Friday, October 21, 2005

Leather Pants

I was going to write about this amazing student I have, but then I found this:

This bastard writes so much better than me that I'm thinking about buying his pants and sending him a picture of me wearing them.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Civil Plights

On the Daily Show, George Clooney talks about why he decided to make "Good Night and Good Luck". His father was a journalist, he explained, but also he decided that the story about the erosion of civil liberties seemed to be a theme that kept coming back to him as an actor/filmmaker.

"I don't know just did," he said with a sarcastic smile.

I haven't seen the movie yet but it's gotta be better than "The Corpse Bride" which is uninspired and a long way from Nightmare Before X-mas. But i digress.

I wanted to share this story with you: It's one example of how the erosion of civil liberties is affecting us...and it's not something we can throw on Bush (though his administration is certainly a part of it). Many Americans (like the Wal-Mart employee, like the local police department in the story) are ASKING for more stringent controls on what is said and done.

The issue of Homeland Security has been a long-standing one, and it's involved more than military and terrorist threats. It's been a fight against prostitution and pornography, against violent video games and movies, against the integration of schools and communities, against raising the minimum wage, and so on. Americans do not feel secure for many, many reasons. And one of those reasons is that too many people are doing and saying things that make others uncomfortable. The fix? Turn them in...and hopefully they will be silenced.

Maybe George Clooney's son will make a movie in fifty years about our generation...but the bad guy won't be will be us.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Clan Bake: Part 2

It's been a few months since I joined my first clan (we play Call of Duty on-line--it's a WWII first person shooter). I have learned the following things:

"Team-speak" allows you to hear the voices of your fellow clan-members, and it allows you to speak through your head-set so long as it has a mouth-piece--like the head-sets Britney Spears wears...though I'm pretty sure she's not in my clan.

Once you get team-speak, you will be "surrounded by more talent"--that is the exact phrase one of my clan-mates used once I got teamspeak.

If you purchase the right software, you can disguise your voice. You can become a 32 year old woman with a 15 year old daughter which is exactly what a former clan-mate did. However, something happened with his software and his voice modulater misfunctioned and he gave herself away. Nobody really cared, but he didn't come back. Off to join another clan perhaps? The moral is: chicks with names like SniperWolf are probably not chicks.

Being able to hear your fellow clan-mates allows you to know them a lot better. You can hear the twang of the Southern old guy, the perpetually stoned sounding voice of the teenager, the always irritated voice of the twenty something guy who obviously doesn't have a girlfriend OR a good enough porn collection. You come up with catch phrases to use like "Boo-yah!" and "Spoon!".

There are some web-sites which host team competitions. One such well-known site is They use a "ladder" system which means you can challenge anybody in the rungs above you and BE challenged by teams below you. If you win, you move up the ladder and if you lose you drop some rungs. Currently, in one category we are #1 in THE WORLD. Is it wrong that I actually take some pride in saying that?

As part of this clan, you are "promoted" for doing certain showing up for practices and matches and basically just being a good clan-mate. I've been promoted from lowly Private to Private First Class. I also got a badge for being a good rifle-man. I think 16 year olds are responsible for my promotions.

I must say it is enjoyable to log-on and hear the voices of my clan-mates as I shoot them. It's a bit like showing up at the local basketball court on the weekend to play pick-up games with the same regular guys. Except of course I can't see them. I don't ever want to see them...especially since I might find out that one of them is in my freshman English class.