noted the many ways Mister Beiber and Mister Cobain are different.
I’m sure most people have heard by now, but Katy Perry was kicked off Sesame Street because she apparently provided a little more boob for the sketch than the kids had seen since breastfeeding. Oh well.
And finally, Priest will be coming out in a few months. I’m kind of excited for Karl Urban and Maggie Q, but I understand the movie bears no resemblance to the comic. Oh well. Looks like it might be a decent splatterfest.