Sunday, September 25, 2005

Man, life can be busy!
This post is all about stuff that bugs me - stuff perpetrated by stupid (or uninformed, to be kind) humans.

Here's what's bugging me this week:

The sponsorship scandal in Canada and particularly the so-called sentences handed down to rich white guys. Probably enough said. What the hell was that anyway?

Wanna Laugh? At an event in Calgary last night, some guy (a politician) said that white, male Christians were a persecuted minority! Not sure where he thinks he's from -- because he's from Calgary, which is located in the bible belt of Alberta - a bastion to white, male, Christians.

He also said that Christians were under attack. So they should be. See George Bush for reference. And on that note, doesn't Mr. Bush (no I can't spell, read or speak, but who cares? I'm the President!) realise that The Christian Right movement and all those movements affiliated or attached to it are just as radical and dangerous as the Taliban? Actually, they're far more dangerous because they're run by white guys with money. See the sponsorship scandal for refernce. Also look up "teflon."

Mr. Klien's bonus money scheme in Alberta: are people dumb??? There is so much money in this province at the moment. Some of this money - about 1/3 of it - has been designated for infrastructrue projects; some has been designated to heritage stuff; some is going to Albertains. People are variously bitching and moaning about how this money should be going to charity and how the scheme is a vote-getting project.

First of all, those who feel that the money should go to charity projects should just bloody send their cheques to the charity of their choice. They're not being told how to spend their money. I think they're really bugged by two things: the "I should" part of the equation, where they supposedly should donate to the less fortunate; and the "But I want" part, where they really want to go spend their money on something completely selfish.

Secondly, Mr. Klien is retiring. He's been talking about it for ages, and he will do it. Mr. Dinning isn't giving the money away, nor is he campaigning yet (not overtly anyway) so no, this scheme has nothing to do with vote-getting. HELLO? McFly!

Incidentally, in a province where in the cities at least, almost every business is begging for staff, I think some of those receiving charity could get themselves a job and help themselves. Fort McMurry is full of jobs and no, one isn't requried to be a Newfoundlander to work there.

Too much charity makes for lazy people. Don't get on me about this. We live in a wealthy country. What we call poverty here is untold riches for most of the rest of the world. A good annual salary in Haiti for most people - about 70% of people -- is $1200. A YEAR.

And for those of you who think you're fooling anyone by standing in the middle of the road with your cardboard sign "Please help. Stranded. Need to get home. Anything helps."
GET A JOB. Oh wait! You already have one if those brand new, comfy NIKEs are any indication. And that is a remarkably warm looking Mountain Equipment Coop jacket you're wearing....

What else? How 'bout this ever recurring issue - false issue - of race!

There is no such thing as race. There are some 35 genetic markers shared by humans. None of those markers is specific to any particular group and none are specific to any skin colour, bone formation or geographical location. In short, these markers are proof that we all originated from pretty much one common ancestor, regardless of the skin we now wear, the language we now speak or the place we now live in.

Race, as the term is used and has been used for centuries, is a political construct used variously to separate people, subjugate people and to achieve special attention through programs, funding, affirmative action initiatives, etc.

This is not to say that problems associated with term race are insignificant or non-existant. It is to say, however, that perpetuation of belief that there is actually any such thing as race serves to segregate people and concentrate political power.

Steven J. Gould, in his book "Dinosaur in a Haystack," eloquently and correctly disproves the existance of 'race.' I hope you all read that book. In fact, read all of his books. He passed away about three years ago and the science world lost an uncelebrated sage. Gould was a lecturer, writer, professor, curator of the Museum of Natural History at Harvard and a damn smart guy.
http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/ for more on the museum.


What else bugs me?
Language and the poor use of it - English in particular, as I live in a predominantly English-speaking city.

This could go long, so I'll just touch on a few things.

The words "get" or "got" are nearly always improperly used. Get and Got are like receive and received. So, for example, one can get a cold, because a cold is something you acquire, but one cannot 'get' sick: one becomes sick.

Similarly, one cannot 'get' rich; one becomes rich because they get (receive or acquire) a lot of money. Get it?

The word "hopefully." This is an adjective and should be used to describe something else, as in "He/she proceeded hopefully." The word isn't a verb, although most people use it as such. I really wish you would all stop!

"I seen." PLEASE people! This is simply bad, bad, bad. It is hick language, totally wrong and should provide the user with a dunce cap. Correctly, "I saw," as in "I saw that film last year." or "I saw it first," or "I saw it yesterday." Also correctly, "I've seen"(or I have seen, as I've is the contraction for 'I have'), as in "Yes, I've seen it," or "I've seen it happen."

Do NOT say "I seen." It is wrong and ugly. Period.

"Her and I" / "She and I"

She and I are going.... NOT her and I are going, because you can't say "her is going"

However, ... "get some icecream for her and I" is correct because you can get icecream for her as in "get some icecream for her."

Conditional phrases - those sentences in which one condition depends on another. It is WRONG to say "I would have if I would have..." whatever. "I would have if I had." Like this: "I would have gone if I'd known that film was on." Or, "Had I known that film was on, I would have gone." SEE? Easy. Must have a "would" and a "had." If you're using either twice, it is wrong.

Apostrohpes:
If what you're talking about is plural, as in there are more than one, there is NO apostrophe!

If what you're talking about owns something, or something belongs to it, put an apostrophe in.

Here's how it works.
My shoes. Plural. Two shoes. No appostrophe. EVER.
My shoe's lace. One shoe and the lace that belongs to it. Apostrophe!

My aunts. All of 'em. Plural. No apostrophe!

My aunt's husband. One aunt and the man who belongs to her. GET IT?

EXCEPTIONS: His, hers and its. Possessives, yes, but no apostrophes. OK? Those are pretty much the only exceptions.

DRIVERS.
These people should stay off the road: anyone who I say is a crap driver.

I think a lot of people must have had terrible accidents to their left hands, given how many are so incapable of signalling. What the heck. Would it ruin your day to signal your lane changes and your entry into turning lanes? Seriously, would it?

Scared Drivers;
Ok. here's the deal. If you're terrified to do the speed limit on high speed roads, DON'T USE THEM. Stick to the side roads where the posted speed is something you're comfortable with. PLEASE. You will get there in the same time but I will get where I'm going much more quickly if I don't have to follow your scared tail lights.

Alternatively, take a taxi. It will save you the cost of gas, the rest of us won't be stuck turtling behind you and seriously folks, taxi drivers aren't scared of anything. And they signal.

Merge Lanes. Do NOT STOP! MERGE. Go! Drive! get up to speed -- which is what the merge lanes are for -- and head into traffic. GEEZE, is that so hard?

Turn into the proper lane. When you're turning right, you are turning into the curb lane. I don't care if you have to get to the other side because the off ramp you want is over there. Do NOT hold up traffic behind you because you are waiting for enough space to cross over three lanes of traffic. What you're doing is illegal and HIGHLY annoying. You are not alone on the road and you don't have Government of Canada license plates: therefore, the rules DO apply to you.

Same thing with left turns: turn into the left most lane. Do NOT cut across to the curb lane. It isn't yours and you can't cut across two lanes. It is annoying, rude and dangerous.

About Tailgating: I'm going to do 2 or three kms over the speed limit. Not more, not less. You can sit on my bumper if you like, and I will slam on my brakes. If you hit me, it's your insurance, buddy. And no, I'm neither impressed by or scared of your truck because I can estimate your debt load. I'm pretty sure the insurance payment will make you consider selling your stupid truck.

And, for the religious among you: My spouse and I have determined that minivans prove the existance of god. Only a higher power could come up with such an ingenious way to contain bad drivers and make them visible to and avoidable by other drivers. What I don't know is whether there is a driving test by which people must prove a certain level of driving incompetance before they're allowed to purchase a minivan. The on-board tv/video does NOT help, especially when combined with male drivers who think their minivan is a great place to view porn. Did you not notice that you are surrounded by WINDOWS?? Does god know about your penchant for tacky films?

On the subject of windows in cars: yes, your car is your personal space, but those windows let everyone see you picking your nose when stopped at the lights. Seriously man, did you lose a relative up there or something? WE CAN SEE YOU!!!

I could so easily go on and on and on. But I won't. Today.

I'll be back.

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