Friday, May 28, 2010

Real Equality??

Last night I had a striking realization about the hypocrisy of humanity. Very interesting. And I really don't mean this in a "bitter against humanity" way. I just mean it in a "I think it's the weirdest thing how odd people can be" way.

So there's lots of stuff people get real huffy about. Especially things that have to do with prejudice, like racism, or whatever.

Now we shouldn't be prejudiced, right? We should be fair with people, and treat them respectfully, even if they believe different than us, yes?

Did you ever notice that the people who get the most up in arms about it are also complete hypocrites?

Well, they are. Odd, ain't it? Or maybe you don't believe me. I'll give you an example. Something that's real controversial like religion. Lots of people aren't religious. In fact, there's lots of people who are straight up atheists. Now, that's their own choice. But lots of atheists keep getting "offended" and people who ARE religious. They claim that all religion should be eliminated from anything resembling a public place out of respect for people who don't believe the same as they do. Well, that's just about as much of a double standard as you can get.

Did it ever occur to anyone else that people with religion deserve to have their rights and beliefs respected too? Maybe they get "offended" at atheists who bash their church, and won't let them worship how they believe they should. Don't they have the right to get rid of anything resembling atheism, out of respect for their beliefs?

You say, no. Of course not. Well, then why in the sam-hill do atheists get to? Hypocrisy if I ever saw it.

Still aren't convinced? Here's another example. One less controversial than religion, maybe, but the point still stands. Let's talk about something really common. Like living together before getting married. Or even sex before marriage. There's lots of people who say there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. And there's other people who say there is. That's still all based on a personal choice of beliefs. But in our society, this is how it works:

People who think it's ok, and fine, and nothing wrong with it at all get all SORTS of upset at people who don't believe it's ok, even if no one said anything about it. They get really mad at having other people "restrict them" or "shun them" or treat them less because they choose something in their lives that not everyone thinks is ok. After all, it's "their life" and "their choice" and they shout to the whole world "I'm free to do what I want."

Agreed? That seems a pretty common point of view. AND YET... And yet they are totally hypocritical about it. Because those same people who claim freedom of choice, and shout about how it's their 'own life, they can do what they want' are also the same people who mercilessly poke fun at anyone who doesn't do it.

If you choose not to live/sleep with someone before you get married, you get called everything from a sissy to a prude by everyone from your neighbors to international tv. There's no peace from it. You get laughed at, picked on, and sneered at for having pointless standards.

But isn't that their own choice? It's their life, they can choose what they want. Who has the right to restrict them? Who has the right to shun them? Shouldn't they be free to live their lives how they choose?

The world screams that people should accept lots of different stuff. Just because a person is different from the majority, doesn't mean that they aren't still human. While this is true, people get confused about the real meaning of it. Because it doesn't mean that you have to accept what they do as right, or good. It just means that you accept the people. "Love the sinner, hate the sin" is the phrase. Love the people, treat them with respect, fairness, and general courtesy. That's what we need to be doing.

But if you take it to that next level (ie. being forced to accept it all as right, good, natural, true, or whatever the heck you want to call it) that changes the entire meaning. It goes from fair, honest open-mindedness to utter hypocrisy. Because isn't that forcing everyone to believe the same thing? Isn't it asking people to make life choices to fit in with what everyone else says is right? Isn't it asking people to all have the same set of beliefs and standards and morals? And isn't that what the people who claim all this are professing to fight against?

And the people who are the worst at it are the uber liberals. I don't care if you get mad at me for saying that, because it's entirely true. Without taking inferences on my beliefs from the example, let me show you what I mean.

A boldfaced liberal will shout till they're hoarse about... well... gay rights for example. We should accept gay people as they are, and they can't help it, and they shouldn't be treated any different because of their sexual preference. That's just a fact. Not an opinion one way or the other.

Here's another fact: Most liberals will also tell you that you HAVE to teach the theory of evolution in school, because it's a viable explanation for the coming about of the world. But they will tell you that you have no right whatsoever to even mention 'creationism', despite the fact that it is also a viable explanation.

So I have to accept the gay/lesbian movement as is (not just the people, but the beliefs), no matter what else I believe, because if I don't, then I'm a bigot. But you don't allow me to even mention my belief about the way the world came about. I'm not allowed to even talk about it in a school, let alone teach it as an option.

How are you not being a bigot in this situation?

Like I said, this is not an exposition on the rightness/wrongness of being gay, NOR is it an essay on the theory of evolution. It is simply an example of how the liberal movement in the country is entirely two-faced. Because this happens on countless subjects.

I'm not saying that conservatives are perfect. They aren't. No one is. But I honestly see significantly less double-standard-ness on that end of things. And that's part of the reason I follow that political line a whole lot more. It's also to do with different things I happen to believe in. But I digress.

I suddenly realized this whole huge thing last night at about 2 am. I wasn't even thinking about it, or philosophizing or anything. I was just heading to the bathroom, when the discrepancy occurred to me.

I am actually someone that this has happened to a LOT. I actually am religious. There are lots of things I believe in that most of the rest of the world thinks is completely retarded. If I even mention that I believe those things, I get the biggest lecture you ever heard on being prudey, bigoted, behind the times, brainwashed, closed-minded, stupid... trust me, I've heard them all. Lots of times. I don't even have to come close to referring to the other person's behavior, and I get the evil eye and an angry mouthful of bitterness and condemnation.

And in the same lecture the double standard rears its ugly head. I'm not allowed to say a single solitary thing about the way you live your life because if I do then I'm unconstitutionally judgmental. But you can berate me for believing 'stupid, retarded things', and that's ok??

Don't I have the right to believe what I want to without condemnation, even it it's more conservative than you? Just because you don't believe in a God, doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to if I want. Just because you feel like certain activities are ok, doesn't mean that I don't have the right to not partake in them, without repercussion.

This is the paragraph where I realize that I've started to ramble. So let's get to concluding this thing. Basically there are two points: 1. Accepting people IN their choices, and accepting them DESPITE their choices are two totally different things. 2. There's a lot of prejudice, hypocrisy, and bigotry that takes place completely unnoticed by the average person, and which is given BY those who claim to be so liberal. Just be careful to draw the line between treating people with respect and forcing their beliefs on everyone.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm really getting tired of people who complain before they use their brains.

Ok people, here's the deal
  • I am not racist
  • I am not a white supremacist
  • I am not against immigration
  • I am not against treating people fairly, regardless of color or country of origin
  • I am not an advocate of giving police officers the power to un-duly badger people.

With that understood, let's discuss this new immigration law in Arizona. Or more specifically, the opposition thereof. You people are ALL IDIOTS. Jeez! I've seen every kind of protest against this thing that I can think of. And I really have to wonder if you people even know what this law is about. Have you even READ it?

For real. As far as I can gather from the law itself, as well as the discussions about it that I have been privy to, this law is hardly even necessary. All it is, is a statement declaring that the state of Arizona is going to try harder to enforce the ALREADY EXISTING federal immigration laws.

Someone explain to me why this is a bad thing... Go ahead. Anyone. Please.

The point is, people, that we're talking about people who are breaking the law. It's a law against people who have broken the law... They're already committing a crime. It's not like we're picking on some innocent group who hasn't done anything. Why complain about a law that makes it illegal to enter the country illegally? Hello. Being free doesn't mean doing whatever you want. Even if you're Mexican.

People keep saying all sorts of crazy stuff about how it's an allowance for police to go and arrest anyone who they think might be illegal, or to start spotting people who look mexican so they can go pull them over on purpose. They say lots of other stuff like that. None of it's in this law. Anywhere. If that ever happens, it's a police officer being a butt, but it's not the law's fault.

This is what I learned.

My personal summary of the actual text of the law:
  • The first sentence declares the intent of the law to be to further enforce federal law. In other words, it's just a state law that re-says the stuff that's ALREADY illegal to do by the country's laws. It also makes it illegal to make laws that over-rule the federal immigration laws. Which makes sense to me.
  • The law doesn't say that the officers have the right to just stop people and accuse them of being illegal. In fact, it specifically says "FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c)." What does that mean? It means that the police officers are going about their normal jobs. And if they pull someone over, detain them at the scene of a crime, or any other such normal police activity, they might occasionally find someone who they have a suspicion of being illegal. If they have this suspicion, they are allowed to ask for proof of citizenship/legal entry. Not only that, but it says they have to ask nicely.
  • If, in the course of these events, the police happen to find someone who IS illegal, they turn them over to immigration services. Which, again, was ALREADY the law. Not a new thing.
  • The next several sections just talk about what police are allowed to do in the case of an arrest. And get this... they're the same things they do for citizens. Gasp! Imagine that.
  • Page two starts with things like benefits, licenses, services, etc. Guess what it says... that a person must provide proof of who they are in order to qualify. Correct me if I'm wrong, but we've ALL had to do that for a really long time. Citizens have to provide proof to get a drivers license or insurance, or whatever. Why should anyone else be different? It was already the way things were done.
  • After giving a lengthy description of how people can bring court action if someone tries to pass a policy that negates the federal immigration laws, they get into what actually constitutes an illegal alien. They are 1. Present in any private or public land of the United States, and 2. are not there according to the laws that are present in the United States code. This I like also, because it is clearly pointing out that no one is making new immigration laws. They are just making sure that people who already aren't supposed to be here aren't.
  • The rest of page three just talks about fines, penalties, and what exactly kind of charge it would be if someone were caught illegally. Page 4 goes on about what kind of charges you can have if you help people enter illegally, and what exactly constitutes help. Pages 5 -16 talk about transporting or hiring illegal people, and what you are not allowed to do. (None of this is new stuff, people. Old news.) And also what rights you have if you are accidentally involved in these things.
  • At the very end, the law sets aside some funds for helping the enforcement teams that work against gangs and illegal immigration. They already exist. It's just a money assignment.
And that's the law. The whole law. I saw NOTHING in it that supported, allowed, or excused racism, violence, or for that matter anything that wasn't already federal law. Like really, it was all old news, except that it made it official on a state level.

So here's what is supposed to happen based on this law.
  • If someone gets pulled over or arrested, the police officer makes sure they're at least here legally. (Illegally being the same rules that already exist in the federal laws.)
  • If they are, they just go about the normal fine/court/jail process. (whatever they were stopped for in the first place).
  • If they are not, they get turned over to immigration. (Again, according to already existing federal laws).
  • People are not allowed to help immigrants cross the border illegally. (Wow, that's a rocket science statement. People aren't allowed to break the law. What a novel concept.)
  • People are not allowed to hire immigrants who have crossed the border illegally. (At least they're not supposed to hire them on purpose. They're supposed to check to make sure, though.)

Do you people really have a problem with that? Really? If so, do explain. I'd really like to hear what's so wrong with making sure people are following the laws.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That thing I keep talking about...

I keep talking to people about my list of favorite people ever. So I thought I'd make that list out, just for kicks and giggles.

Keep in mind, there are some people I know personally who are also on this list. Some even know they're on this list. But I'm not gonna put them on this one right now for two reasons. One, because I'm almost guaranteed to forget someone, and that would be sad. And two, because there are people, as lame as it is, who would be offended at not being on this list. I shall therefore stick to the famous people who are on my list.

There are several qualifications for being on this list. Being hot or beautiful is not one of them, although most are anyway. To get on this list you either need to be fantastically good at what you do (acting, singing, etc) OR have an amazingly cool/funny personality that sets you apart from the majority of other hollywood peeps. Or both. Most are both. In fact, with these particular people I should think it's rather obvious which are which.

And here it goes (in no particular order) the people who are on my "List of Favorite People Ever":

Alan Rickman
Maggie Smith
Idina Menzel
Kristin Chenoweth
Whoopi Goldberg
Lucille Ball
Bette Midler
Jaimie Lee Curtis
Queen Latifah
Johnny Depp
Dawn French
Jennifer Saunders
Julie Andrews
Jeff Dunham - well, not him so much. Mostly his puppets Peanut and Achmed.
Bernadette Peters
Bill Cosby
Robin Williams
Mary Wickes
Ellen Degeneres

Yes, it is a rather shorter list than you probably expected. This is also for two reasons. One, It's almost guaranteed that I forgot someone. If I think of someone after the fact, I'll try to remember to come in and add them. And two, because they can't be favorite people ever if everyone is on it. That's just a fact of life.

Here's a bit of a breakdown, in case you're curious. There will be duplicates, because some are just super mega awesome.

People who are on this list for being so hilarious I shed tears while watching them. Just briefly thinking about stuff they've been in makes me smile:
Robin Williams
Bill Cosby
Kristin Chenoweth
Dawn French - Wow. I can't even glance at french and saunders pics online to find one to post without serious tears of laughter.
Jennifer Saunders
Jeff Dunham
Whoopi Goldberg
Bette Midler
Ellen Degeneres (wow... when Robin williams was on the Ellen show... there are no words.)
Lucille Ball

People who, in interviews as well as in their movies, seem(ed) to have really awesome solid personalities (this is nearly all of them):

Idina Menzel
Kristin Chenoweth
Lucille Ball
Bette Midler
Jaimie Lee Curtis
Queen Latifah
Johnny Depp
Dawn French
Jennifer Saunders
Julie Andrews
Bernadette Peters
Bill Cosby
Mary Wickes

There are a few where it's harder to point out all of the reasons why I like them so much (mostly because there are just too many cool things about them). I just do. That is all.:
Mary Wickes
Maggie Smith
Alan Rickman
Johnny Depp
Bernadette Peters
Lucille Ball

Ones I like because of their amazing musical talents/rocking some of the coolest musical roles (I know they've been in other stuff, but I'm listing my favs.):

Julie Andrews - voice in general. So cool. But mostly Mary Poppins and Sound of Music.
Idina Menzel - Wicked. (duh). And her recent Glee feature. wow.
Kristen Chenoweth - Wicked, & ALL her Glee covers.
French and Saunders (oddly enough) - as master music spoofers. That's just important. Who knew that someone could sound and look like so many different people? That and the Jennifer Saunders 'I need a Hero' cover.... dag.

Bette Midler - Hocus Pocus! Yes! Well, and Wind Beneath my wings. Clearly a great song. But Hocus Pocus... Never will a greater ridiculous classic be created.
Queen Latifah - I love her singing in Hairspray. Love.
Bernadette Peters - Everything ever. I can't say that enough. But mostly Into the Woods and the newer Cinderella.
Ok, I don't really remember Mary Wickes for her singing as much, but she was in Sister act, so I thought I'd give a shout out. Oh, speaking of which, whatever that girl's name is that played sister Mary Roberts, Amazing voice. She SO should have followed up on that. Too bad she never did.

People who are cool because of certain awesome messages that they try to send out:

Queen Latifah - Not a small lady, but gorgeous, awesome, and proud of it.
Bill Cosby - actively trying to get young people to stop being bums and deadbeats, and take charge of their lives.
Dawn French - again, significantly shorter than Queen Latifah, but not a small lady. She is really active in working to get people to be less focused on the shallow, and to pay attention on what's inside.
Kristin Chenoweth - she's surprisingly religious and not afraid to talk about it. We might not believe all the same stuff, but I really applaud someone who's not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
Jaime Lee Curtis - she talks a lot about how aging is a natural human thing that happens, and how you don't need to botox, and surgery-ize yourself to have value as a person.

K, there's one more division here. But this one covers everyone on the list. It's the "Because they're just dang awesome at what they do" list. Whether they're great at being funny, or great at every acting role they've ever done, or great at singing, or WHATEVER. Everyone is on this list because they're just that good. So I'm gonna re-put the list here at the end, so it's easy to see. All of these people are amazing. Hence their placement on my awesomest people ever list.

Alan Rickman
Maggie Smith
Idina Menzel
Kristin Chenoweth
Whoopi Goldberg
Lucille Ball
Bette Midler
Jaimie Lee Curtis
Queen Latifah
Johnny Depp
Dawn French
Jennifer Saunders
Julie Andrews
Jeff Dunham
Bernadette Peters
Bill Cosby
Robin Williams
Mary Wickes
Ellen Degeneres


Monday, May 3, 2010

gLee

I just have to say how very much I love Glee. On multiple levels.

There's the shallow craving entertainment by wasting my life on tv way. But there's also a deeper admiration.

See, most tv shows now a days are pretty much the same thing with different actors. They're all either medical shows, csi shows, blowing stuff up secret agent style shows, or obnoxiously crude humor shows. There's honestly not much else on. And even then, most of the medical and csi ones aren't about the science at all. They're all about the drama and intrigue of the romantic lives of the doctors or scientists, or whoever. So yeah, like I said. It's all the same, and it's all boring.

There are officially three shows I watch that still run. (As in I watch the Cosby show and I love Lucy, too, but those are old. They don't fit into the tv show realm anymore.) Admittedly, I watch Bones. It's just too well written to not. They always introduce such and interesting puzzle before the opening credits even happen, and I'm stuck. That and the fact that most of the romantic drama and intrigue isn't annoying and stressful like in other shows I've watched. It's actually cute most of the time.

I also watch the Simpsons. Because they are geniuses of the spoof. Brilliant. Most people today like Family Guy a lot. Admittedly the writers of it are very clever. There are some things about Family Guy that are so hilarious. But it's just so full of unnecessary gross (and not funny) crap that it's just not worth watching. Not for me. I mean it could potentially be the best show ever made, but they ruin it. The Simpson's, though, at least has a limit. So the Simpson's are the reigning champions there. 21 years and still plugging. And they generally have decent messages in the episodes. Like Homer discovers his family really is the most important thing to him, or Lisa discovers that she doesn't hate her brother after all. Cheesy, yet poignant. And so very clever.

And then there's Glee. Like I said, there are levels.
First, the shallow bit.

I LOVE that Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel have both been on this show. Two of my favorite people EVER. I love every song Kristen's sung so far on it, and I can't wait to see what Idina will sing. Because you just can't cast her as a glee club coach in a show and not have her sing. There will be rioting in the streets unless she does.

I also LOVE Matthew Morrison's singing voice. It's now competition with Ewan McGregor for me. Which is impressive. I don't care as much about his character on the show, but he sings gorgeously.

Mercedes and Kurt are my favorite characters. Ever. Kurt is gay, and that makes him hilarious. But sometimes I wish he wasn't, because I've been dying to have him hook up with Mercedes since the first episode. That is a power team. However, he wouldn't be Kurt if that were the case. I shall have to live my life unfulfilled.

I also like that they pick lots of really good songs and don't slaughter them. Most of the time covers just don't cut it. But there's been a few on Glee where I decided that I like the cover better than the original.

Glee is funny. They have great songs, and great singers for the songs. And the dialogue is always witty. Watch this clip. If you don't watch glee, and haven't seen this, it will change your life forever. I cried laughing when I first saw this. I apologize I couldn't find a better video of it. They took some of them down.

So yeah, Glee makes my life happy and funny. But there are better reasons for liking it, too. And that's because it doesn't fall into the general demographic of tv shows.

First of all, it's not a show about popular people. It's not the people in high school who are on the top of the social ladder. And it's not the people who have great well paying careers like doctors, lawyers, or politicians. In fact, it goes in the other direction. It's about a group of kids in a high school who don't fit in socially, no matter how great they do in their activities. That's a hard place to be, and so many people ARE in that place, and are finally getting to relate to something.

Second, relating very much to the first thing, the show addresses a lot of very real things that people face. Granted there was one episode that turned out to be a little racy. It was the first one after the pilot. But as a rule, every episode has addressed something and shown many of the characters growing and learning from it. Even if it's a little thing, like being positive. Being your own self. Not being afraid to be in charge of your life, and not give in to peer pressure. There are a lot of messages about doing the right thing. Being nice to people, or accepting differences, or being a little more humble. Teamwork. Honesty. I could go on and on.

Third, Music is powerful. Very powerful. And Glee uses a very well crafted combination of songs to relate their important messages. Some of the songs are just for fun. And that's totally ok. But some of them are also there to remind people of what's important. For example, this one. The video of it is really powerful, but it's the most recent episode out, so I don't have access to it. I just have the song. Therefore the video part is just a random pic of Mercedes and Kurt. But listen to the song. It's amazing.

The context is that Mercedes and Kurt have finally been given somewhat of a chance to fit in. They're on the cheer squad to add some vocals. And at first it goes really well, but then they start to be affected by the pressure to be perfect. They succumb to the losing weight to be beautiful and fit in drama. Mercedes has a revelatory moment where she understands that she doesn't need all that to be awesome. So she walks into the pep rally, and instead of doing their planned cheer routine, she sings this for the school. You really should just watch the episode. It's number 16 I think. Called "Home".

video