Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye Howard

Howard Zinn, passed away yesterday. In his life he was an author, teacher and political activist who's famous book "A People's History of the United States" gave us all the ugly bits of our history that are left out of our textbooks. It's selective in the same way that are elementary history books are selective, but from the opposite perspective, and it was done to make a point; that history is very complex and that people should never buy into the illusion that the world is black and white, that events have to be seen as either right or wrong. He reminds us of the grey areas, that America isn't perfect, and that without awareness we are blind. Among other things, he was trying to fight against that old saying "history is doomed to repeat itself". A noble fight.  

If you have Netflix, there's a Howard Zinn documentary that's pretty good available for instant watch here

and here's a preview of the doc:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I would simply like to share how beautiful 
the description of "Frugality" on Wikipedia is.

Frugality is the practice of:

1. acquiring goods and services in a restrained manner.

2. resourcefully using already owned economic goods
and services, to achieve a longer term goal.

Strategies for frugality
Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.

Frugality, in the context of certain belief systems, is a philosophy in which one does not trust (or is deeply wary of) "expert" knowledge, often from commercial markets or corporate cultures, claiming to know what is in the best economic, material, or spiritual interests of the individual.

Different spiritual communities consider frugality to be a virtue or a spiritual discipline. The Religious Society of Friends and the Puritans are examples of such groups. The basic philosophy behind this is the idea that people ought to save money in order to allocate it to more charitable purposes, such as helping others in need.

There are also environmentalists who consider frugality to be a virtue through which humans can make use of their ancestral skills as hunter-gatherers, carrying little and needing little, and finding meaning in nature instead of man-made conventions or religion. Henry David Thoreau expressed a similar philosophy in Walden, with his zest for self-reliance and minimal possessions while living simply in the woods.

"Frugality" on Wikipedia

Monday, January 11, 2010


Why isn't SNL very good? The writing the writing the writing.
here is a recent SNL sketch:

it, is like most of their current stuff, is okay. What's so disappointing is that it seems obvious there were a lot of ways they could went with this. In their version a kid with a terminal disease gets to play game announcer via a wish foundation kind of thing. The kid says "nothing but the bottom of the net" like 20 times, and it wears thin very fast, SNL often suffers from this and it's one of the many reason the why the bad sketches suck. They seemed to be ruled by the rule of three. I don't know wether they just do it to fill time or they really believe the ad nauseam repetition is funny. A good example is a sketch from not that long ago where a game show host kept taking contestants wives backstage to have sex. The first time it was funny, the second time it was still a little funny, but by the third time they did it the joke was dead already, you could see it from a mile away and there was no spin/evloution or any difference to keep it interesting, for instance if the third time he actually invited the husband backstage it might have been funny.

But back this sport announcing sketch. What if "Danny" had a real macabre sense of humor and said things like "Wow a rim-rattingling dunk by Lewis, that was louder than my death rattle's gonna be" or "wow with the Magic down 20 these fans look more upset then my family and friends are going to be at my own funeral". Or they could have gone a sexual route and have the kid say things like "A powerful dunk by Howard, he's one sexy beast, makes you wanna just tear his clothes off" either of these two directions would have been weirder and more interesting and I believe more funny. Charles and the other guy are basically playing straight men, but they are doing it against a G rated character, boring! Am I the only one who thinks it's funny when adults playing kids go out of their way to say ridiculous things instead of just acting like a believable kid? Lastly the OCD bit wasn't too bad but they seemed to miss an obvious laugh, don't we want to know what "overwhelming corpse disease" is? How bout the kid explains it (in a cheerful manner of course" as something really horrible like "yeah, basically it's like my skeleton is trying to escape from within my body"

I know it's easy to play Monday (of Sunday) morning quarter back
, but that's not it, here's an old sketch along similar lines, it has a few different little twists, and yes Ray does repeat "sweet sassy molassy" a few times but it's funny as a both a parody of the sports center sayings, and for it's possible racial undertones. Not to mention it's weird. It's a lot more interesting and funnier than "the bottom of the net"