Friday, June 13, 2008

New Idiom

I have variously been known and noted for my wit and social commentary but one thing has escaped the limelight and this despite having been named by Kelefa Sanneh as one of the "most influential under-30 culture icons you've never heard of"; the fact that few know the impact and visionary effect I've had on every day English. I have coined numerous sentences, portmanteau words, and expressions that ended up on TV, in the mouths of celebutantes, or spoken with authority in barber shops (I was saying "it is what it is" before the sentence became what it became); unfortunately for me all those things caught on virally and no one could point with authority to the source, to the originator.

This is an effort to change this, from now on I will publish my new sayings on the internet and let the power of Google indexing determine with absolute certainty the source of the latest catch phrase.

The first idiom of this series is:

"Hotter than a cat in heat on a hot tin roof" which pretty much means hotter than a moterfucker but like, way, way hotter.

Monday, October 30, 2006

to all my dreams coming true

tonight, i was walking to penn's campus when by chance i looked to the sky and saw a beautiful and ephemeral streak of light dust.

of course i did the silly thing and made a wish. i hesitated and stumbled at first but fearing perhaps that i was bound by a time limit, a so called wishing statute of limitation, i panicked and wished that all my dreams would come true.

i'm sure this will prove to be a very wise choice.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

enabling efficacy

october 8 will be the last day to postmark your registration form in pennsylvania (it might be later in other states) for the november 7 election and as the date was quickly approaching i thought i'd write a note to remind people of the importance of participating in the political process.

the right to vote is arguably one of the most important rights of citizenship in a democratic country, yet a substantial number of us citizens choose not to excercise that right. in the 18-24 age bracket voter turnout was a mere 36% in the 2000 election. considering that voting turnout gets smaller in the "off" years--years where no president is elected--we can expect about the same turnout or smaller this november. the question is why, oh why wouldnt people and especially young people want to be part of the political class and instead prefer to be part of the class that is led and dictated to like a shepherd would do to a herd of sheeps?

it is certainly tempting and seducing to let other people worry for us, vote for us, legislate for us. it is so much easier to let the politicians do their thing and avoid having to think about what's going on in washington, such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes are most unwelcome. yet for the person who does not participate in democracy his or her concerns become non-existent and his or her existence a numerical abstraction.

for some it's atrocious apathy, for others it's the belief that one's vote doesnt matter and then there are those who vote during presidential election but wont in this coming election because this one is "just" for congress.

all these reasons make me cringe as they show a fundamental lack of understanding of democracy; no matter how indifferent you are to government, you can be assured that the government and its laws will not be indifferent to you, if you dont vote, your vote will certainly have no effect on policy making and electing congress is just or perhaps even more important than electing a president as congress is the legislative branch of the government and most likely to regulate your daily life.

but i cringe for a more personal reason as well; i've lived in the us as a belgian national ever since i was sixteen i've never had the opportunity to vote and probably wont have for a long time. this and a constrained first amendment right--freedom of speech is undoubtfully less free when one is fingerprinted at every port of entry and when one requires a visa to work and reside--are probably the two liberties that i miss the most as an expatriate. the pundits might say well if you miss your precious liberties so much, why not go back to belgium? i may miss my liberties but they miss the point; i'm not in the us because i'm forced to be here, i choose to be here, i like being here, in fact i like it so much that i'm willing to sacrifice two of my most precious liberties. but you, my american friends, dont have to sacrifice anything, you can and you should exercise this most important of right.

because not voting is in effect choosing to to not have a voice and in effect choosing to reduce one's rights to that of a foreigner, except in this case it'd be choosing to be a foreigner in one's own country. not only would this be a disservice to one's self and one's country but it also constitutes an assault on the foundation of democracy.

there are too many, many people in this world who can only dream of meaningful elections (ie ones that arent rigged), who would treasure the enpowerment of a vote and are envious of democratic societies, not voting is not only a slap in their face, it shows a lack of appreciation for the values of a free society.

voting alone however is not enough to keep free societies free and prosperous--even free societies need checks and balances--not only is it important to vote, it's important to make one's vote matter. indeed democracy does not merely translate in taking some time off from work or school every two years to cast a ballot, it doesnt end with a vote for the republican party or a vote for the democratic party, rather it starts with that vote and should continue as an active involvement in the political process in order to ensure that the goverment's power remains derived from the will of the people and for the benefit of the people.

from this conjecture it becomes clear that people ought to follow what their congressmen are doing and how they're voting, they ought to know who their representative is and call him or her up when concerned about some issues; if you think the government should have the option to torture "ticking bombs" terrorist pick up your phone and tell your representative, or if you think gay marriage should be allowed write him or her a letter.

it doesnt matter so much whether to some torture is immoral and reprehensible in all cases or that to others gay marriage is an attack on god and family values, what matters is that people take ownership and responsibility for the choices made in the capitol so they can help shape the destiny of their society. if this sounds like too much of a hasstle, and representatives are left unaccountable then decisions will de facto be ceded to persuading powers of special interests and lobbying groups.

this is the ugly truth about democracy, left unchecked it will unfortunately disguise itself as a form of government by the people but for the dominating elite.

as a final consideration, i would like to talk about the issue of partisanship. i've noticed first hand the political polarization of this country and how it's become increasingly difficult to transcend the republican-democrat bridge. often enough in this country, people are born into a party, if your parents voted republican you'll tend to vote republican just because it'll feel like the right to do and similarlry if your parents are democrats. this is absolutely ridiculous and actually quite anti-democratic. this creates situations in which you have on the one hand people who vote with absolutely no knowledge of any candidates position on any issue but know nonetheless exactly who to vote for simply based on party affiliation and on the other hand people who know the candidates and their positions but prefer to stay at home during election day because they dislike the candidate of their preferred party, rather than vote for a candidate of the opposing party.

politics isnt an easy thing to navigate and political parties arent polar opposites, there's a whole spectrum of opinions that span both parties and so you will find low-tax demanding democrats and pro-choice republicans. it is therefore of utmost importance to remain flexible and independent minded about the candidates, to demand that they too once elected remain flexible and independent and to vote with a conscience on who we think would best uphold our values and preserve our democracy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

to the few peopel still reading this blog

i havent forgotten about you and i thank you for not forgetting about me.

if i havent written recently it's simply because i've been busy working on a web application which will be done in the next week or two.

after it goes live, i'll revamp this blog and give it the much love and attention it deserves.

in the mean time check back next week to signup to a little somethin somethin.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

chickenade is the new jawn

today while washing my dishes i came up with a brand new slang word: chickenade which means any type of large chicken dish.

the origin of the word can be traced back to a potluck dinner i was to attend this evening where instead of bringing prepared dishes we'd bring the ingredients and do some communal cooking. as i was thinking of what to bring, i thought i'd tell the host that "i could contribute chicken but not enough to make a chickenade" as in i'd bring some but somebody else would probably need to bring some as well for everybody to be satisfied.

the analogy of the sentence that spawned what will be known as "the word" in the annals of slang and urban emancipation, is "i've got some lemons but not enough to make some lemonade."

other example of use:
if they dont have general tso's just get me any kind of chickenade from chinese takeout.


i'm tired of eating chickenade, where's the beef?

superman returns to a most boring movie

so i went to see the man of steel last friday, expecting a somewhat entertaining movie that would have some humor, one or two romantic scenes with lois lane, some butt kicking, ass saving, almost kriptonite dying and ultimately prevailing but what i got was a very uncomfortable nap in the theaters.

there are so many things wrong with this movie i dont know where to begin so i wont but i'm not joking when i say i slept for about an hour in this two hour and half piece of hot garbage. and i mustnt have been the only one as i counted about six people leaving before the end of it, and that was before my body decided that the best thing to do would be to shut down.

why didnt i leave myself? well i was on a date.

this is probably the worst movie i ever saw in the theaters and it's surprising that it got such good reviews. if hollywood is going to make such horrible movies they should have the decency to provide a pillow with your ticket. do not waste your hard earned money on this movie.

verdict: paraphrasing dave chapelle "i wish i had more hands so i could give this movie four thumbs down"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the rise and fall of western civilization

“For more than forty years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family,” James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family(a prominent evangelical Christian non-profit organization), has said on Monday. “Barring a miracle, the family as it has been known for more than five millennia will crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

video of the week

i know i've been missing in action for a long time, but there's a reason which will be revealed very soon. in the mean time here's a must see video of the unbelievable lyrebird