Jul 212011
 

July 21, 2011

The voting is coming along nicely both here and on Facebook! keep going, guys. And when you’re done, please help yourself to a link or two. They’re on me.

I know, I know. I spoil you guys.

  • And speaking of things that are fun and bring us joy, every time a new harry Potter movie or book comes out, without fail, we get the psychos. Pat Robertson is already out in full force, but this gentleman takes the cake. Yeah, he’s a comedian, but the scary thing is that I’ve heard people who talk like him.
  • Rick Perry, possible GOP presidential candidate, started out as a Democrat. Hey, it IS Texas. He probably switched because they use liberals for target practice down here.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man is coming out next year, and we’ve already been treated to a blurry teaser filmed in a movie studio. That doesn’t mean we can’t look back on the old cartoon and guess at the kinds of things we can expect from a darker take on our favorite web-slinger.
  • Speaking of airheads, here’s Palin TRYING to look sexy. The result is akin to a mildly retarded beagle thinking it’s a ballerina.
  • And on the heels of the last article, Jon Stewart addresses Fox’s handling of the hacking scandal. See you Friday, folks, and keep voting!
Jul 192011
 

July 19, 2011

It’s going to be an interesting two weeks. Mary and I are moving in August. I have to get things for the high school summer camp. I started The Weekly Muse, and I’m getting ready to get a podcast up and running once I figure out the software. In the meantime, expect articles on time and general weirdness on the Facebook page and the Twitter feed.

And now, on to the randomness!

  • Who are the most violent people in the world? The answer might surprise you.
  • Herman Cain, a man who has whined about race more times than anyone in recent memory, now claims it should be legal to ban mosques from being built. His rationale? Islam combines government and religion and is therefore illegal.  By that reasoning, his party’s insistence on combining the Bible of law would make THEM illegal.
  • The Thing stands as one of the great horror films of the 80′s a truly disturbing movie where anyone could be the enemy. The paranoia made it awesome. That being said, and given my caution when it comes to sequels or remakes of classic works, I’m actually a little optimistic about the prequel, strangely also titled The Thing. Here’s the first trailer, and let’s hope it doesn’t suck.
  • Rebecca Black is coming back. And I think I just gave them a slogan. D’oh!
  • The new photos from the reboot of Spiderman have me thinking that they might actually know what they’re doing. Spidey looks, well, like he does in the comic. The costume changes are odd, but at least they have web shooters!
  • And finally… some of you already saw this, but here’s the official, cleaned-up version of the first teaser for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Please, dear gods of the four winds, do not let this get threequel rot. I will hunt people down with a fork.

Apr 252011
 

It's twitcharrific!

April 25, 2011

Every artist needs a booze break. Whether your drink of choice is a shot of pure agave tequila, bourbon on the rocks, absinthe (if you can find it), or a chilled beer, you just want to longue back and relax, look at notes, or otherwise zone out into a chemical haze for a few minutes. Nothing wrong with that.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Sometimes you need to jump start the creative juices. Sometimes you really want to just get going and not stop until you finish. An exercise routine is good to get your blood flowing, but with a hectic schedule, you might not have time.

Enter caffeine, the savior of writers, painters, and artists everywhere.

Look, I‘m not naïve. I need me some hot or cold caffeine in the morning sometimes. However, your delivery system, like your delivery system for alcohol, must suit your needs. Not all caffeine is created equal.


A Monument to College Caffeine by ~animay0 on deviantART

Energy Drinks

Red Bull, Monster, 5 Hour Energy Shot, whatever. Take your pick. The truth is that a lot of these drinks have a lot of sugar and other things you don’t really need. If you don’t have the time for a cup of coffee or tea, you really need to rethink your schedule. These things don’t have any more caffeine that a cup of whatever else you might want to enjoy, so why not just have something that won’t pack on the sugar?

Plus, let’s face it. Most of them taste like crap. If you really, REALLY want one, though, I recommend Monster Low Calorie. At least don’t get diabetes while you’re drinking these things.

Coffee

I’m going to get a lot of people upset but…

I can’t stand coffee.

The smell is just… I don’t know, but I’ve never liked it. I’ve tried it black, with cream and milk, and other ways, but I just can’t stomach it. Other than all that, though, coffee tends to linger on you for a long time. It stains your teeth and, unless you make it yourself, expect to pay something like twelve bucks for a cup of overprized foam.

I’m sure coffee has its fans, but I’m not one of them. Moving on…


Surging through my veins by *Xaldin911 on deviantART

Black Tea

Dark, delicious, with a delicate flavor of herbs that both soothe and wake up with that jolt of energy… This is my favorite, hands down. Black tea can be just as pungent as coffee, but I actually don’t mind its flavor. Irish tea, which is pretty stout and bitter, is my favorite for a day when I know things are going to be hectic. It’s bold enough to wake me up and packs enough caffeine to get me through the morning at least.

Unlike coffee, though, black tea rarely leaves a lingering smell anywhere. That’s a big plus, I think. You don’t want to be smelling coffee all day. Trust me. My sister worked at Starbucks and as much as she loved coffee, having half her clothes smell like it really put her off the stuff for a while.

And speaking of tea…

Green Tea

South Texas is hot. I mean really hot. I mean… let me put it this way. It’s 9 PM and I’d rather stay inside because it’s still freakishly hot outside. When the wind blows, it feels like someone has a hairdryer aimed at your face. A hairdryer filled with hellfire. That’s wielded by a fire primordial.

Once summer gets here in full swing, though, things get downright nasty.

That’s why I get a pitcher, put four green tea bags in there, and fill it with hot (not boiling) water. Stick that bad boy in the fridge overnight and the next morning you have delicious iced green tea. It’s like liquid energy and awesomeness. A little sugar helps if you think tea in any form is too bitter, but I prefer it straight.


Afternoon Tea for One by ~regularjane on deviantART

Like alcohol, though, be careful. I’ve actually cut my caffeine intake these last few months to maybe a cup or two a day if I need it. I was getting too jittery and on-edge. Cutting back meant a few days of sharp headaches as I detoxed from caffeine. I’ve also gotten into the joys of brewing the tea in a cast-iron pot my grandmother gave me. I could kill a raptor with that thing.

All in all, it’s a moderate tool that should be used with care.

And I type all this while on my second cup of tea for the day…

Well, link time!

  • Wow. And they said it would never happen. I remember hearing rumors about Duke Nukem Forever since… well, they’ve always been there. It looks like this is it… and I still can’t finish Diego’s Story. See you Wednesday!

Apr 152011
 

It's funny because it's wasted youth and obsession that borders on psychosis...

April 15, 2011

I am done with the internet.

You know how I often say that education is the key to our society’s survival and how all opinions are just opions until you actually show evidence for why your point of view should be taken seriously?

Behold the ultimate argument for my philosophy.

That’s right. Someone went and got a Leave Rebecca Black Alone tattoo. Why? Because we shouldn’t judge her just because she’s 13 and released a crappy song.

Wrong.

I have EVERY right to criticize her. She paid for a music video and song and didn’t even have the talent to sing herself. She needed a little electronic help. If I were to publish Charcoal Streets tomorrow and I got a scathing review from the New York Times, I’d expect them to look at it if it got enough attention. I can’t believe I have to say this again…

When you throw your hat into the ring, you accept the consequences.


Rebecca Black + Justin Bieber by ~xDinoSkittlex on deviantART

I’m not about to celebrate mediocrity just because someone tried. If Black had honestly tried, if she’d sung herself, if she’d written the lyrics, and if she’d endeavored to make something more than a masturbatory music video, I might cut her some slack. But no. She did nothing but show up for a recording session and a video shoot.

The guy that got that tattoo is going to regret it in three months. And if he doesn’t? He’s a bigger idiot than the people paying Snooki thousands of dollars to speak about her life.

No, I didn’t make that up. Rutgers is paying Snooki thousands of dollars to basically talk about herself and what it’s like to be Snooki. You know… what you can basically gleam from watching twenty minutes of Jersey Shore. To top it all off, this faux-tan piece of border-line alcoholism is going to get paid $100,000 dollars per episode of the new season of Jersey Shore.

Yeah, $100,000 to get drunk, act like an idiot, and hook up with random strangers.


Mona Snooki. by ~battlefate on deviantART

“But it’s the American dream,” I can hear some of you say. “Sure, it’s more than twice what the average teacher makes in a year, and she’d be touching lives the same way an STD after-school special touches lives, but it’s the same thing, right?”

Yeah, if I may get a bit political, rewarding laziness and not contributing anything to society is basically the rallying cry of the GOP right now. “Don’t tax the right or watch corporations,” they say. You could make it one day, and would you want someone else taxing you and telling you that you have to pay more because you make more?

Yes. I do.

I don’t enjoy paying taxes. I really don’t. My biweekly paycheck could be so much sweeter if I didn’t get taxed, but if I make enough that I can pay the government $250,000 a year and I still have enough to buy Blue Label, travel Europe for the summer, and maintain a fleet of classic cars, I think I’ll be fine.

I am plain sick and tired of rewarding mediocrity and lavishing people who act like 5-year olds simply because they can. If Snooki and Rebecca Black didn’t have any publicity, they’d be attention whores who, in five years time, would be either in rehab or dead in a Motel 6 dumpster. Actually, they might get there even with the attention.


Little Attention Whore by ~Cyberfish on deviantART

And if I’m overtly harsh, it’s because people who keep calling these two and people like them “artists” are REALLY starting to piss me off. And I rant about them because so many people seem to pay attention to them. Stop it. Stop giving them praise. Stop sharing their videos and antics just because they’re horrible.

You make it hard for people who are actually trying to do a good job.

Now let’s get some links to clean that aftertaste of tanning accelerate and your bowl of cereal.

  • Speaking of greedy pricks that steal money, take a look at this wonderful article that details a tax proposal that not only makes sense, but would save our economy while making the rich pay for their fair share.
  • One more video for the weekend. I’ve got five more words for you, and a film that predates Star Wars and is the basis for endless tropes in the space opera genre and for some of my favorite childhood memories. Are you ready for this? Live. Action. Wave. Motion. GUN.

Apr 082011
 

She's everywhere! Make it stop!

April 8, 2011

Music’s dead.

At least, pop music is dead. I know, I know. Every generation thinks its music is crap. I’m too old if I start whining about the kids and their music and their Beibers and all that. Yes, I know that we’ve always had crappy music and the really good stuff is the stuff that gets remembered.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to dismiss the utter crap fest I’ve been hearing on the radio.

I stopped listening to the radio in about 1999, back when every other song was Backstreet Boys. I swore off radio and the closest thing I used for a while was Pandora. I really have only a cursory knowledge of popular music in the last ten years aside from what I see on TV, in movies, or happen to read about.

So, Rebecca, as a concerned artist, I want to tell you to stop.

You’re a celebrity. Congratulations. So’s Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian. Nice list. They’re pretty much famous for making fools of themselves. And you’ve joined them whether you want to admit it or not.

Let’s go down the list of things done wrong, shall we?


Rebecca Black: Friday by ~mexicanpryde2000 on deviantART

Your parents paid for the music video and recording.

Someone else wrote the lyrics.

The video is just one notch above “middle school project with a camera and pirated copy of Final Cut.”

All you did was get dressed and sing. And you didn’t even do that! You got Auto-Tunned for half the song!

Look, I know Auto-Tunning is the latest, best thing to happen to people who want a music carrer. Without it, Ke$ha would be an alcoholic with a camcorder drowning in her own vomit. Even without it, she’s nothing special. You, Rebecca? You had a dream. You wanted to be famous. Did you practice singing? Train yourself in poetry and songwriting? Listen to the classics of pop music?

No. Your parents forked over $4,000 dollars to get your face plastered on a song where your own voice isn’t even heard. It’d be like me paying someone to write Charcoal Streets over a weekend, then putting my mug all over the cover.


Rebecca black by ~ItalianxGal on deviantART

Plus, the lyrics? I’d ask for my money back.

(Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark)
Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

I already have a headache. It’s the lyrical equivalent of white noise. It also proves that if you have nothing to say, say nothing at all.

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

Gotta have my bowl? Are you smoking weed? Are you on the dope!?

Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’

Yup. You’re stoned off your gourd, aren’t you, Rebecca?

Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

You remind me of that scene in Knocked Up where Paul Rudd’s character gets freaked out by the number of chairs in the room. Just pick a damn seat!

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Also, people look forward to happy hour, 5 o’clock, lunch time, and the week’s episode of Criminal Minds.

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Okay, a few things. First of all, you’re thirteen. You’re frakking thirteen years old. What “partying” are you doing? Unless you’re snorting coke off a Justin Beiber CD or smoking that bowl from earlier, you’re not “partying.” You’re hanging out with friends at Chuck E. Cheese.

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun

Well someone’s been reading The Secret. Hey, I can think about fun all I want, but it won’t make it so. I suppose one could make the argument that by moving faster, as you suggest, you could indeed use time dilation to make time outside your vehicle move at a much slower rate… But I doubt your songwriter knows how to spell relativity.

You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it

I’m sitting in a chair. My hands touch the keyboard. My fiancé is at work. Okay, now your turn to spout out more blatantly obvious observations. Also, any point to telling us your friend is on the right? And, from a grammatical viewpoint, what is “this” you are referring to? I’m sorry I don’t speak “street.”

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

Wait, you’re hanging out with high schoolers? You’re what? In seventh grade? How are these friends of yours driving?! …Hold on. I thought you were already in the car. What-

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Friday isn’t the weekend, Rebecca. On Friday AFTERNOON, you can start enjoying the weekend. People still work on Friday. If you’re so stressed in eight grade that you look forward to getting down on the weekend, you’re either in a very work-intensive middle school or you have no concept of what it really means to be stressed.

I’ve never seen a more blatant example of clutter in my life, too. There are words and phrases here that are just taking space. It’s like the writer simply got the beat for the song, then played Mad Libs trying to fill the void… and the void stared back and said, “Screw you.”


Friday by ~PeaceLoveMulan on deviantART

Look, these lyrics were obviously written by someone who wanted to appeal to teens who think the weekend is about partying all the time and dancing in a brightly lit room, but clubs are full of sweaty idiots who smell like Bud Light because they can’t stomach real beer. Real parties with teens typically have one idiot who brought a controlled substance.

Everyone has a dream. I have mine. You, Rebecca, obviously have yours. And I’m not being unfair by critiquing this. “But she’s just a kid,” I can hear some of my readers saying. “Leave her alone.”

No. You put this out there, you get the same amount of scrutiny the rest of us get when we put something out. I’m not about to give you a bronze medal just because you tried.

You, and Beiber, and Ke$ha, and your ilk are overproduced performers who go hyped to the top. You’re like Episode I, but more annoying because I can choose to not hear Jar Jar. I keep hearing this stupid song everywhere!

Let’s clean out those brain lobes with some linkage.

  • And finally, let me leave you with two of the most awesome things in the world: classic Michael Jackson and Transformers. See you Monday!

Mar 302011
 

It's so cool, it's blue!

March 30, 2011

Let’s lighten things up a bit.

Every year, hundreds of movies get released. Some go straight to video. Others go the big screen, and a lucky few get the star treatment and are put out with a massive advertising campaign that will ensure everyone and their grandmother goes to see it.

This does not, unfortunately, translate as quality.

Here are five movies you might have missed in the last few years but should certainly take a look at.

Aaah! Zombies

Tim: I don’t feel like a zombie.

Nick: Yeah, well idiots don’t feel stupid but they are.

A deadly chemical weapon is lose on the streets of LA and a group of unsuspecting friends have been contaminated and turned into the living dead… except they perceive everyone else as acting strangely while they’ve developed superpowers.

Zombie comedies can be done wonderfully. Shaun of the Dead is one example. Other zombie movies, comedy or not, are just an excuse to show gore. Aaah! Zombies does something other films haven’t done. It shows the classic zombie outbreak, but it shows it from the point of view of the infected. Since their metabolism is moving so much slower, they perceive everyone else as speaking gibberish and moving abnormally fast.

In other words, the infected don’t know they’re zombies.

That’s pretty much the set-up to every comedic scene, everything from the realization that brains are delicious, to an exploding cat, and to the eventual revelation that our heroes are really brain munchers.

For a movie with a very low budget, you really don’t mind the cheap effects. There’s not much gore, but what there is gets used to perfect comedic effect. This is a movie that knows its audience. It uses every stereotype in the book and turns it on its head.

The military veteran. The geek. The dumb friend. They all get their moment to shine and actually develop as characters. You actually end up caring about characters that start out as nothing but stereotypes. To top it off, it contains one of the best death scenes I’ve seen in a movie. I almost teared up.

Grace

Madeline: Please, you don’t understand. She’s special. She needs… special food.

Speaking of zombies… What could be worse than seeing someone you love turned into the undead? Not having the mercy to put that loved one out of its misery.

Grace is the story of a mother who, after a car accident, loses her husband and her unborn child. However, instead of having the dead fetus removed, she agrees to go through with the birth. The child is born to everyone’s surprise… but things get downright disturbing as mommy realizes little Grace won’t eat anything but blood. Sucked from mommy’s nipples…

And the human body only has so much blood to give, right?

Grace is that rare horror movie that actually disturbs you on a deep level. It’s not about gore or blood, although those play a part. It relies on the premise that a mother will do anything and everything to save her child. If that includes using her own blood as milk while her abomination of a child sucks it from her breast, so be it. If it means killing others for blood, okay.

But there are no villains in this story. Not really. The horror is internal. The baby is not a monster in the traditional sense. It was born this way. This film uses the idea of the horror within and takes the concept of motherhood to a horrifying extreme.

Let me just say right here and now that this movie is not for the psychologically squeamish. This movie can grab you by the brain.

Trick ‘r Treat

Billy: Charlie Brown’s an asshole!

Remember old slasher films from the 80’s? Dark neighborhoods, creepy killers and things in the darkness, urban legends, and enough camp to fill a season of Star Trek?

Trick ‘r Treat takes the best things about all those movies and mixes it into an anthology of Halloween-themed stories.

Set during a single Halloween night, the four stories intertwine Pulp Fiction-style into a single narrative detailing the lives of people in a nameless Midwestern town. Careful viewers will see characters from different stories in the same scene as events in one story inadvertently affect the others. Although it appears to follow the standard slasher formulas, like Aaah! Zombies, it plays with those expectations and delivers a movie that satisfies the hunger for real entertainment.

Perhaps more than Aaah! Zombies, this one aims for the horror audience and uses the tropes of 80′s slasher movies and gives them a fresh look and feel. It’s a modern movie, but it has the same fresh feeling that Halloween did when I first saw it more than fifteen years ago. It’s not so much that it imitates other movies. It’s that this movie can’t be imitated.

RoboCop: Prime Directives

John Cable: What the hell is that?
Alex Murphy: That’s the hell I got you beat your next move.

RoboCop was a landmark movie event. It was gritty, ultra-violent, and a surprisingly sophisticated commentary on modern consumer culture. In short, it provided a standard for action science fiction that has rarely been equaled or topped.

The sequels? Not so much…

Somewhere along the way, the franchise lost its sense of direction. The television series was okay, as far as it could go on television, but when Prime Directives came out, it was like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Set more than ten years after the original movie (and ignoring the sequels and television show), Prime Directives shows a RoboCop who is very much aware of his own age in a city nearly dominated by OCP. As flashbacks reveal more of Alex Murphy’s life before being turned into Delta City’s cyborg defender, RoboCop must deal not only with a terrorist plot that could kill every human on Earth, but with a former partner turned into a deadlier, more advanced RoboCop unit.

The movie starts small, but it quickly balloons into an epic story that ends with, perhaps, the only way the RoboCop franchise could end. I won’t give it away, but I’d say it’s more than satisfactory.

This miniseries is no RoboCop. I won’t pretend it gets anywhere near the original. However, it goes back to the satire, the dark humor, and the character-centered plot that made the first the classic it is today. It’s got plenty of allusion to the original film. The miniseries debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel (yes, before it changed to “Syfy”) and got very little publicity. I saw it, though, and it still stands out to me as a great example of what can be done with a small budget and a lot of heart.

Pardon the crappy low-res trailer with bad late 90′s trailer music. It’s the best I could find.

Mother Maiden

Mother Maiden: We are the things that you see out of the corner of your eye. The shapes and shadows that skirt the periphery… We are the folklore legends… the frost giants… the leprechauns… the trolls under the bridge… the ghosts in the attic…

Within Temptation is one of my favorite bands. They have an epic, cinematic sound that goes great with things like Dungeons and Dragons. I usually listen to them as I write story concepts. Their new album, The Unforgiving, is their best, so far, I think, and it goes a little further by creating a modern fantasy story where damned souls work towards absolution by fighting evil with an enigmatic figure named Mother Maiden.

The band has released two of the short films tied to the album. Comic books will follow soon, too. Although the films barely touch on the world of The Unforgiving, they’re enough to keep me wanting more.

Oh, and the music’s good too. The second film is already out in case you want to see that one.

And now on to the links!

  • Any good tabletop gamer knows that dice stacking is a time honored tradition. I, however, would be hard-pressed to do these incredible balancing acts.
  • Grumpy Dudes is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. As has been pointed out in other sites, a minister with no education proclaims that next month will herald the end of all things. Please take a moment to visit the Grumpy Dudes and see what you should do before the End of Times next month.
  • For anyone who needs some cuteness in their life, I present to you some pug thugs.
  • And finally, in the tradition of movies so cheesy they might be pure awesome… Hobo with a Shotgun.

Mar 232011
 

Just TRY to find anyone willing to stand in front of twenty or thirty children and speak for 8 hours a day.

March 23, 2011

Teachers have been getting a bad rap for years. I’ve already outlined how educators don’t get the kind of pay people think they do, but there’s another reason it’s easy to blame teachers for failing education and make them scapegoats for everything from union trouble to state budgets.

We’ve set up a system where teachers are unfairly judged and given expectations no person could possibly match.

Let me give you a few examples.


Police state by ~AlanCPhotography on deviantART

If police were held to the standards of teachers, we would fire them after five years if their respective districts didn’t lower crime. Fresh out of the academy, these police would be required to make sure crime dropped by significant levels. Their tools to make sure communities don’t eat each other?

Drills. They would teach people what to do in an emergency, so, when the time comes, they know a few options that are limited to standard responses. Police would not really patrol or investigate. They would go around and make sure everyone knew the drills and, if anyone didn’t, that citizen would be arrested for endangering the community.

Police would host seminars and workshops to make sure everyone knows the proper responses to fire, shootings, and car accidents and that’s it. People would complain that there are many more emergencies than these and a set of general, adaptive skills would be more beneficial than just practicing the equivalent of stage directions, but the police would have none of that.

Teachers have to teach students in order to pass mandated testing. The mandated curriculum leaves little for actual critical thinking skills, questions, or improvisation. This is what people mean when they say “teaching to the test.”

How long did you remember the information in a test after you took it?


doctor cat postcard 2 by ~dalia on deviantART

If doctors were held to the standards of teachers, every doctor would be mandated to treat twenty to forty patients a day. Doctors would have one year to make sure each patient met certain guidelines: cholesterol, body fat, and blood pressure. These doctors would have to make sure their patients all had the appropriate levels of these three things, and we would declare said patients healthy at the end of that year.

But, the doctors would cry out, these are not proper indicators of health! There are so many other variables that must be taken into consideration-

And they would be hushed because, say the hospital administrators, after that year, that patient is no longer your responsibility. These are the standards we’ll use, and you will stick to them.

The doctors would cry out that the patients have red meat, smoke, drink, and don’t exercise and only really work at health and act healthy during check-ups. And the hospital administrators would get after the doctors for the health habits of patients at home.

Teachers can teach as much as they want, give homework and encouragement, but students are ultimately responsible for studying and preparing themselves. It’s a two-way street. Teachers “give bad grades” like doctors give “negative prognoses.”


.: Segwey Army :. by *Time-Clown on deviantART

If the military were held to the same standard as teachers, they would be given a very specific timetable for all major operations. Wars would last no more than a few months and, at the end of that time, whether done or not, the military would pull out of a foreign country. All goals would have to be achieved, and if the military failed, they would be reprimanded and defunded until they got it right or were all fired and replaced with fresh new recruits.

And, in order to balance the budget, soldiers would have to buy their own ammunition. Sailors would need to purchase their own life jackets. Marines would need to buy scopes for their own sniper rifles.

Teachers face penalties if they don’t live up to expectations, but the penalties schools receive for unsatisfactory testing end up crippling the school and make it harder to teach as classes swell and funding disappears. Many educators have to buy their own supplies, out of pocket, to have a proper class.


teacher by ~drFrazer on deviantART

Am I saying teachers are not to blame for any of the educational problems in this country? Of course not. Teachers have to live up to their end of the bargain. But as we cut benefits, pay, time, and force teachers to become little more than machines to spit out test answers for students in a curriculum that bears no relation to real life, we have to ask ourselves…

If we think of teachers as nothing but babysitters, why do we heap all these duties and responsibilities on them? And if they’re not teachers, but mentors and guides, why do we make it so hard for them to do their job?


We don’t need no education by ~Silviaa92 on deviantART

Link time!

  • This looks really gimmicky, but damn if I don’t want to at least try vampire wine.
  • Ladies and gentlemen… lesbians. That is all. You may go about your day now.
  • Now, I’m not a video gamer, although I play Wii with friends once in a while, but I can’t imagine ever being so obsessed over a game that I do this and land in the hospital.
  • And finally, just because I really need something so utterly cute that it will make this week feel better, I give you a puppy dancing salsa. See you Friday!