Animals in the Arena

After the death of a Sea World trainer, attention has been called to killer whales in performance arenas. These massive animals were not made for captivity or human life: they aren’t like humans nor do they have human like behavior. When her braid flipped around, he might have though it was a fish treat like they give him 20 times a day. When he pulled her under, he didn’t know she couldn’t breath like he could, as he last breath was painfully released. Yes, Tilikum has had more than one accident, but its simply that; an accident. Whales do not have human laws to restrain themselves by, nor do they know ours. Whales do not posses the basic knowledge of human anatomy that would have alerted him not to bring her in the water. Tilikum is probably just playful, like a puppy teething: he doesn’t realize the bite hurts you, just that he has to bite something. Then there’s the matter of the schedule. Picture a newborn baby, just home from the hospital. When you first get home, will you lay her in her crib at nine o’clock at the dot and have her fall asleep? Of course not. These whales are like newborns. They have no sense of time or a schedule, they sleep when they are tired and eat when they are hungry. Keep in mind that enclosed in our glass walls, the whales are under our whim, and they don’t know what that is. They aren’t like us, so why do we expect them to be?

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Television: Good or Bad

Americans are too centered around television. People center their lives around a television set rather than having it be a small fragment. When you walk into a retirement home, you can see people move in and out of rooms, varying with who wants to watch what. There are some younger couples, social entrepreneurs, who will stay up later to catch a late night show to discuss it with coworkers the next day. Of course sticking to schedules is not as much of an issue as it was thanks to DVRs and recording things to watch them when you want. But then there is still the element of being sat down long enough to finish watching the program. There is no reason to keep a man in a wheelchair away from the television if he feels like he can’t to much else: the young and able are a different story. Younger children seem to be the ones most absorbed in the television though. Now a days parents have to force their kids to go and play outside; however in the 50s they had to drag them in. Kids have all these new games now; Nintendo, XBOX, Playstation and other things that they hook up to the television, which are much more futuristic and fun. They don’t move from that one spot on the floor and continue to burn their eyes out and eat unhealthy snacks in front of that monitor. So what do we gain; weight and entertainment, but at what cost?

Television and Politics

It is no secret that American today center most of their time and energy around a television. Women discuss the events of the Real Housewives of Bravo. Men yell and argue with beers in hand while watching a variety of football, baseball, and other sports. But can it be that we don’t take some things seriously, thanks to television? We watch our celebrities and celebrity news shows, delighted by where Tom Hanks was with his dog. Now we do the same with our government. We love to hear about where Barack Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, are spending summer break, while keeping up with Michelle’s campaign for childhood obesity. It seems like we care more about the families in the White House, more than the political reforms that go on there.

Source B mentions Bill Clinton discussing his underwear during his campaign. His answer was pretty interesting, wasn’t it? The question might have come up for  purely comical reasons. It probably won’t affect someone’s vote if they know he wears briefs–or will it? “Do I want a grown man wearing briefs to run my country?” one might ask. What does that say about him? “Presidents are losing their distinctiveness to social actors.”(Source B). This means more and more, Presidents and presidential candidates are celebrities. Who cares if the choose to start a war, they need to look good! Many people have noted how ugly Lincoln was as a President, even if he was one of our greatest. Some even fo as far as to comment on his wife! It can be hard to remember all that they did but a face seems to stick with you. Meanwhile, nowadays some older women still reminisce over how handsome JFK was when he was in charge. He sure looked good on the screen too. He must have been smart to think of how his dark suit would have looked on the fuzzy television screen (Source C). Hmm, a smart man like that should be President. I guess that when it came to John F. Kennedy’s vote, television made the choice much more ‘clear’.

What did television have to do with it? Well before television you couldn’t see the Presidents unless you met them. WHat we saw on the television did drastically change our opinions. Let’s think back to Johnson. After Cronkite did his feature on the war, the President himself said “It’s all over.”(Source E).  He was caught by what that popular T.V. reporter showed the public.  Johnson even liked Cronkite himself, he couldn’t argue  that the rest of America would agree with Cronkite aswell. knowing this, Johnson decided not to run again. There’s no fighting popularity. THe question was raised, “Do we deliberately aim for the lowest common denominator, there by assuring ourselves as the largest possible audience but producing nothing but cotton candy for th mind, or do we tackle the difficult subject as creatively as we can knowing we may lose much of the mass audience.” (Source F). What that question states in simpler terms basically says, “Do we want to be popular or be the change for the better?” Now it is a question between the two. There is the old saying that ‘what’s popular is not always right and what’s right isn’t always popular.’ This previous summer there was a massacre in Colorado. It brought attention to gun control in the U.S. Some may say this event proves the need for tighter gun restrictions; Most pointed out that it is in our constitution that we have “the right to bare arms.” In light of the upcoming election, both Mitt Romney(Republican Nominee) and Obama(current President for re-election) decided to stay throughly neutral as to not lose any votes. We needed an answer but they needed the votes. The only way to keep the votes is to keep people liking your image.

So that’s what it comes down to in the en. Television brings more attention to the person’s image, not their “policy sphere”( Source B). Ray Bradbury, an author known for his remarkable accounts of what America would be like in the future, wrote a novel called Fahrenheit 451. In this novel the main character’s wife and two friends watch their walls and comment on presidential candidates. They giggle and sneer at one candidate for being short and having a stuttering problem, while the other talks so smoothly  with nice strong facial features. They don’t ever discuss what the person said. Most people can be seen commenting on how stupid one candidate sounded in his answer, without really knowing what he said. Television seems to  make all things pretty simmered down and skin deep. It was made for entertainment purposes so it fits that most things featured would be for entertainment. We don’t need to know about their standing on foreign policy, we need to know that he won’t stutter at a UN summit.

So in the end what does television do? It babies us and makes everything so much easier. It feeds us its wonderful unidentafiable mush. Presidents now waste  the last year of their term simply planning and campaigning for next year. Does that get anything done? No, it gets them elected. Thank you television. Thanks to you America now realizes what’s important, not what they want to do, but how you appear in the vanity of the glowing screen in the den.

Daylight Savings

In the United States we have had something for a while known as daylight savings. No one really knows how it got started. A lot of people want us to just get rid of it. Why? Let me count the reasons. First off, daylight savings was first proposed in 1918 during World War I. The plan was developed so that we could have a way to save energy in war-time, but it never caught on and was dropped.(Source A) They tried again in 1973 but it was turned down again for fear of dark mornings when children have to go to school. From 1987 to 1981 there was a significant rise in fatal car crashes after daylight savings(Source D) probably due to the fact that it was dark at a time of day people weren’t used to it being dark. It’s not like these problems went away. It’s still dark in the morning and there is still a high risk of crashing and the scare for school children being in the dark.

Even without counting those hazards into the equation, do we really need it? This was proposed back in 1918 (Source A). Sure it was to save energy but we aren’t even sure if it even does that (Source E)! We were forced into using DST in the 1980’s (Source A) by the government, so it never really got people’s approval. So far the only thing DST has done is successfully disrupt Americans’ sleeping patterns (Source E). It seems t me like this ‘solution’ has more “cons” than “pros.”

Buy Nothing Day

In Canada there is a special holiday. It happens every year after the U.S. thanksgiving, which is also known as black friday. It is a day where people are encouraged to not buy anything. No orange juice,  teddy bears or video games. I think it’s a wonderful idea. We as Americans become too involved with material possessions, always obsessed with things that will only make us happy for a short period of time. We have a show on The Learning Channel called “Hoarders” which I feel emphasizes the fact that a lot of americans get attached to things that don’t matter. We also have a program called “Clean House”. In one of the episodes, the worst hoarders in America was overrun by the stuff she never got rid of after her daughter left for college. Many people are compulsive shoppers, a shopaholic, who simply do it for fun, sport, or because they simply cannot stop, which puts them in financial crisis.  Most teenagers nowadays find nothing better to do than find time to wander around a mall. Then, there is the competition. In the past three years, at least one person has been killed at a Wal-Mart during Black Friday, the cheapest sales of the year. The can be fought for an item or simply trampled by other customers. I understand a little healthy competition, but must the odds ‘be ever in our favor’ just to get a skirt for my cousin? We need to learn that we can function, even enjoy ourselves, without a dollar sign on something. We are still human beings. Maybe this could lead to whole new campaigns. Spending more time with family, playing outdoors in parks and exercising, we could do things that are much more beneficial. Maybe we can just sit back, take a breath, and enjoy the calmness around us and eliminate the stress of getting to a store on time. Who knows? We might just like it.

Television

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Television. Nowadays almost every american has at least one in their home. It provides entertainment and education. Many families will watch a movie or television show as bonding, their time taken up by other activities. Television can also be educational. Many parents leave their young children to watch educational programs on channels like PBS Kids. When I was little I used to love a math show called “Cyber Space”, and I learned geometry by the time I was in third grade! And, of course, there’s current events. Where would we be without CNN or other news stations? How could we be instantly informed of local events, good shops, sports, THE WEATHER? I know I could sit in front of my TV for hours on some days.

That being said, a lot of teenagers, adults and children would do the same. There is a growing problem with childhood obesity, probably because they sit on the couch more than they get outside. Some grown men have been known to sit around their house simply playing video games. In the bad economy, many people get depressed, feeling like the only thing they can do is sit and watch television. This isn’t even including all of the negative influences television has on the mind. So many teens immitate the behavior they see on TV, a prime example being the “Jersey Shore”, a show in which a group of young people go around partying, drinking and taking part in sexual activities. Is this what we want our kids doing? Not to mention that there is a sufficient lack of grammar and vocabulary that we used to get from reading books. But what’s the point in reading when we have that there “movin’ picture box”, right? Our culture and creativity is lost everyday to this black hole of distraction.

So what do you think? Benefit to modern society or crumble of intelligent civilization?

Upcoming Election

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So the big ticket on everyone’s mind, the show we’re all dying to see the end of. The United States Presidential election. With tons of outrageous supporters, screaming at each other, fighting the battle themselves. “I WANT ROMNEY!” “I WANT OBAMA!” So my question is, why?

A lot of things that I have heard are not related to what they stand for, or more what they’re trying to do. Many people simply say they don’t want a ‘dang Democrat’ in office. In fact that is one I’ve heard a lot. It’s not just from Republicans, no, plenty of Democrats diss Republicans for no real reason other than the fact that they are Republican. Of course by definition I could not tell you what either stands for. I believe that the Democratic Party stands for the white collar business men of wall street or CEOs (I’m sure my definition has been a bit influenced by my surroundings, this is just what I grew up with) while the Republican Party stands for the blue collar hard workers. The ranch hands versus the city boys. Then there are liberals, which have been associated with support for gay marriage and less government (which if I recall correctly was a republican idea), and conservative, which wants tighter border control, less taxes, and no gay marriage.

But don’t Republicans want less government control…yet they want the government to control their borders? And of course Romney said that thing about the 47% who “mooch” off the government (the veterans, homeless, and children) and feel entitled to things like healthcare, food, etc. I find that funny simply because that seems like something a republican would support…of course we shouldn’t be so hard on Romney, the poor man doesn’t even know three flavors of Ramen Noodles, unlike most college students.

Democrats aren’t too great but everyone is kind of trashing Obama for not doing anything– How could he with the Republicans who wouldn’t let him do anything?

I won’t even say anything about women’s rights or abortion because no one seems to care what women actually want. I can’t follow it for the life of me.

Gun control…yeah no one will touch that one will they? Was Colorado not a reminder! People can buy any weapon off the streets, when I was in high school my friend went to a convention and a woman was fully prepared to sell her a swoard…my cousin currently owns one. I would love to go to Six Flags and not go through a metal detector because I shouldn’t worry that anyone besides a police officer would have a gun. In some places you can buy a gun without registering it. You can buy as many as you want. You don’t need a background check. A lot of people carry them on themselves. This is ALL totally safe right. Please at least make it so that its harder to get a gun! And you wonder why there are so many terrorist threats? Its because they make it so easy to become a danger to those around you. I remember reading the Pearl by John Steinbeck…in it a man found a pearl which he thought he could use to save his sick son, the pearl ends up getting them attacked and eventually SPOILER ALERT kills his son. I can see someone in Chicago (for example) buying a gun to protect his family or a young boy using it fir protection to and from school…but one day you get caught with it or it goes off…the pearl causes more harm than good. That power to take someone’s life is not ment for anyone.

So who do I want for President? That’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves based on what I’ve previously referred to. A stranger question to ask for some people…Who would be better for this country? For this question I like to look at foreign policy, which lets face it, Mitt Romney has not showed promise. He sorta went and talked political deals with other countries when he wasn’t even president. I like that Obama has pretty much kept us OFF the map for countries like Iran or Afghanistan.

Speaking of targets, think hypotheticaly if Mitt Romney was elected…THE LAME DUCK. Two months where Obama can’t do anything cause he’s leaving, and Mitt can’t do anything cause he’s not in office. During this time we are at the mercy of other countries… Economy wise and target wise. Do we want that now?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, this is just mine. You can listen, you can think I’m crazy, this is just what I think. I may be wrong but I only seek knowledge and the truth. Thanks for helping me out.

A Bizzar Ritual

What was I thinking? What was I thinking! This is the one time, the only time I’ve ever said “YOLO”, thinking it would be a good thing! Okay, so maybe I was getting bored at home, which obviously means I was asking for this nut house!

Technically, even if it is full of insane people, this isn’t a nut house. I came here to visit my american friend, whose countless tales of this new place just thrilled me. It would br a nice place to get away to, until I realized ‘I wasn’t in Kansas’. First off, we drive for ten minutes and there’s nothing, rolling hills are accompanied by a big  open sky, blue and endless, an ocean in the air. I close my eyes for two minutes, just as we entered a new place, filled to the brim with all the things you assume about a big city. Towering skyscrapers block any sun, speeding cars, which make you wonder if there are any traffic laws. And this was just the town!

The main event, which happens every year, is at a stadium, resembling the Bird Cage in all of its glory! I thought the Aztecs were into feathers, after seeing these giant feathered flowers, ringing with tiny hidden bells, while blinking and flashing with bright lights! Some are so big that the girls under them disappear, which leaves only their floating heads and flowers. The young men have smaller, similar flowers on their arms, aswell as some of the women. It’s almost as though these are a mark of ownership, in case it isn’t clear by the way the girls scream or laugh loudly to get their attentionEven if the boys hear them, they are with the other men, whose behavior is questionable to say the least. Then they come out, the warriors in red and black, with their battle armor ready to go. They all seem to do a sort of spiritual chant, before charging the field, while the other team does the same. They attack each other, viciously knocking them to the ground. Is this what these people find entertaining? I think thirty minutes has passed, which makes all of the gladiators stop at the sound of a loud buzz, the second I’ve heard tonight. As they leave the arena, whispering starts, turning into chatter, which is a relief on my ears still sore from all of the screaming and horns. Suddenly, the floor belongs to new soldiers, whose precision and unison is not short of militia standards, and the militia summons the cheers again. The show is almost robotic, perfect precision with every step, and the music, pounding deep into your chest, with a rush of adrenalin to boot. The screams fade again, as these soldiers leave, their smiles implying a victory which I could not see. Now the air is thick, piling up to the front row, reaching for cameras or phones, the crowd has moved, joining me in the front row, which is now a desired spot, to view something I don’t know. Now only a small handful of people stand, in the center of everyone’s attention. Tall, dazzling, the girls smile and wave, dressed up with curled hair and shimmering ball gowns. The men stand straight, with dapper tuxedos for all to admire. The tension is so thick you could grasp it, gnawing at everyone, causing parents to fuss and friends to laugh or shake with nervousness. Then at last, that which caused everyone to panic brings roars again, and the winner is announced. She cries, as she receives her bouquet, sash, and glittering Tiara. The boy called does not cry, but rather gives a strong, firm handshake to his teacher, and tend to his crying queen.

While these people are strange, the night was thrilling,which now I know, the memories from this night, forming with all of the bright sounds and colors, will not leave me, rather, they will be cherished and passed on, as all great traditions are.

Halloween

Howling with fiendish delight, on a dark and cool moonlit night, the October air ruffles the trees, gold and auburn with aging leaves. On this day, darker from the rest of the year, the ghouls and goblins, who usually hide, come out, prancing with glee, with the exception of me. Staring at her new face, while I wear my matching costume, I am now who I’ve wanted to be, a wise and loving sister, someone who cares and looks after her, as long as I’m there shes there for me, that innocent little baby.

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