Be Happy, Not Gay

Yes, I write once a month on whatever I please. That seems to be the trend at least. I’m fairly liberal in my views, but I’m somewhat torn on the following issue. Remember, this is all coming from a guy that thinks gay people should have all the rights of straight people, and can’t stand most religion.

Anyone hear about this story? The rundown of the story, is that following a day of silence, a student chose to wear a shirt that read on the front “My Day of Silence – Straight Alliance” and on the back said “Be Happy, Not Gay”. She was told to remove the shirt or go home, and that the reason for that choice was because students were prohibited from wearing messages that upset other students. There’s a bit more to it that I’ll touch on, and if you read the link you can get the full story, but that’s it for my summary.

I don’t get this. If the school bans messages that may upset other students, then clearly the school shouldn’t be encouraging a day of silence, which upon further reading encourages pro-gay buttons and the like, in the first place. You can’t encourage one side of a view while discouraging the other, especially when the reason for discouragement is that you may “upset” other students. If one side of the message might hurt some people, then it’s a fairly simple conclusion that the other side of a message might hurt the other people.

If one person is allowed to express themselves, another person should be able to express the opposite view, it’s only fair. The shirt in itself isn’t even that offensive. It could have read “Be Happy, Not a Faggot”, which could have been considered vulgar and against school rules, and a legitimate reason to not allow the shirt, but it didn’t. It’s not a shirt that incites hate. It might be anti-gay, but that doesn’t automatically insinuate hate. If I wore a shirt that read “Watch Birds, Not TV”, it doesn’t mean I hate TV, it’s just offering a suggestion, at the most.

However, at the beginning of this piece I said that I was at odds in this issue. The reason I’m having difficulty is because I’m not sure where the line should be drawn. If the school were to allow this slogan, it would have to allow practically any slogan that isn’t vulgar. In this next example, I was going to use an arbitrary colour so that I wouldn’t be singling anybody out, but the message becomes much less powerful, so I’ll use a specific colour.

“Be Smart, Not Black”

Should a child be allowed to wear that kind of message on a t-shirt? I say that in most circumstances, the answer is yes. If a school allows a child to wear a message that states one thing, then another child should be able to wear a message declaring the exact opposite, no matter how much I or anyone else disagrees with it. As long as it isn’t hateful, or inciting violence towards someone or a group, then it should be allowed.

Marijuana: Thoughts and Ponderings

My spell check is telling me that “pondering” is a word, but “ponderings” isn’t.

At any rate, I’ve decided that I’d write a bit more about marijuana because

  • It’s a hot topic
  • My last entry of said subject is doing quite well
  • I want more traffic (for no real reason)
  • I like weed

I always think to myself that if I ever become famous, I’ll definitely devote a chunk of time and money to legalization. Decriminalization is “ok” in the sense that no one’s going to jail over it, but legalization is the way to go. Theoretically, decriminalization could open an even bigger black market, as people would be less afraid of growing, the ante’s would be pushed up for bigger chunks of profit… it’s a lot to talk about, but maybe it’s something I should discuss at a later time.

Attempting to stay on a single coherent path for once, I read a good article that had a few logical points. My paraphrasing of the article is that marijuana was widely known as cannabis before and including the early 1900s, a widely accepted drug, prescribed for many different things. It got banned basically because it was renamed and associated with Mexicans using the drug to lure women and children, claims which fit quite snuggly within the definition of propaganda.

The thesis behind the banning, and as late as a 2003 press release from the white house that “research has not demonstrated that smoked marijuana is safe and effective medicine.” Odd, it’s not a valid medicine, but it seems that there are many different drugs attempting to recreate marijuana’s effect. Synthetic THC is something that’s been out for a while. Synthetic THC. Am I reading that properly? Yes, I am. The government has banned marijuana because of it’s allegedly unproven medicinal properties, but gives the OK to a test tube version that attempts to mimic cannabis’ properties? The only differences would be the cost. Marijuana is cheap. Any drug that takes a lot of research costs a lot of money.

Just reading the side effects and dangers of Tysabri gives me a creepy feeling. What purpose does it serve to endanger the lives of people who seek treatment for certain ailments when a safe alternative has been around for quite possibly forever.

To change from medicinal uses to recreational, why can’t people toke responsibly? People can drink responsibly most of the time, so why is there such a discrepancy to a much less dangerous drug? I can’t make sense of it. I also want to refrain from making this an anti-government rant, so I’ll just stop here.

Thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Intellectual Property within The Comedic Community

I know quite a few people are writing about the Joe Rogan versus Carlos Mencia feud, which has been going on for quite some time, but came to a boil on the 10th of February, as Joe and Carlos had words on stage at the same time.

Head to Joe Rogan’s Website for more details on what happened. You’ll also find out that Mencia doesn’t even mention it or want to defend himself on his website. Apparently the youtube clip featured was ranked 12th before it was yanked down due to “copyright violations”.

Another good read, because I’m awful at linking towards other websites in normal discussion.

I personally know Joe Rogan from watching the UFC, he’s been doing behind the scenes stuff for them for a lot longer than he’s been commentating. When I learned that he did stand-up comedy, I was a bit surprised. I’d never seen him on TV besides on Fear Factor, so I was kind of curious to hear what his act was like. Some of it I didn’t particularly like, but most of it I thought was great, to sum it up, it’s basically his philosophies on life, with some really funny comedy chucked in. If he came to my hometown I’d see his show in a heartbeat.

Anyways, to the point. I’m personally thinking of doing some stand-up at an amateur night sometime soon. What you need to start is 6 minutes worth of material, and a set of balls to get on stage. I’m just a run of the mill sarcastic smartass, that says some funny shit from time to time when I’m with a group of people. If there’s a major event that happens and it just doesn’t make sense, or strikes me as odd in someway, I make a crack about it. So do all of the other country’s smart-asses, because that’s what we do. A lot of us come to the same conclusion, make a one line funny and call it a day. I think this is fair game and fair use for all comedians, it’s easy to come up with that joke.

So what’s not cool? Someone working on how to take the concept further, making more than just the obvious joke or two, digging into the meat of what’s happening, and creating a set that’s good for laughter, only to have it *borrowed* by someone. When a comedian uses the exact same phrasing, wording, pausing, and pitch to deliver a joke as someone previous, that isn’t all that obvious when looking at the issue that brought out that joke, I’d say that’s stealing.

I personally think stealing is wrong, as do most people, but really, what can anyone do to stop people from stealing their jokes? Being an aspiring songwriter and composer, I’d hate to write a song, only to hear it being played by some other band a few months later with a bigger backing label.

Cover bands are fine, because they don’t claim to have written the songs, and they (are supposed to) write royalty checks to the artists that they’re performing songs from. That’s fine, but have you ever heard a comedian say “Here’s a good joke I’ve heard from Richard Pryor…”? No, because not many people aren’t willing to pay you to tell other people’s jokes. There are no open cover artists in the comic world, that I know of, because the way I see it, people are paying to see that person’s take on the world.

Think of it this way, would you pay someone who billed their act “Dave Chappelle’s best Jokes, as told by Mister Dude”? I’d assume not, but I guess that’s why so many uncreative people feel the need to steal other people’s work in the hopes of being discovered.

So, should I bring a camera to record my first performance?

A study of the dangers of Marijuana

Read this study and come back.

Full of information? Good. So with all the benefits of marijuana and and little reason to keep it abolished, besides the fact that it makes you feels good (kinda like Paxil, you know, but without the nausea, constipation, agitation, insomnia, sweating, and impotence).

I’ve read comments on various forums regarding the study, and a few points of view seemed to be reoccurring.

  • The study didn’t test enough people
  • Marijuana is still addictive and habit forming
  • Legalizing drugs of any kind sends a bad message for kids

Just to debunk the points… The study is the largest of it’s kind, and tested quite a few people. Yes, there may be people that have odd reactions to cannabis, but so far, cancer isn’t one of them. Honestly, peanuts at this point in time are more dangerous to more people than weed is, but we continue to keep them on the market.

Addictive? Sure, but nearly everything on this earth is addictive to the right person. For example, I’m quite addicted to cookies, as I’m sure many other people are. The thing about cannabis is that there are no withdrawal symptoms, unlike many prescription drugs and many harder drugs.

And the kids, the precious children. I agree that kids shouldn’t be smoking weed. I realize, and side with Bill Maher, that we can’t, and don’t run a whole society based on children. We don’t allow kids to do many things that we adults do, like drive, drink, or have sex. Why the double standard with marijuana? Why outlaw marijuana “for the kids” yet let other things slide? It doesn’t make sense. We’re adults, we should be making our own decisions, not letting the government do it for us, especially when it comes to a substance that’s hurting nobody.

Legalizing marijuana has so many things going for it, like eliminating the dangerous black market that exists in it’s disrtibution. Seriously, has anyone heard of an illegal beer ring?

If anyone has anything to add or rebuttle, I’d like to hear it.

The point that people should realize…

Ok I think I’ve used enough tags, and I also have vague title that could be used to describe practically anything. Seriously, what is up with people using way too many (and often inappropriate) tags to describe their post-blog-news.

Is it a vying for attention, a need to have vast amounts of anonymous viewers in the vehicle of their expression? Or is it simply people who visualize their view as such an important piece of information, they must use a vast amount of tags to ensure that their visions reach as many people as possible?

Let me know what you think, and if there’s anything we can do about it?

Bill O’Reilly, why does he keep making himself out to be a tool?

Seriously, he doesn’t have to, it’s like he chooses to or something.

Check out this link on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8x14cLGh5o

and then O’Reilly’s response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHORbWhqUCo

Got those? Great. First things first, the video featuring the child is an advertisement. The girl isn’t being brainwashed, she’s being payed to read a script. That pretty-much debunks his whole arguement right away.

For fun, let’s assume that the girl isn’t a young actress, and that she is infact a kid sending a message that he disagrees with, that doesn’t constitute emotional abuse. His idea is that parents shouldn’t be allowed to teach their kids what they want.

Wendy Murphy says at the very beginning:

I guarantee you a child that age has no idea what she is saying, that is the ultimate inhumane treatment of a child

Really? So we shouldn’t ever teach kids anything that the general public may disagree with? What about religion, as the girl made reference to. Why is it ok to teach kids about religion, and not teach kids about the harm that religion can, and does, cause.

Something else that gets me is when Bill assumes that everyone agrees with him, using phrases like “There’s no question about that” or “You know that”.

Bill goes on to say

So there’s no legal ramification, there’s nothing you can do legally, because emotional abuse is not a crime … maybe social services could make a case, particularly if they investigated the parents, that these parents are simply not suitable to raise the child, or responsible enough to do it.

Thankfully, most people have enough sense to realize that parents should be able to teach their children values that reflect themselves.

Let’s imagine a scenario, where we take a child claiming to love God (it doesn’t matter which one) and praising the Lord, and saying that belief in this God is the only thing to save you, and if you don’t heed the word, something bad will happen to you. The parents have all the right to teach their child this message. Now imagine O’Reilly got his way, and SS got in the way, claiming the parents were unfit. I don’t want to speak for the man, but I’d imagine that Bill would probably make a statement saying that SS is getting in the way of people teaching decent moral values, never mind the fact that that child would be talking about things that many people would disagree with.

How Funny is Stephen Colbert?

The guy cracks me up. I was watching last night’s episode and I thought the idea of his second “Green Screen Challenge” is great. For anyone that’s not a follower of the show, his first green screen challenge depicted him dancing around with a light-saber, and “contestants”, for lack of a better word, would fill in the rest of the scene themselves. His second challenge came about because of the rock band “The Decemberists” that took it upon themselves to shoot a video and asked fans to fill in the rest of the video. So, Colbert’s idea for his second GSR is to have his fans edit him into the Decemberists video. MULCH.

Is it me, or have all the Daily Show’s correspondents become righties? I haven’t been a lifelong loyal fan of the show, so if it was always this way, forgive me. It seems, though, that they’re all pretty much Colbert clones. It’s funny, don’t get me wrong, but they all have their “Colbert-esqueness” about them.