Friday, February 25, 2005

There WILL be categories...

The other day I got to thinking about the world. Well, not really the world so much as the globe. We are on the surface of an orb, floating in a great fastness of space, right? Why is it, then, that we came to regard North as being "up" the way that we, you know, do? More specifically, why are globes always positioned with the northern hemisphere on the top?

These questions led me to another we geographically view the world in the way that we do because most of the conquering societies in historical memory have been from the northern hemisphere? (Greek, Roman, Abassid, Turkish, Mongol, British, U.S.,'s empires, tomorrow's ashes.) Was it simply a matter of self importance and therefore convenience that the globe is viewed the way it is? Did it just make more sense to not have to lay on the floor to look at the world? I should probably ask a geographer.

So, what this all really leads to is the question of social reform in colonized societies. (A long hop skip and a jump, I know...) Currently we are doing a unit on a Maori (from New Zealand...or rather, OF New Zealand)--at least half Maori--writer in my Post-Colonial Lit class and it has me thinking about the way different people, cultures, and classes interact. The author, Alan Duff, seems to be of the opinion that a failure to succeed on the part of the Maori is caused by internalized hatred, racism, and futile thoughts. Which would mean that he advocates the "path of least resistance" or, in this case, simply to allow yourself, as a submissive culture, to be assimilated and co-opted by the dominant culture. I, on the other hand, see it less as a domineering attitude on the part of the colonizers (generally European, white, male, etc.) but rather a disinterest in other cultures--or possibly an intense interest, depending on your POV--and their histories that allows them [the conquerors] to go about their business with little or no remorse. And so, in order to proffer understanding, or at the very least MY understanding, here come the categories:

Sociopolitical Unwillingness to Compromise
There seems to be a desire of people from the northern climes to move their selves and their cultures to more hospitable locales. To that end colonials take the creature comforts of the lives to which they have been accustomed with them all over the world under the protection of their home governments. When they arrive in these more palatable places and begin to live life as they have always conducted themselves, creating conversations with the pre-existing inhabitants that probably went something like:

EURO: "This is a real nice place you've got here. Lots of natural resources and whatnot."
LOCAL: "Yes, we like it. It's home, anyways. Say, where are you from anyway?"
EURO: "Yeah, reeeal posh...and LUSH. Bet you can grow a lot of good sturdy crops with this soil; it looks quite fertile."
LOCAL: "Actually, we are quite agrarian, now that you mention it. But, is there something I could help you with? I notice you have an awful lot of luggage on your boats there."
EURO: "What's that?"
LOCAL: "I say, you have a good deal of baggage there."
EURO: "Oh, yes. Quite right! We're moving in...going to take up residence here."
LOCAL: "I'm sorry, it sounded like you said you were moving in."
EURO: "I did."
LOCAL: "And where were you planning on living?"
EURO: "Well, your house looked kind of tempting."
LOCAL: "You're saying you want to move in with my family?"
EURO: "I daresay not! I never did get on well with flatmates. You'll be moving out."
LOCAL: "But where will that leave us?"
EURO: "Hadn't given it much thought, actually. Somewhere on the periphery I suppose. No matter, you'll get by just fine I sus."
LOCAL: "What!? That hardly seems fai--"
EURO: "You didn't have any sort of pre-existing culture or history that is going to be upset by our moving in and taking over, did you?"
LOCAL: "Actually--"
EURO: "Good, because that would be inconvenient. Now, if you wouldn't mind, those ships are not going to unload themselves. I'll be playing cricket over on the lawn...ring me when tea is served."

Essentially the Europeans have found that their system of government and society works for them, so why shouldn't it work for everyone else? The natives will be allowed to keep all the culture they want, but if it is success that they are after they are going to have to become Europeanized and follow the rules laid out in some dreary London board room for social and business conduct. Is that so bad?

Can Culture be Maintained?
Personally, I think there is nothing wrong, or evil, about maintaining one's culture and heritage while still moving forward with social evolution. Which is to say, "Although I am just a big dumb whitey, I think that people's history is important, and can be maintained while allowing the individual to progress with a more modern (albeit westernized) model of success. This does not mean that I favor demeaning people in any way shape or form because of the past proclivities of their families. Rather, it means that everyone...EVERYONE...should be judged on their own individual merits, desires, achievements, and ambitions. ("I can take responsibility for what I've done, but not for who I am.") Sure, it may mean jumping through some hoops, and it might not even be morally correct, but it seems alright to me. But that is partially because I am an American. We don't really have a sense of heritage anymore and therefore view it as an anchor keeping people from the future and success, rather than something to be cherished or valued.

Screwing for Justice and Equality?
(Preface: this is only very tangentially attached to the above topics...) Is it wrong that I think very practically about reproduction? For example, I am a very pale, balding, big person. Now, I know there are people who say that you cannot control who you fall in love with, it could be anybody that is "the one". Aside from the fact that I don't believe that there is a "one" but many "possible ones" that time and circumstance could put you into contact with, affording you a bright and happy future; there is the option of pragmatism.

As a child I got sunburned like the dickens. (Not Charles, some other, less famous, Dickens) Would it then be wrong for me to seek out a mate with darker skin and features so that my children need not go through all of that aloe-vera? Or how about the fact that my hair is not much longer for this world? Would it be offensive to as a potential partner about her father's scalp condition. There are many haircuts that I would like to try, but alas, my hair has not been co-operative. Shouldn't my kids have options? That's all I'm saying...think about the future. For god's sake, will someone please think of the children!

-A.R. Leith

p.s.- Kids, stay off the drugs. They're not good for you, and they're a real drain on your bank account. Just some friendly advice from your Uncle A.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Sorry to everyone about that other thing I wrote. Actually, sorry about all the things I have written. There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with me. Aside from the desire to make others think about their thoughts (Which, more often than not, makes me look like an angry dick (which I kind of am) and makes other people mad...I don't want people to be mad, I want people to be happy.) While we're on the subject of apology, I'm sorry about everything I did and didn't do for the last two weeks.

What does depression feel like?

Nothing is getting done. I'm not going anywhere, and all I ever want to do is sleep. Is that healthy? How do you spell mononucleosis? (WebMD wants to know)

The long and the short of it is that I feel like I've been awake for about a month now, even though I was only awake long enough to eat lunch before my first nap today. There is something seriously wrong here, and I don't know what it is. I want to be better, I want to be happy. Happy would be nice. I want to be loved for being chubby and fun. Where are all the girls with the love for the cuddly kid? I met one once...she broke my heart (Kind of...mostly she just dumped me, which is okay, because people shouldn't be together if one of them isn't really happy). Funny, that. It's always cold in the house now. Not like cold between me and the roommates, more like cold because the weather sucks and the heat is never on. But it's hot when I wake up. I don't like that. (I'm not even going to bother to tell you why.) I'm disappointed in Justin. Thanks for following through, Justin. Thanks for the warning. Money is a problem. When isn't money a problem. If you don't have it, you want it. If you have it, you want more. (The only bright point about this is the hobo that was on CSI yesterday. Maybe I should be a hobo. He found a wallet on a dead body and bought himself a suit with it. I'd like a new suit. Bums don't care about society that much. If it feels good it's okay. I want it to be okay to feel good.) There was once a band that said, "If they don't care, why should I care. But I say...If I don't care, why should anyone care?". I always liked that line. Finding someone to spoon with shouldn't be hard, but it is. Most people (women) assume that spooning will lead to sex. Not if I can help it. I think I'm scared of sex. It's kind of gross, all that sloppiness and possibility for unknowns. "Why would someone want to attach themselves to another person in that manner? There has got to be a better way to show you care. Like giving someone some flowers, or leaving them alone for a while." Sure, it feels good...for a little while. YOu know what feels better? That's right, having someone who is fun to hang out with all the time. I need more of those people. Is the future supposed to be terrifying? Because it kind of is. Very imposing. Why is it that all the Asian girls on campus wear scarves all the time? Was there a memo?

So, there all that is. It just kind of came out. If you read it, I hope you enjoyed it (You probably didn't). Yeah. I'll try not to get so personal anymore.


Look at me, apologizing all over the place like I'm Canadian.

-A.R. Leith

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Unconscionable Culpability

Because of recent events involving the people around me I want to get something off my chest. First and foremost there is the issue of the military involvement of "good" or ordinary people. It is my current opinion that no person can, with a clean conscious, voluntarily involve themselves with the military without first understanding what they are signing on for.

Now, this is not to say that if a person has rationally weighed the options about what they are doing and still decided that they want to join up that they are not entitled. The world goes round because different people have differing opinions, and that is fine. I understand that that is not going to change. What bothers me is the fact that so many people do not give a great deal of thought to what they are getting in to when they sign up for service in the military.

Right now I am going to make a few "blanket inflammatory statements" but bear with me. First, if you sign up to be in the military there is a good chance you will be shot at...and that you will be asked to shoot others. A failure to take that into consideration does not make you some sort of "angel with a dirty face", it makes you shortsighted. I recently suffered a berating because someone who claimed to disagree with some of the government's current military actions felt that they were still somehow innocent because they had been shot at. F that. If you did not know what the military was about there is no way you should have signed up. It is not my fault that this person made an uninformed decision. In signing up for the army, etc. you assume the risks involved, end of story.

Second, the risks are many and varied. The items you stand to lose by joining the military: Life, friends, morality, limbs, blood, sanity, etc. Anyone who voluntarily signs up for violent action where their input is neither direct or often heeded has lost moral credibility. For the most part the people in the military are just "doing what they are told." Which essentially means that they have sold their free will for a paycheck. Operating as little more than hired goons to support a system based on profit, not humanity is a choice that they willingly made.

That being said, there are people out there who made the decision based on economic need, to pay for college, or what have you. Hopefully the decision they made was informed, but I find it hard to have sympathy if it was not. I support the PEOPLE in the military in so much as I want them to be safe from harm...but to voluntarily put yourself in harm's way and then expect sympathy for it seems ludicrous to me. Stand up and be willing to accept the consequences of your actions, or act in a different way.

On the other side of this coin are the people who have decided that they are completely behind the government and are ultra gung-ho about their activities overseas. I would just ask them to keep in mind that the people on the other side of the firing line are just as passionate in their beliefs that they are right. Each thinks that they are fighting for freedom, while the other is the evil-doer. Violence creates a grey area that is inescapable and detrimental to almost everyone except those with the coldest of hearts. A little sympathy would go a long way these days.

Okay, sorry for the rant kids, maybe next time I'll be in a more cheery mood. To try and make up for it I'll whine about something else with a song quote about what's on my mind lately:
"What if she doesn't like me? What if I'm not her type? What if all the girls that ever like me are not the kind of girls that I like? What if I meet the right one and screw it up? Will I consider myself a failure, and just give up?" -The Plain White Ts

A.R. Leith

p.s.- The "R" stands for Aaaaarrrrrggghhh!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Is this really necessary?

Okay, I am going to try and keep this here post short and sweet (hopefully) because I've got a lot to do today. Errands must be run, naps must be taken, and I've got to go to new mexico today. Also, I am trying to resist the urge to talk about myself too much, as I think you already know too much about me thanks to this blog business, and I'm sure you don't want to hear me whine...about myself anyway.

On to the crux!!

What is the deal with these ads? I understand that pharmaceuticals are big business and there are a lot of Americans out there who may or may not need help. In order to make money you have to spend money, in this case on advertising. HOWEVER...and this is a big "however"...there are two ads that just should not be on television.

First, the attractive people telling me about their herpes simplex B or what have you? How much are they paying these actors to have the world suspect their sexual health. Nevermind the word on the street that something like 75% of Americans have some form of Herpes or another. (If you've ever had so much as a cold sore, you probably have herpes.) The fact is I do not need to hear about the problem in others. If people even so much as suspect that they have this little humdinger of a lingerer they should go immediately to their doctor and have it checked out. If that doesn't even occur to you I don't think an ad telling you about a treatment is going to make you want to get better.

The next set of ads--a constant source of mirth in my house when they come on--are those dealing with a "lack of bladder control*" (to put it delicately). I cannot fathom the person that hears the line "I can't believe I'm even talking about this, but, sometimes I don't make it to the bathroom on time." and says "ME TOO", like they haven't noticed the puddles around the house until this exact moment in time when the ad came on and they started to consider the notion that it might not "just be condensation". This seems like a problem I would have looked into long before there was an ad on TV. And yet, here I am, enjoying my lunch and listening to grown women (and yes, these ads do primarily feature women--possibly because of their strange opposition to peeing outdoors or in the kitchen sink.) tell me about having problems wetting themselves. The situation is palpably uncomfortable, to say the least.

Other Opinions on the Matter
Contrary to what you might have heard/assumed, I do sometimes listen to what other people are saying. Here are some examples:

Roomate M- Says that "trying to hold in urine for long periods in your youth can lead to lack of bladder control in your later years. So not only was that road trip across the U.S. that your folks took you on as a kid "informational" and "fun", but it was also potentially damaging to your urinary tract. So thank your father again for not pulling over when you 'had to go real bad'".

Roomate B- In a somewhat more cruel statement, says, "I'm going to have to do something about this before I get to pre-school."

I like both things, one because it furthered my knowledge (sort of) and the other because it was abjectly cruel and therefore made me laugh. It bears noting that I think it's fine to laugh at people if they are not around to hear you...and sometimes even if they are. The long and the short of it is that I do not want to hear about uncomfortable things about other people's biology on the television. If this sort of jellydicking continues I may be forced to create my own infomercial on "The Joy and Satisfaction of Lancing" in which I show people what sort of things they can lance on their own bodies in their own homes, and how. I hope to make gobs of money from this and buy a racing sloop and bring the cup back to America, where it belongs.

-A.R. Leith

(* This blog entry is not directed at anyone I know personally...and besides, being made to laugh so hard that you pee in your pants is nothing to be ashamed of. In some cultures it is the ultimate compliment to your host. So keep watching the History channel until you find out what those cultures are and you can silence your co-workers when they become derisive about the broadening damp spot in your trousers.)

p.s.- I may have made most (read "all") of the facts and figures contained in this post up, so don't bother checking.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Sorry, Mom...Sorry, God.

The title for this entry is for the last entry. I re-read it after having posted it and realized that there was some coarseness in it that might upset people like my mother. So, Mom, don't read the post below this one. And if you DO read it, don't say I didn't warn you. That being said it's time to move on to newer, fresher topics.

I kind of hate to be self-referential, but I have been thinking all afternoon about the post made earlier. (Okay, A: I don't really "hate" to refer to myself, I can just think of more interesting people to talk about. B: When talking about myself I am kind of uneasy, especially because sometimes...a lot of the time...people don't realize/think I am being honest and truthful. I usually am, because it is funnier.) I would now like to hedge my qualifications for everything written earlier today: I honestly have no idea where I get off trying to comment on how men think, or women think, and I certainly cannot be held accountable for my comments on where these two thinking groups meet.

I am essentially terminally single. I don't know why that is. I think I'm a real catch. Billy Burning says I'm the most eligible bachelor in Durango. My aforementioned mother would probably concur on my "catch" status, but she is bias. What it all boils down to is that I do not understand women even a little bit. I cannot read them, I get flustered around them, and sometimes I literally can't understand them...they tend to mumble and I think my hearing is going anyway. If I think a girl is cute and stylish I cannot function around her. It takes me 4-E-Ver to get up the nerve to even talk to them, and then there is the stage where my brain and mouth do not function properly together and communication is limited. (This is part of why I think proper introductions are important, because it takes away the initial pain of approaching a stranger.) I also feel silly just walking up and talking to women that I don't know and have no legitimate reason to be talking to. It just all seems so stilted and awkward. Basically I do not know what to do and am in dire straits when it comes to the ladies...I think I'm worth dating, but cannot get to that point to test out my theory. (My being picky doesn't help either--I'll probably die single and lonely.)

So, I've been working out. My new plan is to get very buff and make myself as attractive as possible to the fairer gender (fluffing my plumage, if you will...) so that I might be able, in the near future, to attract a mate. The trouble with the social awkwardness mentioned above is that I'm pretty fun to hang out with and all that, it's just that a lot of gals will never find that out because I'm quiet in a lot of social settings, and as my sister says, my "face is kind of scary and mean looking" when I'm just walking around pretty much thinking of nothing. So whatever, hopefully I will be able to sell a lot of tickets to the gun show and have a few nice dinners. Because so far I've not seriously dated any woman who did not approach my amorously first. So maybe I should just sack up and talk to them, and stop being such a snob about personality, right?

So to summarize, girls are terrifying; but that's probably my fault. I'm going to be jacked so that I will have the ability to lift all sorts of cumbersome objects above my head--possibly I may even progress to being able to heave them, only time will tell. And again, sorry mom, for all the mistakes and errors in judgment, past and future.

Goodnight Springton, there will be no encore!

-A.R. Leith


Okay, I know I promised I wouldn't do this anymore, but tough, you all have to read this...and ENJOY it. If I find out that you have not been enjoying it, there will be [ominous but non-specific] trouble.

I received this bit of gaffery from a young lady who shall remain nameless. I found it insulting, just a bit weird, and funny all at the same time. She asked me to respond to it personally, but I thought my responses and ideas to be so profound that everyone should read this business. My comments are the ones in parentheses. Enjoy:

What guys really mean when they say...
1. What he says: I love you> >What he means: Go down on me (Whatever, Ms. Garcia, I think you know my opinion on using the word "love", and if I want someone to go down on me I'll ask...or go down on her first, and hope she returns the scratch my back and all that.) 2. What he says: I need you> >What he means: My hand is tired (Depending on context the phrase "I need you" from me would mean "My hand is caught in the garbage disposal, please bring cooking oil." Or "I have a sickening pit in my stomach when you're not around."--depending on context.)
3. What he says: I’m sorry> >What he means: I’m not above begging for sex (I'm NOT above begging for sex, but it goes more like "C'mon, just tug on it a few times." I'm sorry means I did something stupid without thinking first, and you were right, god, stop bringing it up.)
4. What he says: You’re beautiful> >What he means: I’d do you (This one is absolutely true, but goes only so far as physical appearance. A lot of women are beautiful, just not on the inside.)
5. What he says: It’s a guy thing> >What he means: It’s not my fault (When a guy says this it probably means that "I don't really understand this myself, and therefore cannot explain it to you. I feel stupid about that.")
6. What he says: We need to talk> >What he means: I’m dumping you (Or...I failed a very important blood test. Either way it's not as pleasant as "I'd like to talk to you..and possibly tell you how much I like your new haircut and shoes.")
7. What he says: Let’s just be friends> >What he means: I want to sleep with your friends (This is not true, I probably don't even LIKE your friends. ha! This probably means I don't really like women, and would like to try some stuff out with Fred from accounting.)
8. What he says: It’s just not working out> >What he means: You’re not putting out (Or: "Stop talking to me so much. And why are you wearing my boxer shorts!?")
9. What he says: It’s not what you think> >What he means: It’s what you think (Did you surprise me in the living room with the vacuum cleaner and a bottle of lube? Then it's what you think, but a better statement would be "I know this looks bad, but I assure's for science.")
10. What he says: What would you like to do> >What he means: Where would you like to do me (In this case I actually have a sever decision making disorder, so I probably want to leave the couch, but can't think of a good reason to.)
11. What he says: I like independent women> >What he means: That way I don’t have to spend the night after I do her (Or I just like intelligent women, which is better.)
12. What he says: What’s your sign/what’s your major/can I buy you a drink> >What he means: God I hope she swallows (Games are funny. Asking straight up to spoon is always the best policy. Kick her out of bed if she tries to push you into going farther than you want on the first date. Girls are so needy.)
13. What he says: That’s a nice dress/shirt/hair/eyes/shoes> >What he means: Nice breasts (It is becoming readily apparent that women don't think very highly of men, and I'm not saying that is unjustified, just that it's not fair. If women don't appreciate their bodies being appreciated they should wear baggy sweatsuits all the time. Otherwise just say thank you to a compliment and hope he likes you for more than whatever he complimented. If he doesn't then he's probably not a good guy to be dating. Too many women date shitty guys and I don't know why. Also, if I like your breasts I'll probably tell you that you have fabulous breasts, and ask to play with them a know, in a strictly platonic way.)
14. What he says: I like a woman with a sense of humor> >What he means: ...on her knees (Do guys really act like this? What are these accusations being based on? If a guy says this he either means "I like a girl who makes me laugh." or "I like a girl who laughs at my dumb jokes." One truly enjoys a woman with a sense of humor, the latter enjoys women who are dumb and think he's cute. werd.)
15. What he says: I won’t tell anyone> >What he means: Except all the guys I know (WTF, negative stereotypes are damaging and hurtful. And you should really only tell people in other states.)

Okay, that's all that I have time for right now. Plus I don't like to think...and that is all the questions on the GD email. Sometimes typing is tiresome, you know what I mean? (rhetorical) If anyone has any ideas about topics that they would like to know about...anything in the whole wide world, email me. This'll be fun. It's like a school assignment without the grades...or recognition.

-A.R. Leith

Friday, February 04, 2005

Not so sure...

I think maybe I should not be doing this blog thing. I was just cruising around some other blogs and started to worry. I don't mean to bag on anyone, but!? There is a lot of artsy stuff, which is fine, this is an outlet, I understand that. But I think maybe there are people interested in driving the diary manufacturing industry out of business. What I saw was way too much way too personal information (including what appeared to be naked pictures of a girl who was WAAAAYYYY too underage to have pictures being taken of her while unclothed.) I used to say "pish posh" when people would say that the internet provides too much freedom to just about anyone. I don't have so much trouble understanding that statement anymore. This might be it for me kids.

A.R. Leith

p.s.- I'm not saying you shouldn't tell us about what you think, and what goes on in your life, but try to have a point and relate it to others and their lives...that way we can all enjoy it. Laters.

They're only famous...

...because you look at them.

Three sources have gone to informing what you are about to read. First, I watch a lot of TV--particularly MTV, because you have to stay on top of what the kids are up to these days (know your enemy and all that rubbish)--so I feel I have a pretty good grasp on who celebrities are. Second, last night I read a very funny article by Chris Nieratko over in the "Skinema" section at which is nearly always brilliant and so off topic it is amazing. Chris was talking about the frailty of ego which is commonly present in celebrities. I concurred. Third, I recently had to research a presentation on the ethics of medical testing on animals. The most depressing part of this research turned out to be the PeTA web site, where a bunch of overpaid crybabies were complaining about how cruel we are to animals. We'll tackle this in depth in a few minutes...or longer, depending on how fast you read.

Okay, first of all, I was watching the "newlyweds" show on the MTV yesterday, and it was great. You know, you get to see how the other half lives (and in this case "other half" refers to those who lead mundane and sterile lives). Ignoring the obvious problems of continuing to call the program "newlyweds" despite the episode in question being about the second anniversary of the LaCheys (sp?) there are other problems with while this show is on the air. Not the least notable of which is that there is not enough Ashlee Simpson on the show. (I swear, she's great as long as you don't let her talk or sing.) But how can America be fascinated with the lives of these here people. First off, I'm fairly certain that they are nearly illiterate...and if not they pretend really well on television. If watching people go through their daily routines (Newlyweds, The Osbornes, Growing up Gotti, etc.) is so interesting, where is my fantastically large check for having people watch me mess up life on a regular basis. I'm sure my trials, tribulations, and miscues with the fairer gender are worth a daytime Emmy at LEAST! Let alone the fact that I seem not to have a filter between my brain and mouth, which makes for some veeeery uncomfortable situations. So is the only thing that is separating me from these people, and leading a fabulous life the fact that I am less good looking and more articulate? It could be. Baybe it is because all the people on these shows have love interests, where I am hopelessly confused by women. Although I think the latter is more interesting, if more lonely and irritating for the sufferer...Me. But whatever, that's just problem one.

Problem two for our purposes is that of Celebrity Activists. First and foremost celebrities (for the most part) are overpaid--severely overpaid--for the services that they provide to society. This problem is compounded when they are unwilling to compromise their overall lifestyle for a cause that they claim to be so "in to". Second how do so many celebrities deem PeTA to be the most worthy group to back in the known world. Primarily their backing of this organization kind of makes them a traitor to their species by not thinking about all the dying children and other humans around the world. Okay, I understand that there have to be more ethical and humane options to testing cosmetics and other unnecessary products than to use animal testing, but the children are our future. When did a bunny ever grow up to support you while you were in the old age home? Reversing Evolution is not really the answer to making the world a better place. Mostly it just makes people with expendable incomes feel better about themselves. Speaking of expendable incomes how can famous people defend their lifestyles when thousands of people are starving in the same cities where these movie stars, athletes, etc. are living? My suggestion is to just ignore celebrities until they go away. If a person makes a movie that sucks, take them off the artistic role call. Don't support their efforts anymore. Hopefully they'll go broke, and then if they truly believe in their chosen issues they'll KEEP fighting for them. The same goes for "sports stars", if they really love the game they play, they'll play it for a nominal salary in the city where they grew up, for pride and a love of competition...otherwise they are just greedy transient millionaires who do not deserve our respect, let alone our adoration.

Finally, as Nieratko points out, celebrities need to toughen up. You cannot put yourself on a global stage only to cry "poor me" every time someone says something remotely emotionally damaging about you. I grant that celebs can fight with poparazzi if they so desire, but I also would not mind if it turned into a brawl and teeth were lost and bruises received on both sides of the lens. Grow up, and have the strength of convictions to be who you are, for better or for worse. As they say in Vice, sometimes the most attractive person is the one who is cute, and can walk into a room with peanut butter on his/her face and still give you a look that says "what? Dick!"...own up to your faults and flaws, accept them and move on. It will mean less tears in the long run. That's for everyone, not just "famous" people.

Thank you, and good night!

-A.R. Leith

p.s.- The Cubs traded Sosa and I'm glad. If they somehow figured out a way to trade someone for Harry Carey, that would be fine too. Things can get better every day.

p.p.s.- I also wanted to add a suggestion for another band worth hearing, and that is the Tossers, they're on thick records, and if you like Celtic rock, and angry political music, buy every one of their CDs. Woot.