Just A Mid-Morning Rant

Don’t plan your days out in advance, because nothing ever goes according to plan.  Ok, to be fair, I didn’t actually have anything planned for this morning, but aside from waking up at 8:30, nothing has quite gone as I would have expected it to when I went to bed last night.  I suppose this should be a message to me to stop trying to live my life by lists of things to do.

I feel like I could go on and on this morning (possibly a result of 2 cups of iced coffee) but I am not sure which path I want to travel along.  Were I going according to my usual plan (yes, even if I don’t plan it out the night before, I have default plans for everyday of the week) I should be writing something in Spanish.  I’ll get to that before I go to work, that much I will promise myself, but I am not sure what I will discuss.  I have been trying to formulate a new plan of attack on my language learning goals but despite a lot of hype, I haven’t done much.  I still think it would be kind of cool to have a podcast where I could practice talking in Spanish, but honestly, what would I talk about?  I would have to have at least a basic script worked out in advance and that requires a lot more work than just rambling on and on in my blog.  I gave thoughts to just reading my past entries out loud and recording myself, but what’s the fun in that?  I have topics I could discuss, but I am not sure I have enough vocabulary at my disposal to talk for 30 minutes or so without terribly long pauses while I look up the right words.  I guess I could fake it and use English just to keep the pace going, but I don’t know if that is a good idea or not.  Of course, I say all this all the while avoiding the simple fact that I am too shy to really record and then listen to my own voice, especially in a foreign language.

On one hand, I have used learning a foreign language as a way of overcoming my shyness, and to some extent it has worked, but I am still terribly timid when it comes to speaking in front of strangers or attempting to speak fluently in Spanish.  Obviously it’s a barrier only I can overcome, but I have discovered sitting here staring at a pair of headphones will not give me the confidence to get started.  The funny things is, that while yes, scripting it all out may be difficult, the actual process of hitting “record” isn’t very hard.  I have all the things I need on my computer to record, edit, and upload anything I want.  Amazing the technology we have.

As expected, I received a response to my religion post/rant.  My only surprise is how long it took to arrive.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

The problem with opinions is that we all have different ones.  I guess if we all had the same opinions, they wouldn’t be opinions, now would they?  I don’t want everyone to agree with me, where’s the fun in that?  My best friend and I have had epic arguments over some of the most ridiculous topics.  I think this is one of the reasons we are still friends.  I like driving around in my car debating topics.  Now, some people avoid arguments at all costs, and I agree, there are times when silence says a lot more than screaming, however, I have learned more from arguing with my friend than simply stubbornly believing I am always right.  Do I fight for my position?  Surely, but I also have come to see that what he believes also has merit and while I will always fight to have the last word, sometimes I have to concede that he makes a good argument and I should just back off.

There is a new television show, The Newsroom that airs on HBO.  It was hyped up quite a bit, even on HBO Latino, where I saw the ad, and I decided to take a look.  Normally, if it isn’t in Spanish, I can’t be bothered, but anyone who has seen the ads is aware of the opening scene of the show where the protagonist goes on an almost anti-USA rant that leaves his audience speechless.  Like everyone else, I was curious.  Indeed, his rant is laced with facts (ok, facts I have not checked, but facts nonetheless) about why the US lags behind in many crucial categories of life, such as education, life expectancy, income, debt, etc., etc.  At first, I was impressed by the display, but after talking with my friend, I changed my view just a bit….I’ll say 45 degrees.  My friend pointed out that while the statistics were accurate, the human element was left out.  What do I mean by this?  Well, I don’t have the stats on hand, but one of the figures pointed out that the US falls behind in school subjects such as science and math.  Countries like China have pulled far ahead of us, but there are circumstances surrounding these facts that should be noted.  Chinese students go to school year round and are heavily pressured to succeed.  While I am no expert on Chinese culture, it is well known that failure in school brings shame to their entire family.  While I admire hard word and dedication, it should not be driven out of school age children.  In this country, we give our children Summer vacations so that we don’t turn them into success driven robots.  Children deserve to be children and if that means we are second, third, or fourth in math, perhaps it’s worth the sacrifice.  I am not saying we should not educate our children.  Hell, I think the school systems in this country are atrocious, but it’s the job of the educators to fix that problem, not the children.  My point is that while yes, the points made in his tirade should have opened some eyes, not all in this country is rotten.  Do I believe our government is full of corruption, our poor minorities are allowed to suffer and the middle class is all but ignored?  Yes.  But I also believe I could end up headless on the side of the road if I made these statements in another country.  While I may feel that there are problems in this country, my first course of action is not to tear it down even more, but to work with others to find the way to build it back up.  I have lost faith in a lot of the people who live in this country.  I made a pact with myself that should someone like Sarah Palin ever find her way into a position of power in this country, I would pack my bags and be gone before she could take an oath, however I have maintained the hope that there are more informed people in this country who will not allow those blinded by the media and who have jumped on some insane bandwagon to take control of anything in this country.

I have found this year I have become more interested in seeing changes made to make this country better.  I have tried to get involved more in the community and I have tried to see the points of view of everyone out there, but when I hear statements made by groups, not individuals, but by groups of people who condemn those of us who just want to live our lives, I fear where this country is heading.  There are those in power making a run at destroying the rest of our population for the sake of helping themselves.  There are those who are so brainwashed by their beliefs that they refuse to accept others as they are.  There are those that believe the solution to the problems of this country are to leave the weak behind and let them fend for themselves.  This will only serve to make things worse.  Instead of helping themselves, these groups should be working to help everyone get back on their feet.

The sick should not suffer, regardless of whether they can pay the doctors or not.

Why is it my business or anyone else’s who someone wants to live with or marry?  Marriage has become such a joke in this country (Brittany Spears, Kim Kardashian, Tom Cruise, blah blah blah) if you want to “marry” someone of the same gender, why the hell should it bother me or anyone else?

While I believe college is the biggest scam ever perpetrated by this society, I still feel everyone should have the opportunity to go if they so desire.  Bettering yourself is a human right, not an American right.  Acceptance to college should be merit based, not based on having or not having the proper papers.

You want the right to carry a gun, but then wonder why lunatics are able to shoot innocent people who just want to watch a movie.

You want better protection from your government so these things don’t happen again, but then cry that they are invading our privacy.  What are you trying to hide?

We cried when the World Trade Center collapsed and demanded justice (I was with you all on this one) for those who burned our flag, but what happened when “we got our man”?  We ran to the streets, cheered, and burned their flags just like a bunch of animals.  Who gave anyone the right to kill anyone else?

I try to believe in the goodness of mankind and that in general, we want more for ourselves, but I fear selfishness rules these days.  It’s becoming every man for himself and that is not good for anyone.

Again, these are just my thoughts and opinions.  You don’t have to agree, and if you don’t like them, you don’t have to read them, but maybe stirring the pot a little is what we need to get the discussions started.  Like I said, I have learned more through arguing than by remaining silent.  Now if only I could learn to argue in Spanish.

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~ by James on August 15, 2012.

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