Monthly Archives: August 2009

Birthers And Health Care!?! WTF Is Wrong With My Country!

I know, I know, I’ve been gone for awhile but, like so many of my brethren, work has been tough and when I get home I am so mentally exhausted that I just want to veg. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap. Fortunately, I’ve been able to sit and watch the non-sense that seems to be going on in the world when it comes to the news, TV, Internet blah blah blah (refer to the subtitle of my blog above) and I have to admit, just when I thought the people of this great country couldn’t get any more fucked up, it proves me wrong.
Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on in America lately? This is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave! Why are we allowing ourselves to be manipulated by any organized political group!?! Don’t get me wrong, everyone has the right to an opinion and I can respect that (HELLO) but let it be and opinion that you form on your own based on your own research and experience. Stop piggy backing off of the opinions of these right wing extremists who’s sole purpose is to strike fear into the hearts of all Americans!
Let me start with these “birthers” WTF are you guys talking about? Do you honestly think that if this man wasn’t born in our very own United States Of America that he would be President!?! They showed you a birth certificate, they showed you birth announcements printed on the original news papers the year he was born for Christ’s sake! Accept the fact the he is an American citizen and move on with your pathetic little lives please! Who the fuck cares about your stupid little cause except yourselves! Chanting “we want our country back” you idiots! ARE YOU NATIVE AMERICANS? My guess is NO you morons! If you want your country back then jump on a fucking plane and take your asses back across the pond you ass jacks!
Then there are these people who keep showing up at these town hall meetings with their disruptive antics trying to stop health care reform. I can appreciate that a person has a passion for what they believe in, it’s what this country was founded on and it is certainly worthy of respect. That’s the key word here though, respect. How do you expect any sort of compromise to come out of this if you keep showing up with no real agenda except to make asses of yourself?

You scream, belittle, boo and jeer at the top of your lungs like a bunch of animals not letting your senator get a word in edgewise! I know what you’re really afraid of, your afraid that if you shut your pie hole for two seconds you might just agree with some of the things being proposed! If this is not the case then prove it by shutting the hell up and listening to what needs to be said. Then, post your questions and voice your concerns like normal human beings.

Let’s be honest, how many of these people are there based solely on their own opinion on what is going on? You know damn well that health insurance lobbyists are responsible for half of these jerk offs showing up in the first place. They scare the crap out of them by telling them that we’re going to turn into a third rate socialist country. THIS IS THE U.S. OF A. PEOPLE! The real reason (which is obvious to those of us with half a brain) is that they are scared shitless of letting this bill pass because it will severely reduce their bottom line.

Our health care system is broken people! We need to get it fixed and we need to do it now! Do you really expect to manhandle and intimidate our states senators into voting for your cause? NO, you bunch of mindless puppets! Bring your sincere concerns to the forum and ask the questions you want answers to in a civil and respectful manner and let your state rep do what he/she was voted into that position to do in the first place, and that’s (in case you forgot) represent the people.

I don’t think that I have ever been so disappointed in my fellow Americans in my life. In my sad little opinion, it all boils down to capitalism, fear of change, classism (if that’s even a word) and racism… yes, I said it, racism.

More to come.

Video Games: What Our Children Play Is Our Responsibility!

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was eight years old sitting in front of my parents Goliath, wooden framed TV. The tube itself wasn’t big, it was probably only about 24 or 25 inches but the housing… ohh the housing… it took up about half of the living room. The first time I saw it on TV I knew I had to have it. With its sleek black lines and faux wooden switchboard, I just knew it was going to be mine no matter what it was I had to do. What I’m talking about here folks is the godfather of all gaming systems, the Atari 2600.
It took me about three months of begging and pleading and more begging before my dad gave me a break and told me, “Yo no voy a comprar eso! Si tu quiere esa cosa, lo vas a tener que comprarlo tu”. Which translates to, “I’m not going to buy it! If you want that thing, your going to have to buy it yourself!” Being eight, I of course had my doubts about how I was going to earn the money but, he quickly made it clear what exactly he had in mind. He broke out this torn up old box of pennies that must have weighed seventy or eighty pounds. Dropping it on the floor next to the kitchen table (and thoroughly enjoying how the loud Boom scared me), he told me that I would have to roll pennies until I reached the price of the damn thing. He counted out fifty pennies and showed me how to roll them up. Again, being eight years old, I thought to myself, “Oh man, this is going to be a piece of cake!” Do you have any idea how many rolls of pennies it takes to reach $176.00?!? For those of you who are curious, it’s 352 but it was actually much more than that when you factor the time, blood and sweat. Well, about a month and a half (and many paper cuts and sliced cuticles) later, I finished the job and he kept his word (hidden life lesson, this was my first job ever).
Fast forward a couple of decades to 2009 and here I am still in love with video games. Not only that, I have children who love video games. I have spent countless hours playing both co-op shooter games with my eldest son and two player children’s games with my youngest son (not to mention my wife but she wont admit it publicly). The difference between the games that I grew up on with their boxy characters, vehicles and landscapes and the DVD quality graphics available today are astronomical. The realism paired with the content of these games is so effing bad ass that sometimes, I have to look twice before I decide whether or not it’s appropriate for my youngest. Lucky for me, there is an entire company designed to take the guesswork out of it. They are dedicated to protecting the safety of impressionable little children.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) spends many hours of their time reviewing video games to alert parents of their content. The ratings are very easy to understand and are pretty much self explanatory. They are as follows: EC: Early Childhood, E: Everyone, E10: Everyone 10+, T: Teen, M: Mature, AO: Adults Only & RP: Rating Pending. The guidelines require every software company that produces a game to place these labels visibly on both the front and the back of the software package. A very useful tool for parents but here’s the thing , we need to actually pay attention to these ratings.
Many parents are quick to blame the software companies for the deterioration and desensitization of our children’s minds. The funny thing about it is that the last time I checked, we were responsible for what our children play or don’t play. It’s just like society to blame others for what is ultimately our responsibility. I’m tired of hearing argument after argument after argument about how video games are dumbing down our children and how they are sitting in the living room mashing buttons instead of reading or writing or heaven forbid, the actual physical act of playing with toys or real live friends!
How about the lack of responsibility on the part of us parents! Our kid sees a new game and they ask and ask and ask until we give in and drop 50 bucks for some peace and quiet. Because most adults don’t play video games or think that video games are children’s toys and therefore don’t have time for such nonsense (I forgive your ignorance), you don’t realize or notice that the game you just bought little Timmy has what is the equivalent of a solid “R” rating. You buy the game, hand it off to them and probably never see them playing it so there is no way of you knowing that he’s shredding virtual humanoids with a chainsaw or getting a virtual handjob from a virtual hooker in a parked car in some alley of a virtual city! C’mon! Do you really need a rating system to tell you that a game called “Grand Theft Auto” or “Bully” is probably not appropriate for an eight year old?
Some parents are too damn quick to lay the blame of their child’s deficiencies on someone else’s shoulders. Far be it from them to take a step back and think, “Hmm, do I really want my child to play this game?” It’s as if you were to let your little boy or girl watch a horror movie and then blame the movie studio for them not being able to sleep at night. It’s the same thing with video games. We have to come to terms with the fact that video games are no longer geared toward just children. There are some pretty hard core games out there that have no business being in a child’s collection. We as parents bare the sole responsibility of monitoring and controlling what our children play… period, no ifs, ands or buts. If we don’t protect them, who will?