An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Lies’

The Lies of America

America is a tower.  A tower of lies.  A tower of lies that people have actually come to believe.  So many lies, and none of them even remotely true.  What are the lies?  I will tell them to you.

There is the lies of how inadequate you are.  From TV screens and computer screens come ads where people who are too beautiful to be real are telling you about how you don’t have the body that you should.  That unless you take this pill, eat that food, use this exercise machine, follow that weight loss plan, that you are just another ugly part of society, and how nobody will find you attractive.  Sure, there are ads where beautiful people are saying that you should love who you are, but who do those beautiful people associate with?  More beautiful people.  A lie that keeps people in American in bondage to the idea that they are not good enough.  That they have to be better.

There are the lies of consumer culture.  Things are sold to people for unbelievable amounts of money.  This nation’s economy is built on selling things to people for far more than what they are worth.  But people call this thievery the “free market.”  They will defend this ideal, saying that this is the way it is supposed to be.  With the digital age, you’d think that money would have become outdated.  That we could have grown beyond the petty constraints of our business leaders who have a stranglehold on this country.

There are the lies of government.  People on one side of the fence and the other follow the two massive parties, all the while believing that things are going to change.  If they vote for the person with the D by their name, or the R, things will get better for them.  Both sides seeming unaware that these two letters and the people who follow them are both in bondage.  Bondage to a system of greed and corruption which has consumed not only America, but the entire world.  People passionately defend their beliefs, saying that they will be vindicated.  And all the while, banks are being spoon-fed trillions of dollars, the poor are starving, and the rest are becoming the poor.

The are the lies of childhood.  If you grew up in my generation, you grew up with Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street telling you when you were very young to be nice to the other children.  To share and to help them, because we are all one people.  There are no races, there are no differences.  We are all one, and we have to look out for each other.  But the moment you leave childhood behind, that rug of comfort and what should be truth is pulled out from under you.  You are thrust into a world that tells you that back-stabbing is okay.  That manipulation and cruelty is what is to be expected.  That you shouldn’t help others, but steal from others.  The kindness and compassion of those childhood messages swallowed whole by the maw of greed that our corporate wasteland has become.

There are the lies of potential.  Not that you are being lied to that you have potential, which isn’t true.  The lie that you don’t.  The lie that all you are accomplishing with your efforts and your talent is nothing.  The artisan, the poet, the writer, the dreamer, you tell somebody that you mean to pursue these talents and dreams, and they will laugh at you.  Saying that your head is in the clouds, and you need to come back to planet Earth.  Because talent and art and beauty is not motivated in our society.  We have become so cold and so calloused to the idea that when somebody brings it up, we look on them and feel amusement.  Like they are somebody to mock, instead of somebody to raise up.  Meanwhile, the culture at large raises up people like Justin Bieber, Michael Bay, and a dozen other creators who are easily packaged, easily able to slipped on a label or cover and put out to the public.  Gone are the messages of Marilyn Manson, telling young people not to listen to society, and to know that being who you are is okay.  We now teach conformity, and to be ordinary.  Because your potential is wasted in this country.

But above all, there are the lies of living.  Is it any wonder the public has become so apathetic and disillusioned with their political celebrities, who at this very moment are going around the country and putting on lovely shows?  Nothing has gotten better.  Obama preached a few months after he got into office that “America is back.”  It was a lie that nobody believed.  The people were too smart to be manipulated like that.  Even now, nothing is getting better.  Stagnation and just acceptable are the words that are constantly in the zeitgeist of this country.  We are told that this is the best we can do.

America is built on a foundation of lies, and if something doesn’t change soon, this country will be beyond salvation.  The global economy is falling apart.  It could be a worldwide depression, with the banks and the corporations still making money.  The culmination of our war for independence has been to be told by people who don’t care about you that you need to spend thousands of dollars on s*** you don’t need.  That going in debt is the way to be saved.  How many college students like myself have believed that lie.  So many of them have cried themselves to sleep at night, praying to a God who isn’t real that they will get that next chance.

This is what your civil war was for, America.  This is what protecting yourselves from the Empire of Japan and the Nazis accomplished.  Your marches for civil rights, for women, minorities, gays and lesbians.  It allowed you to be a corporate dumping ground for all their money, while people protesting in the streets get laughed at from balconies above by people so wealthy that they could care less.

Aren’t you proud?  Aren’t all of us proud?

You should be crying.

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Is there a war on Christmas?

It seems like every year, the pundits get rolling about how there is this huge war on Christmas.  Rick Perry’s latest (and hopefully last) campaign ad showed this quite well, where he talks about how we are letting “gay people serve in the military,” but apparently, little Tommy and Billy can’t celebrate Christmas.  So the question is, where did this come from?

Cracked.com made a very funny article about this pointing out that it must have happened at some store, at some point in time, when a bunch of people came together and said – “say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.”  From there, the race was on against the “War on Christmas.”  It has been a convenient talking point of comedians like Stephen Colbert to make fun of.  Fox News is a brilliant testiment to how far good marketing can go, especially when the base that you are marketing to has the intellectual capacity of a toadstool.

In a link above, the Fox News site has an entire page dedicated to how there is a war on Christmas.  Here are some titles from some of the links on that site –

School Play Turns Political in ‘Occupy North Pole

Apparently, kids are turning Christmas into politics.  Wow, that’s interesting.

 Postal Service Tells Workers to Stop Dressing as Santa

They offer not proof that that claim, by the way.  They just have a brief tidbit, a tiny blurb of talk, and that’s it.

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama—But Not Jesus

Don’t you miss the days when the First Amendment actually meant something?  A person cannot get elected into public office in this country unless they believe in these people’s God.  Over 80% of Republicans and over 50% of Democrats say that religion is very important to them.  These numbers are telling a story – that there is no way that religion doesn’t have a very firm grasp in this country.  It’s also worth mentioning that this claim is barely anything more than a blurb too.  It is just talking.

The fact is that there is no war on Christmas.  Fox News can talk all the want about how fire fighters aren’t allowed to dress up like Santa and give gifts to the kids, but they don’t stop and check to see that they are getting the wrong facts.  It is a cycle that never stops, ever.

Meanwhile, those of us in the real world say Merry Christmas to each other, and nobody attacks us for it.  One can leave Target and hear them say Merry Christmas, and nobody gets upset.  And there has never been an instance in my lifetime where a kid go suspended for wearing a Santa hat to school.  This is just another lovely form of made-up problems that Fox News is so famous for having on their network.

There are people who make this a problem, but these people are trying to be trouble, and everybody who is aware knows it.

Merry Christmas, everybody, and have a lovely holiday season.

Peace out,

Lefty

UAA, Bandwidth, and a lack of understanding

Amidst all the controversy that is going on here on campus about the bandwidth that is wrongfully going to be lowered, there is one perspective that is being lost – that piracy is good for business.

When Napster began in 1999, it revolutionized the way that business was done in this country.  All of the media sites like Hulu, Netfli, and iTunes can thank their lucky stars that Napster opened the floodgates.  They brought down the record companies in just two years.  It created a new massive paradigm of online business, and taken away the monopoly that companies had on entertainment.

One of the biggest positive effects that piracy has had has been it’s usefulness as a market tracking device.  Napster was one of the best.  It showed that there was a huge demand for online music.  Rather than being sold plastic CDs for $20, one could simply get the one song that they wanted.  It was a revolutionary idea.  Napster was able to give insight into the music industry that had never existed before then.  Next up, let’s examine the Usenet groups.  These are sites that offer a wide selection of an entertainment product and you pay for use.  Sites like Spotify, MOG, Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes are among these.  Even YouTube owes part of its creation to online piracy.

The model of all these sites is that people pay very little and can get whatever they want.  While many would still opt to get it for free, there are many others who wants to stay within the bounds of what is ethical and pay, but don’t want to pay much.  Piracy created competition that we didn’t see before.

And the greatest success story of all is that piracy can evolve into legitimate business.  YouTube has been proof of that.  Clips, trailers, songs, and other things are being shown on YouTube, and getting royalties on it as well.  The fact is that piracy is something that is good for us, but when you listen to people like Richard Whitney talk about it, it is pure evil.

The University has a responsibility under federal law to be responsive to any reports of copyright violation.  The primary organization involved is the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA, but individual complaintants (complaintants?) are, there’s a long list of them, that sent us complaints.

There you have it.  The RIAA.  The record companies.  These people still aren’t getting it.  The success of iTunes just hasn’t sunk in with these people.  It is almost pathetic how ill-informed these people are.  However, what is interesting are some of the outright lies that Whitney has told in his statements.

For people that are doing legitimate services, we wanted to make sure that people who are streaming Netflix and Hulu and things of that nature have absolutely no implications for if we were to ratchet back the rates.  And we know, absolutely without a question that Netflix and Hulu will work just fine at 768k…

Oh?  That’s why Netflix says that the minimum speed should be 1.6 Mbps for streaming, while Hulu stands at 1m for streaming.  You gotta love when hypocrisy is exposed by the companies themselves.  For HD quality, on either side, 4 to 5 Mbps.  Oh, and what about if you want 1080 screen on Netflix?  Well, that says that you should have at least 8 Mbps.

So, Whitney is lying to the students, and is trying to say that he has assurances that it will work.  Might want to check your facts, Rich.

Here is the fact – piracy is not bad.  The government needs to get with the program and learn that not only is piracy a good for business, but creates business.  And the University needs to be fair, and not punish all of the students for the few who are breaking an archaic law.

Peace out,

Lefty

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