Archive for July, 2007

Fear. Violent fear.

July 28, 2007

U.S. Plans New Arms Sales to Gulf Allies
Washington Post

I was brought to the brink of tears after reading this article:

“The Bush administration will announce next week a series of arms deals worth at least $20 billion to Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Persian Gulf states as well as new 10-year military aid packages to Israel and Egypt, a move to shore up allies in the Middle East and counter Iran’s rising influence, U.S. officials said yesterday.”

The other countries to which we are selling this sophisticated weaponry (including “smart bombs” and air-to-air missiles) are the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

Oh God no.
You know how sometimes you can just FEEL when something is going to go horribly wrong?
Perhaps not right away. Perhaps not earlier than a decade from now.

Why is this happening??? Has history taught the leaders of this country NOTHING about providing generally violent and powerful states with weapons? This looks all too familiar.
All too familiar indeed.

Yes, let’s strengthen the pro-Western nations against Iran. They will always BE pro-Western. There is no possibility whatsoever that they may turn on us on a dime. No no. These are our allies.

I think we should take advice from one of the greatest leaders of this country, George Washington (you know, he’s the guy featured on the dollar bill): “Trade with many, ally with none.”

“Oh my God it was soooooo retarded!”

July 18, 2007

“I was like… ‘Are you seriously retarded?'”
“My car is so retarded.”
“He acts like such a retard.”
“YOU RETARD!!!”

Really, people?

I am completely fed up with people using the word “retarded” to describe others’ idiocy or the fact that a system or process doesn’t function properly. I will openly admit that I am VERY guilty of using the word “gay” to make fun of or insult. However, over the past month or so I have been trying to censor myself and realize that the word should not be used in that manner.

But “retarded”…

How absolutely shallow can you be? How can you use such a discriminatory word and still feel okay about it?  First and foremost, you sound like a complete moron. I find that people sound stuck-up, snooty, ditzy, and vapid when using the word “retarded” as a way to mock someone or something. Honestly. You make yourself sound like an idiot.

Second, and most importantly, you are using a derogatory word that classifies a serious, untreatable medical problem to insult someone or something. Mental illnesses and handicaps have specific names (i.e. Down Syndrome), and classifying them all under one category, “retarded”, as a wonderfully witty way to make fun of someone can hardly be considered a moral thing to do.

IT’S NOT COOL.

This word has become so prevalent in our society, especially in my age group. However, I’ve noticed it quickly spreading to younger generations as well, and that greatly disturbs me.

Funny (yet disturbing) story: While visiting a really close friend of mine in Wisconsin, we decided to spend an afternoon at the beach. While laying in the sand, a family made camp about 10-15 yards from us. The family consisted of a mother in her mid 30’s, two girls, probably about 5 and 7, and a man that the girls referred to as “John”. While the seven year old ran around causing quite a ruckus, her mother shrilly yelled, “JILL, STOP ACTING LIKE A RETARD!” To which, the little girl responded, “Mommy, what’s a retard?”

I wanted to vomit.

I am not judging the character or quality of people who choose to use the word “retard” in such a manner, but I think it is something to be questioned. So please, next time you find yourself ready to use this elegant and classy insult, think about what you’re really saying, who you’re really insulting: A group of people with mental disabilities. Innocent people who have done nothing wrong and cannot control the complications with which they were born.

When you use the word “retarded” to make fun of someone or something, you diminish the dignity of the people who truly have those handicaps. It’s not fair to rob these people of any human value just because they are not as able-bodied or able-minded as you and me.

Just… show some respect.

The U.S.Weigh: A nation doomed by extremes

July 10, 2007

The problem is evident, yet we refuse to acknowledge it: The bodies of American citizens have turned toward two extremes- the horribly obese and the sickeningly thin.

The body types of health and nutrition seem to have long since passed as overweight Americans find refuge under the Golden Arches while flesh-covered skeletons vomit away their inner self-loathing.

Why has this happened? Why have we completely disregarded the Food Pyramid, the 1,500-2,000 calorie a day diet, the minimum 2.5 hours of cardio exercise per week, and a sincere regard for our wellness?

Being 19 years old, I feel that I am in a position to view with great clarity what has gone wrong.

 

Thin is in:
Anorexia and bulimia are no longer simply myths circulating through our society. I personally know at least a half dozen people who have struggled with one of these diseases. Losing weight becomes the main goal in one’s life. The scale is an obsession; food is a poison.

We’ve heard all the warnings, but they hardly seem to phase us: Hollywood is mesmerizing our young women, calling out to them to follow the path of 5’8, 110lbs wisps of women. It draws us in and immortalizes the Paris Hilton’s and Nicole Richie’s of the world. “This is beauty. This is what it takes to be beautiful.” But it’s not fair to blame the countless cases of anorexia and bulimia on Tinsel Town. Something more has to be wrong.

 

The Increase in Obese:
A number of my previous posts focus on obesity, on how easy it has become to simply be obese. Pop, chips, Pop Tarts, cookies, cake, Cheetos, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Culver’s, Steak and Shake, Hershey’s, Pizza Hut, Oreos- it all fills our stomachs, fattens our bodies, clogs our arteries, and satisfies us. Americans eat more and more and exercise less and less simply because it is easier that way.

Heart disease, strokes, and myriads of other problems congest our hospitals as the overweight people of this country suffer more and more from almost completely preventable illnesses. But who’s to blame?

 

 

 

The fact of the matter is this: Health has taken the backseat in a society that seems to demand so much from us. The miserable and depressed find solace in sugar and fat while remaining completely unmotivated to exercise or become active. The perfectionists and abandoned live with a continuing sense that they are just never good enough. But losing weight would be the answer.

While it is safe to say that so many of the eating disorders (eating too much AND eating not enough) in our country are the result of many outside forces, the reality to which we must admit is that our minds are not secure.

 

Some cure their sorrows with chocolate and ice cream. They find a safe haven in food and satisfy their mournful hearts in its comfort. At the same time, others feel that the only way to please themselves and those closest to them is to lose weight.

 

Whatever the case, the bottom line is clear: We are not happy with ourselves. Some part of us is not being fulfilled, and we are left empty and lacking inside. An aspect of our society has killed a piece of our spirits, and the only way to repair the damage is with food, or lack thereof.

 

The desire to be inwardly happy is revealed outwardly through our complete disregard for our health, nutrition, and well-being. We seek to be gratified by any means possible, even though we are still left with a vapid hole on the inside.

 

Perhaps I’m reading far too much into this, or perhaps I am touching on something that has been said millions of times before. But whatever the case, it is clear that we cannot continue down this road because as a number of us have seen much too often, these extremes are fatal.