Monday, August 25, 2008

The J-Barb Scene

It was eventful. They named her and she grew. Poland was proud and America was satisfied to know that Justine Beinkowski was twenty years old.

A Day. A Month. A Year. Passed.

Justine was confuzzled by a conundrum. She saw a grey area on a wall and could not figure out what it meant. She paced back and forth, up and down; she even rolled around a few times like a soccer ball. It was to no avail.

A short time later, Zack, her thoughtful roommate came in to ask Justine if she wanted to join him in a game of horse shoe. "Oh, no" said Justine, "for I must figure this grey area out." Seeing the determination on Justine's face, Zack went to the phone and called the Help Desk. He explained to them the issue at hand and explained that she would not be in to work for a few Days.

Moments Later.

Justine, after thinking a whole lot about this grey area, began to write. She found thoughts that recreated the image on the wall into something solid, profound and most importantly, stable. Her writing went for pages, it seemed to everyone that she was writing a novel!

Then, it happened.

Pikachu appeared. He electrified Justine and then ran out the room door.

Justine no longer wrote.

The End.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Go Patriot Act, Go!

I'm sick of stories like this. I'm sick of people being shocked by them.

Detained at JFK

Russian-Georgian Conflict ... Part 2

I spoke with my parents about the conflict and they gave me a different side of the story which I'm inclined to believe as well. As this progresses, it becomes increasingly clearer to me that this conflict is not just black-white and that one side started over another.

According to my mother, this is what happened--

There is a border area between Georgia and Russian, where of course, as in most border areas, there are people from both ethnicities. The Russian people in Georgia are claiming that the Georgians are committing genocide against the ethnic Russians in the area, and these Russian people asked Russia for help, which is why Russia went in. Then Georgia retaliated, and Russia reacted by pushing farther in.

I'm not really sure what to think about the situation anymore. I find Putin to be a really scary individual. He has been quoted as saying that the breakup of the Soviet Union was one of the most horrendous things to have happened. He really legitimately scares me, and I am liable to believe that Russia would construe this kind of story in order to regain control over lost borders.

Clearly I'm Polish, and the fact that my parents lived through communism in Poland really does shape my political views. Honestly, I am inclined to believe that we are hurling rather fast towards reigniting the cold war. I have mixed feelings between getting involved because the threat of Russia taking control of Eastern Europe is frightening to me, but I'm also sick of the thought of being a police force. Where is the line? If Russia were to invade Poland, forget about it, I would not be able to just sit by and be apathetic. My family lives there, and Russia entering Poland again (or any Eastern European country for that matter) has a lot more meaning than simply just adding land to Russia. This sort of return to Stalin-esque practices is a very serious threat.

Seriously, when I was talking to my mother about this, I just started crying. These are scary thoughts in a scary world, and it's frustrating that people don't have a thirst for knowledge in regards to world news.

My conclusion for this post is -- well, I don't know. In theory, it makes no sense for Georgia to have attacked Russia. I think that after talking to my mom, I am actually more inclined to believe that Russia is a looming monster on the horizon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Russian-Georgian Conflict

It's really starting to annoy me that a lot of people don't even know what actually happened between Russia and Georgia.

Georgia attacked Russia, and Russia defended itself. The American media has been twisting it to seem like Russia is actually at fault.

I'm sick of the new sources in the United States. Go BBC.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7562611.stm

To make things worse, has anyone heard about this shit between Poland and the US signing this defense deal? Cold War number 2 here we come...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7563182.stm

I'm extremely concerned about the state of affairs in the world today. It just seems like everything is slowly spinning further and further out of control.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

-

Aren't our lives just a series of learned responses?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Word About Our Morality

So this is kind of piggybacking on the post with the morality article. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and it's been bugging me. The issue of morality in humans has always been questionable to me and perhaps this is my cynical side speaking out. I cannot help but feel cynical though when there have been so many psychological experiments done on humans where they were told to shock their fellow human being or for instance, the prison guard experiment. There is a fixation in society where people are more willing to submit to authority figures rather than submit to empathy for the regular suffering person.

In light of my cynicism, it was a relief to see this article:
FOX News Cameraman Helps Rescue Injured Marine From Insurgent Blast in Afghanistan

These sort of things need to happen much more often. Put down the camera, and be a human.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Dark Knight

I don't know how many people have seen "The Dark Knight" yet, and for that matter it doesn't really matter because I doubt many people actually actively read my blog (other than Mike, who is a fiend).

Batman has been my favorite superhero for many years now (my reasons include sexiness and the fact that he's not a superbeing, just a normal dude who's bored and has some money to spare--the perfect example of a "moral" millionaire). I heard about this movie about 6-8 months in advance, and I saw the trailer the first time it came out. I've been anticipating this movie since then, and I was devastated when I found out that it would be coming out when I was in Poland.

However, I did finally see it about two or three days after I came back from Poland. It was sort of a spiritual experience for me, a culmination of the past couple of months where I had been eagerly anticipating the premiere of the movie. The movie didn't disappoint me, and I ended up seeing it again a few days later. The second time around it was just as good, and really gave me more perspective on the themes. So, here we go, here are some thoughts that were sparked-

The use of the word "terrorism" and "terrorists" in the movie made me think (this really kind of only struck me the second time) that this movie may have been supporting the things our country has done. This was kind of interesting, and a little disturbing. I'm still not sure what exactly I think about it, because it kind of brought up a lot of complicated and conflicting emotions.

The scene that struck me the most was the boat scene, where the two ferries full of citizens were pitted against each other. This scene epitomized the whole point of my movie, I think. A really frightening look into the souls of humanity. The regular citizens all voted to kill the ferry with the prisoners on it, and convinced themselves that it was okay because "they had already chosen their path." This is was what I was expecting, mostly from the fact that despite my general optimistic nature in regards to life, in regards to humanity I have a very cynical view. What I wasn't expecting, however, was that that one prisoner took the detonator and threw it into the water. This was a really beautiful part for me, and really moving. In my opinion, I think the only reason that the other ferry didn't kill the prisoners was more because everyone was too scared to, rather than they were grappling with the moral aspects of it.

What often seems to happen is that regular citizens take on an apathetic stance in which they isolate themselves from situations, making it easier for them to commit atrocious acts. I suppose this applies to all people, really. But it is an interesting insight.

This movie was very heavy and very deep, which made it that much better.

The Moral Instinct - NY Times

"Putting God in charge of morality is one way to solve the problem, of course, but Plato made short work of it 2,400 years ago. Does God have a good reason for designating certain acts as moral and others as immoral? If not — if his dictates are divine whims — why should we take them seriously? Suppose that God commanded us to torture a child. Would that make it all right, or would some other standard give us reasons to resist? And if, on the other hand, God was forced by moral reasons to issue some dictates and not others — if a command to torture a child was never an option — then why not appeal to those reasons directly?" -- Excerpt from the article "The Moral Instinct"

I highly suggest reading this article, it is really interesting. It's quite long though, so be forewarned.