Song Meanings

I was listening to a Tool song called “Message To Harry Manback” which I have loved for about 10 years now and I finally decided to look up the reference (ie. who is this Harry Manback character). I googled it and found the explanation on a site called songmeanings.net. You know, it’s pretty sad how little I pay attention to the lyrics in music. I love music so much and listen so much, but the words are just like another instrument. I almost never gleen any meaning from them, nor do I try.

So an hour later, I’m still on songmeanings, looking up song meanings (and lyrics) for most of the Tool catalog and you know what? I love this band even more now. They have brilliant lyrics, filled with double meanings and metaphors and all.. duh to me..

Oh and songmenaings.net is a great site.. check it out..

Just plain Duh

Ok.. so here’s the story of the day for me. A teacher uses a computer in a classroom at the school she is subbing at. She leaves for a second and when she comes back the students are crowded around it and there is a porn pop-up potpourri going on that she can’t stop (porn-loop). She knows nothing about computers and can’t get it to stop so now she is facing 40 years in prison for “risking injury to a child.”. (read about it here on ARS).

I’ve got three issues with this. First off, if it is a school computer then they are responsible for filtering out whatever they find objectionable. That is a plain and simple fact. Charging the teacher with this crime seems about the same as charging the children themselves since they could easily have surfed to the porn themselves. The school could have (just like a lot of other institutions) filtered out whatever they wanted. Second, how in the world is seeing some porn flashed on a computer monitor considered injury to a child? And why would it have such a harsh sentence?  Seriously, is seeing a naked woman that horrific that a child will be injured for life? And finally, think about how much money is being wasted on the prosecution and the trial and the defense and the expert witnesses, etc. Isn’t this money that could have been better spent in the school itself? Isn’t providing the children with poor schools (in the form of old computers, bad textbooks, computer illiterate teachers) the most awful crime of all?

MASSACRE!!!

If you haven’t seen the cover of the Daily News today, the headline was huge and it read “Massacre at the Navy Yard”. In some ways I was happy to see it. I was expecting some super sensationalized story about our upcoming snow storm.. but instead some real news appears to have made it to the cover. On the other hand I ask you a simple question: How many dead would constitute a “massacre”? Although there is no number mentioned in the dictionary (or web searches for the definition), one thing appears common and that is that the killing is savage (ie. with a machete as was done in Rwanda) and that it occurs on many people.

Neither of these things happened at the Navy Yard last night. 3 people were killed with gunfire by a man who ended up shooting himself. That makes 4 dead total (but only 3 murdered).

Why do I care? Because this is a symptom of what is wrong in the media today. Every story has to be attention grabbing and has to seem important so papers can be sold and tv news programs can get more ratings.. It’s all about money and no more about the story. This is having a very negative affect on our society in that people are not able to discriminate on their own what is important and what isn’t.

I read something the other day that speaks to this (in a sense). As you all know, the world is in agreement now that global warming is real and that we caused it. But did you know that some scientists are saying that if we stopped all carbon emissions right now, there is nothing we could do to stop it? Some believe (and maybe more in the future) that we have passed the point of no return on this. If true, that would mean that we should have been doing something about global warming 20 years ago and not now. Who’s fault is this? It’s ours of course. Our media didn’t use it’s enormous motivating power to raise awareness of this issue when it was important and so we (being the type that only process data that is spoon fed to us by them) did nothing.

There is a movie I just saw by Mike Judge (Idiocracy) that wasn’t great in most traditional ways but made a point that was horrifying. The future (in this case 500 years from now) could turn out to be a very, very lame place, where the average IQ is under 100 and people are just illiterate, clueless slaves to the world they have created. Happy with their TV and fast food… It’s really shockingly plausible.

And yea, we can’t fix it in one place and everything is interconnected. I know that. But the thing is that we can change the world by changing ourselves. If everyone began to simply question the world and the media and their government just a little bit, if everyone would simply wonder a bit more about things, if everyone could be a tiny bit more creative and think of conspiracies (even though they may not exist).. maybe that would be the catalyst that we need to turn the world around and get on the path to a positive future.. maybe.

Aqua Teen Terror Alert

How funny.. and how sad… Read here. Apparently, yesterday the Boston police went all psycho with terror fears when they found LED covered signs (part of a viral marketing campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force) all over Boston. Everyone in the law enforcement community are up in arms. What makes the story perfect to me is all the comments at the bottom. The first 10 or so I read hit the nail on the head:

This, to me, is proof that the terrorists are winning.

-What a paranoid and guilt-ridden country America has become, under the regime of the neocons.

-Have people lost their minds? I know 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING, but is it now an act of terrorism to install blinking neon signs throughout a major metropolitan area? Forgive me if I can’t see what people got so freaked out about in the first place.

-Discipline those who mistook these gizmos for a bomb, not the advertisers.., to paraphrase, one thing (there are others) we should continue to fear is our own fears and shamefully zealous prosecutorial mindsets of grandstanding leaders with no sense of humor

-I am sorry but I think the only people who acted irresponsibly were the Boston Police Department. Who in their right mind would mistake these devices with bombs? It’s obviously a cartoon character. There are many other devices in and around bridges and tunnels that are more suspicious than these square light brights. I think this whole incident highlights the absurdity of city officials and police who overreact in situations such as this. Shutting down the Charles River? Even if they were bombs what in gods name would that have done? Sometimes I think officials simply like to show off how many overreactions they can produce just to win political points on their “serious about terrorism” score card. Meanwhile no one can get home from work because we have entrusted our safety to fools. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put up an F-16 or two.

How this situation should have been handled …

“We have a report of a suspicious package can (insert unit) respond?”

“Yes we responded, it’s not a bomb, it’s a cartoon character that lights up and blinks.”

Event over.

-I’ve never seen a more adorable “bomb” in my life! I understand that the city is upset, but public art and guerilla marketing are a great part of our society. Here’s a great example of, if done right, how well it can work.

And on and on.. And it’s true. Our whole lives have been needlessly turned upside down because of these bogymen the BWH has created. Sure 9/11 happened and sure terrorists can attack us, but let me tell you this, if they are determined enough, there is little we can do to stop them.. The next big attack from terrorists will come in a form that we didn’t expect, it’s illogical to think otherwise. Sorry to tell you the truth.

You know.. I was reading more and I just realized that these were up for over a week before anything happened.. How prepared are the Boston authorities? I mean, if they deemed these things a threat, shouldn’t they have noticed them sooner?

Update : just saw a great post on this same issue here.

Real-ID

While we’re on the subject of security, give this article (Real-ID: Costs and Benefits) a read. It’s about the national ID plan that was snuck into a support the troops bill and is going to cost us $11 Billion and practically do nothing for us except make us feel more secure while we’ll actually be less secure.. It’s kind of sad actually but in my world, perfectly predictable.