Thursday, April 26, 2007

You call that compassion?

Last night on American Idol they had their 2 hour special "Idol Gives Back".They raised alot of a money and probably look on it as a success, but I found it mostly disturbing.

For starters, their number was something like 1-800-idolaid. Idol Aid just sounds wrong.
Then there is the fact that Ryan and Paula made small children cry. Not because the kids are poor and hungry and prone to cry any way, but more they're getting prodded with a sharp emotional stick so they look pathetic for the camera.

Scene: African Hut
Ryan: Where are your parents, sad African children? (jab)
Children: They're dead.
Ryan: Dead? Really? You live here alone? (jabbity jab)
Children: Yeah, thanks for bringining it up.
Ryan: You must feel pretty terrible about your parents being dead. Everyone loves their parents and you don't have any. (jab, jab)
Children: (eyes well up with tears)
Ryan: Oh. You're crying. Well that's natural, your life does suck, but don't worry, it's ok. I still have nice hair. (pathetic attempt at a hug)

Scene: Community Center at which I'm certain the children were prepped for the cameras
Paula: So, your life sucks, what do you hate most about it?
Girl: Um...
Paula: Come on, someone as pathatic as you must be sad.
Girl: Well, my mom works three jobs because we're poor. (unconvincing crying and sobs)
Paula: Don't worry honey, you're not alone. Isn't it good to know you're not alone? (unconvincing concern)

During the scene with Ryan and the children Simon was just silent, but later Simon was his typical rude self, going on and on about the deplorable conditions of the hut they visited a dying woman in. I know he was trying to convey to a tv audience how great the need is, but to criticize the little these people have right in front of them just seems wrong. He kept talking about how awful it was that this women was dying in a hut like this. I yelled at the tv, "Then buy a her a hospital room Simon!"

These people are professionals in entertaining but, clearly, amatures in compassion. They noted death rates, they relayed how many of the people they met died. The did not bring medical professionals or even medical supplies on a trip to visit aids victims. They ran very low on hope, not even making good use of the monetary hope they were offering. Even the background music they chose didn't make sense, songs like "Waiting on the world to change" and "Chasing Cars", which depict inaction and apathy, hummed along as we watched people helping others & scenes of tearful little children flashed across the screen.

The highlight of this thing was seeing Carrie Underwood sing to the little African kids. She hugged them and looked into their eyes. If it was an act, at least it was a good one. The reason it works, in spite of the fac that we have no way of ascertaining if Carrie really feels for these kids, is that people feel being compassionate when they see compassion. It motivates us to give. Seeing people be rude or unfeeling only makes us angry.

Friday, April 20, 2007

black socks are never dirty

The laundromat is a weird place. There always seem to be a lot of guys at the laundromat I go to. I don’t understand why a bunch of men would want to hang out at the laundromat, but they’re always there, laughing and yelling in spanish, playing video games, watching tv, I’ve never seen any of them with actual laundry.

When I walked in a few days ago everyone was watching tv and it was pretty quiet because it was more news about the Virginia tech shootings. It was really tense, even though we’re several states away it’s hit people pretty hard. It was like the week after 9/11 only after 9/11 we all joked around about the news casters mustache and no one really felt like that in the laundromat.

When the news switched to some other story most went back to to their games or magazines, but the old man who was running the laundromat that night started talking about how Islamic people are trained from the time they’re children to be killers and how they go on living among us and one day something sets them off and they shoot everyone in sight. "But you don’t hear about that on our news!" he complained to the girl next to me, who was busy filling the room with smoke. The girl made eye contact and that was enough to set him off some more about how we weren’t being protected from "those Islamic people" as he pointed at the screen where Cho Seung-Hui’s picture was flashing across the screen again.
I wanted to scream, "He’s just some random Chinese guy! He is not islamic or part of the axcis of evil or on a jihad!" But I’m guessing that the old guy in his American flag baseball cap doesn’t distringuish that there are nationalities besides "white" and "dark".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

will work for fiction

I don't know anyone lives without good fiction playing a large role in their lives. I have not read a new book in an entire week and already my life feels less worth while.

Because Indiana is a barren wasteland there are no book retailers in the area except for the itty Christian bookstores which, like the library, are not open on Sundays (and also, don't carry much good fiction) and the book/magazine section at Wal-mart (mostly magazines, and whatever was on the Time's best seller list two years ago).

I have an entire hour to kill, and I'm just not sure that I can make it.

In happier news, I bought my little digicam and can now take pictures any time I want without worrying about using up film or printing pictures that just didn't turn out right.

On the down side, I really wish I'd had money to buy a more expensive camera. I feel like I chucked half my life's savings at something that, ultimately, is not what I want.

However, I haven't fully figured out how it works yet. I'm positive that the camera has more to offer than it appears at present (for example, it has a 6x zoom and a macro setting, but appears completely unable to focus on anything when it is that close in...but I'm sure once I read the manual I will be able to make it do my bidding).

I wish it would hurry up and get warm outside, so I can have something nice to take pictures of!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Coming together

Since I'm a nerd, this is the kinda stuff I get excited over.

I'm trying to get my illustrations accepted at istock so that I can make a little extra cash on the side. I was doing my laundry the other week and I started imagining what the laundromat would look like if it weren't so dingy. And then I started making sketches of it and...ta da. It's not finished yet...but I think it's looking cool so far.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Cafeterias are so yesterday

A new trend in prepackaged food is healthy lunches for kids. They are made by small companies and delivered to schools for prices around $4.50 - $7.50. Lunches include fresh fruit and veggies and some type of main course (like an organic pb&j or pizza).

Apparently parents are loving the service because most schools don't even offer fresh fruit or veggies at lunch time. But for five bucks wouldn't it be cheaper to buy the fruit and organic veggies and slap together a sandwich yourself? If you have the money to send out for these lunches (which can be custom ordere online), you probably live near a grocery that sells everything to make them.

But then again, it does come in really cute packaging.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Blasted snow. It's supposed to be warm. It's April and it's supposed to be warm!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Going on a guilt trip

My mom is trying to get me to come home for easter.

My sister, very reasonably, told her it wouldn't happen.

It shouldn't happen.

I don't have time, or money, or a gift for my sister, or a dress for church.

My mother offered to pay for gas.

My sister told me there's an amazing new mall.

Tempting, but no. I still don't have time. I still don't have money.

I still feel bad.

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