Tuesday, January 30, 2007

  • a couple of notable deaths in recent news. first of all, barbaro. and guess what. i can't stand to read or watch any news about this story. i have no idea why but i can't tolerate a story about someone's beloved animal dying. so, farewell dear barbaro. oh, how they loved you.
  • secondly, and this story i can tolerate, the most recent world's oldest person died yesterday. i swear i think she's the third oldest person to die in a month. her name was emma faust tilman. she was born in 1892. reading this article, i was struck by something she said in an interview in the late nineties about being the only black student to graduate from her Connecticut high school in 1909: "In Glastonbury, I didn't know if I was white or black," she said in 1994. "People were just fine, even way back then, to me. They treated me just like everybody else." i just can't understand why things aren't still that way. why they can't be that way. too sad.
  • two fraternity brothers in florida have been sentenced to two years in prison for the hazing of a pledge that resulted in the pledge needing surgery on his butt and broken eardrum. what the hell is wrong with people? i have never understood the concept of hazing, but the sad truth is that these two guys are not solitary perpetrators. this happens at EVERY fraternity initiation. but in almost every case, the pledges keep their mouths shut so they can be part of the club. this has always seemed to me to be one of the most obnoxious, ridiculous rites of passage i've ever heard of. i have never known a fraternity or sorority member who would EVER discuss their initiation. it is supposed to be top secret. because it is so vile that they know they'd be disgraced over it. i feel bad for these two guys, but at the same time, someone has to be punished for it. one has a fiancee who is pregnant, and he asked to be let go so that he can be a father for his child since he grew up without one. that breaks my heart, but i would also like to see this hazing b.s. stop. so i have no idea what the solution is. do i think it's right for people to be made scapegoats? absolutely not. do i think it will ever stop if no one is ever punished? absolutely not. do i think it will continue in spite of these two guys going to prison and having their lives completely screwed up over something that is common practice in the world of fraternities? absolutely.
  • in less depressing news, an 84-year-old world war II vet won a $254million lottery! how about that. lucky guy. why can't i win the lottery?!?! oh yeah, because i don't buy tickets!
  • some school in new jersey has implemented a new policy to test kids for alcohol use on monday mornings. if that's not invading your privacy i don't know what is! first of all, it's one thing if you suspect the kid is drunk at school. it is a whole different story if you are testing the kid for what they did while they were not on school property. underage alcohol use has been in the news a lot in richmond lately after a 16-year-old drunk driver killed a 29-year-old man on new year's eve. the solution offered by most in the area is that we must be stricter on kids about alcohol use, pound into their heads that it is ILLEGAL until you turn 21. what a crock of shit. pardon my french. because speaking of the french, they don't worry so much about drinking age. i think there is one (like 16 maybe?). and i haven't actually researched this to make sure i'm spouting accurate information, but you just don't hear about underage drinking problems as much in europe. because the appeal of alcohol for underage drinkers here is that it is ILLEGAL! duh. kids want to do it because they can't. if it's alright for you to have a glass of wine or two at dinner, you recognize alcohol as a) something that is consumed in moderation and b) something that's common, that you don't have to sneak around and do stupid stuff to consume. some virginians were up in arms to learn that virginia law says that parents can give their kids alcohol. well, seriously, people, don't you realize that this is how parents can teach their kids to be RESPONSIBLE about alcohol consumption? i had the good sense to go to my dad when i decided i was ready to drink and say, "hey, i want to know what this is like but i don't want to do it somewhere stupid." but not everyone is comfortable enough with their parents to do that. how about let's trust our kids and teach them responsibility instead of fear? granted, i am not a parent, so what do i know? but i was a kid once. and a pretty responsible one if i do say so myself...

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