Tuesday, March 27, 2007

National Day Of Silencing Your Own

This is golden. notourkids.com, an offshoot of missionamerica.com, is a political action encouraging righteous Christians everywhere to pull their children out of school on National Day of Silence (official site) as an act of protesting the "homosexual activism and indoctrination" it represents. Yes, you read that right. If you had any sort of silly notion that NDoS existed to bring awareness to school bullying and real-world violence towards queer people in hopes of fighting it, then clearly you got your information from some indoctrinating homosexual activist......like...me? Uh oh.

The website is funny to me for a couple of reasons, first is simply the content: in this FAQ they use iron clad reasoning to explain why NDoS is, in fact, not about promoting tolerance); in their mission statement they respond to the idea of teaching kids about bullying with: "Even the strongest of our junior high and high school children are not equipped to serve as frontline soldiers in this culture war." Frontline soldiers. Culture war. I love it.

But more so, and the reason I wanted to blog on this, is simply the name of the website: "Not Our Kids."

It's that classic idea that those doing the condemning are, themselves, so white and pure, set apart from what they label as sinful. "Not our kids..." and if your child happens to be gay? What is your opinion of fighting school bullying at that point? When your kid gets called "faggot" or when your kid sees on the news that an old man was bludgeoned with a pipe for being gay, do you still prepend the word "alleged" whenever you try to downplay the oppression, violence and bullying of Queer people?

I'm sorry I forgot, your kids aren't gay. Homosexuality is never a perfectly normal minority of any family, neighborhood, community or country, it's always the product of sinful lifestyle, broken families, overbearing mothers and distant fathers, not God-fearing families such as yours. Nope, no homos here. Not your kids.

I keep forgetting, your kids also don't have sex, which I'm sure is why you feel justified in promoting abstinence only education while at the same time fighting a woman's right to choose. Your kids don't masturbate or have any "impure thoughts" which is why you don't have to talk to them about developing healthy expressions of sexuality and how to respect the idea of consent and to despise sexual assault. Your kids certainly don't drink because you told them to "never mind the bottle of scotch grandpa keeps in the top cabinet, alcohol is wrong" which is much easier than teaching them how to drink responsibly.

Not your kids.

Do me a favor, please, protect me from the people you're helping your children grow to become. Wait, I'll better idea: get someone to help protect your poor kids from you.

The Simulation That Never Ended

I'm sitting here watching a simulation run in an terminal window through an SSH connection to one of the computers in one of the instructional labs at school, where the simulation is actually running. On my desk in my lab sits my laptop, with another 15 or so terminal windows open, similarly connected to various computers in labs to run simulations. All of this in an effort to divide up the work so I can get all of these things done sooner. If I had done this during the school year, running processes on 15 or some computers at 100% CPU utilization, that might make me some kind of douche bag, but since it's spring break and the labs are empty, no harm done. I'm hoping that they all finish before I leave for Mexico tomorrow since I'd like to take my laptop with me.

I'd be running them from sessions logged in from my desktop at home, but not only is our internet connection very iffy and prone to random disconnects (at which point my session and all of its spawned processes die and I can't figure out how to detach them so that wouldn't happen), but my computer has recently been randomly freezing up and showing me windows stop errors which I'm pretty sure is either from a bad motherboard or bad RAM, something I hope to fix when I have time.

In the mean time I'm looking at this single simulation I do have running from home hoping it will finish already and save its output before my computer, or my connection, take a dive. I'm not even playing mp3s or anything...I don't want to give my computer any more reason to croak.

I'm excited for Mexico. Tomorrow I leave for Burbank, stay the night with my friend Shaun, and then the two of us leave for La Paz for about 5 days. Shaun doesn't mind missing the first 2 days of school next quarter, and I'm taking a leave of absence (ie no classes and you pay a fraction of normal tuition) so that I can finish this thesis and graduate already.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Unwanted Personal Mannerisms

Recently I've been making a very strong conscious effort to rid myself of this mannerism that I've picked up from working at Borders. Maybe mannerism isn't the right word for it...speaking habit? We'll just call it a mannerism. Essentially what's happened is that I've gotten so used to my repetitive routine when talking to customers, that I've worked elements of that routine in to my normal speech. The exchange is usually something like this: I'll explain something to them about our store, a policy, a product and whether or not it's in stock, and they'll usually respond with some kind of affirmation of what I said, with a question or statement of their own. My response to that is always the same: "yeah."

So now I have this little problem where I'm often finishing my sentences with "yeah," usually a very short pause after the sentence...yeah. It makes me sound like I'm not all there in the head...yeah. You know, like one of those people who isn't crazy per se, but who just sort of seems a little...off? Yeah.

God help me...yeah.