Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Reading, Writing, The World ... Who Gives a Crap

Why do so many key question words in English start with W? Who drank my last beer? When are we going to hijack the International Space Station? What do you think you're doing with that flame thrower? When was the last time I had sex with a goat?!?

Now that I've been sufficiently sidetracked... where was I? Ah yes, where did an entire day go? I went for a run Sunday night... had Monday off from work and now it's Tuesday morning. But where did Monday go? I slept. I read a little... I think a lot, actually. But what else? It's just all a haze and with no drugs or alcohol involved. "Crappy" day it was, I remember that. Drizzly, overcast, no blue sky so certainly no sun, mid-50's all day, maybe just barely getting over 60 (or about 16 celsius.) I wanted to go flying but the weather doomed that. I thought of taking some tunes hiking but for some reason I just never mustered up the enthusiasm to lace up the boots and go. Just a day with nothing incredibly remarkable.

Ahhh but I guess for the new generation of dillweeds, I mean kids, that's no big deal. Now I like kids just fine, no problems. If they disrespect me, I punch 'em... kidding, I'm kidding! I get along with kids without much of a problem at all but what I'm getting at is -- I knew there was a reason I generally hate technology: kids nowadays are getting pathetically stoopid because of it.

There's a recent book out called:
The Dumbest Generation: How The Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans And Threatens Our Future

and the dude who wrote it I saw on the FOX NEWS CHANNEL this morning. In the discussion he pointed out many of the ideas in his book (which can be seen at Boston.com) including the fact that kids, in general, are less interested in the world and even America and basically everything outside of their immediate realities. They don't give a crap about John Steinbeck, Benjamin Franklin, or the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And why should they give a crap about what's happening in Zimbabwe or the problems with Communist Cuba and human rights abuses there or the asswipe "government" that's keeping millions of people suffering in Burma.

This ignorance amongst kids right now isn't just common, it's a valid way of living for these little twits.

IMing is a way of life for so many kids that they can't spell properly. For homework and email they have spellchecker which doesn't do much to help people learn the proper spelling of words they mess up.

Being an intellectual and expressing real Deep Thoughts as well as rock solid opinion, that's lame for them. I'll admit, sometimes I don't like putting too much thought into things, I just wanna keep it light and loosely organized and very informal ... but holy crap, Jack, to not only appear like a dunce but actually be a dunce, also... that's okay?!

And then there's things like Grand Theft Auto IV (a wicked popular video game) which only exacerbate the idiot factor which is backed up by lower grades in schools and more kids in remedial reading and writing classes.

Kids now also merely retrieve information from the internet when they have to write a paper and/or do their homework. They're not going through the motions to read and actually learn; just grab the info and use it. Done. Very little is retained when you're just taking information and not actually putting it into your head to make you a more well-rounded human being.

Now what does me despising technology have to do with this? Nothing really. I just knew all of this stuff is not a good thing for American society. The corporations and their marketing machines keep shoving it our faces like we're the damn morons if we don't take part in all of this. We've got money, this is what we should be spending it on. Duh.

Oh no, I don't have an iphone, what the hell is wrong with me? You don't have a Nintendo Wii? You've never played Grand Theft Auto? Nope, nope, nope and I've also never gotten driving directions from a damn GPS unit, and if I wanna rent a movie, I'm gonna go and interact with people there IN the store, and on my phone plugged into the wall I'm going to dial up the pizza place to order a pizza, not do it all mechanically online. And I'm going to go to the post office to get done what I need to do at the post office, again, no online bullshit. What's wrong with people?!?! Why does everyone want to become a dunce cap wearing dillhole only concerned about what Simon said about the most popular singer on American Idol?

Okay, now I'm really ranting, or I should say I'm done really ranting. I just don't get the "need" to have all this technology nor do I understand why it's accepted far and wide as what is right... when it's clearly wrong.

Yes, I will agree and add that technology is good for society (or for certain individuals) in some ways. Having a cell phone could probably be a nice thing stranded on the side of the road at 2 a.m. with a flat tire or something. Maybe it'll help a contractor with his business when he's on a work site. Technology aids me as an EMT sometimes when I'm providing medical care for a patient. But too many can't stop there... it's got to be a HUGE part of their everyday lives
(much more than blogging & sharing Dead shows via mp3) ... and that is clearly dumbing down America. We already had a problem with people who aren't too bright because schools fail them, now we're experiencing the beginning of people who won't be very bright when they should be but technology has failed them.

From the book's website: "The technology that was supposed to make young adults more astute, diversify their tastes, and improve their minds had the opposite effect."

What is that going to mean for America The Beautiful as she faces the future? We, as a nation, are producing more janitors than intelligent, caring people. Not only is that bad for this great country but with less people looking outward at what needs to be fixed in far off lands, this is bad for the world. The United States is the most generous there is... but what about in the future when these kids now are mostly concerned about themselves while not even knowing what continent Zimbabwe is on?

Hmmm... and now as I'm about to go for a run before work at 9, I wonder how all the technology that's ruining this country is also playing into obesity in America. "Why play football when I can kill people playing video games?" "Why go for a hike when I can spend the next 12 hours IMing my friends?" Etc, etc, etc. Hey, want a bag or two of Doritos for while you're sitting around on your ass getting fatter as each hour goes by?

Thanks a lot, Al Gore. See what you've done?!

The North Face trail running shoe -- good for use in the Appalachian Mountains ... but seriously, they are rather small compared to the Rocky Mountains ... Sierra Nevada are sweet, too.  Would definitely use 'em in the Alps, that's for sure.  One thing's for sure -- Jerry Garcia or Bob Weir or Phil Lesh or Blaise Compaoré probably never went running in Paraguay, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, Pyongyang, 평양 직할시 조선민주주의인민공화국 平壤直轄市 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國, Türkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Кыргызстан, Киргизия, Uzbekistan, O'zbekiston, Ўзбекистон Республикаси, Tajikistan, Тоҷикистон.  Probably the same with Brent Mydland.  At least that's my gut feeling.  I could be wrong.  I mean, there were a lot of drugs at Grateful Dead shows and the good Lord above, He knows I did my share!52° and light drizzly rain at 7:35 am
Tuesday Before Work Run: 21 minutes 35 sec+6 sec
Run Time June:1 hour25 minutes
May:4 hours46 minutes
April:3 hours55 minutes

4th run in 10 days = still bad.

There's something quite relaxing about running in a light drizzle and needing a long-sleeve shirt for the chillier temperature. This morning on the trail was a breeze, for the most part. The cooler weather really made it clear that when it's warmer, it's tougher to run because more energy gets used... or sucked out of me? I'm not sure which it is. Seems like more energy would get used when it's colder because, even with the heat the action of running produces, the body needs to work to stay warm. Hmm... but when it's warmer, it feel like I'm using, by the end of the run, twice as much energy and I'm twice as tired immediately after slowing down from that pace. I'll have to look into that. Alls I know is I finished my run with very little difficulty whatsoever. I had made up my mind to add a minimum of 8 seconds a run? Was it 8? Or 10-12? Maybe the latter. Didn't happen today. My first playlist didn't pan out for a good time and my 2nd playlist didn't pan out and I didn't want to spend a lot of time on that so I went with the closest I could get which was this measly 6 additional seconds. Ahhh well, better than nothing.

I'm still not thrilled with this less than 50% frequency but hopefully I crank that up a notch or two. Frankly I don't care if I run at 50% or not, so long as I make my End of The Month Goal. (But running at 50% will make me feel a lot better about being able to hit that 5 hour mark for June.)

PHONOGRAPHRunning tunes came
from this album o' the day...
Hunters & Collectors - The Jaws Of Life [CD cover] (1984)Hunters & Collectors

The Jaws Of Life

42 Wheels
Holding Down To a D
The Way To Go Out
I Couldn't Give It To You
It's Early Days Yet
I Believe
Betty's Worry or The Slab
Hayley's Doorstep
Red Lane
Carry Me
Little Chalkie
Lumps of Lead

'84 was a great year for tunes. Examples? None. Except this right here and now. The whole post-punk movement in the early 80's brought to light the excellence of many bands including The Cure, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Church, INXS, Midnight Oil and just a buttload of others. While not as famous worldwide as all of those, Hunters & Collectors would definitely be on the expanded list.

Awhile back I listened to The Poor, another Aussie pub-rockin' band from primarily the early 80's and they were like AC/DC rock while Hunters & Collectors is clearly in another category. This I knew beforehand -- Hunters & Collectors had one single (Where The River Runs Dry) popular in the U.S. almost 20 years ago. That song I still have on a mix tape made from the great Salt Lake City "alternative" radio station, KJQ.

Apparently this album marked a change for this band. Prior to this they'd been more prog rock. I haven't heard their earlier albums so I can't compare
but knowing that I'd say in a song or three there are a few influences from that present here. Predominantly this is straight ahead rock with a distinct sound that make this their own. Definitely a great way to start a new direction.

320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE find a dload @ Ausrock 320 kbps mp3 download MUSIC NOTE
Viva la vida or death and all his friends 320 kbps mp3 download
"Betty's Worry or The Slab" - Live, 1984


Lenore said...

Nice rant. I'd like to throw in the fact that kids these days have the social skills of a sea urchin. No manners, rude to adults, etc. My kids' friends make me want go and beat the hell out of their parents.

Nazz Nomad said...

When I was a kid, I had to walk up hill three miles in the snow back and forth from school.

Hey you kids, stay outta my yard!
feh- kids these days are the same breed of little assholes that WE were when we were kids (and our parents and grandparents before us!

Zooomabooma said...

I've heard a lot about kids now being a helluva a lot assholier than we were, Nazz.

Has to do with all this damn technology. Plus games like Pacman and Asteroids didn't make me a punk but Grand Theft Auto makes kids punks now.

Sugarmag said...

pssst, Zoooma, I think you watch too much Fox News ;). Maybe not but I can tell you that kids around these parts still play outside. I don't have any data about the rest of the country, though.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated