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Archive for May, 2008

WordPress hates me.

I think you should know, I’m not feeling overly fond of you at the moment either, WordPress.

T^T

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Frustration

Y’know what’s whack? That it’s so hard to get people to spend their money some things, but so easy to get them to spend it on others. Like “hey guys! There’s a half-price sale on at Bling!” sweet, cheap jewelry. But “hey guys! Let’s help a starving family start a business!” doesn’t really push people’s buttons. I mean, we’re talking about the same amount of money here, why are people so unwilling to spend their money helping others? I have some theories.

 

  1. Selfishness. In my English class we recently had a discussion on selfishness, I think it was about how we can see the Victorian workhouse system was based on a philosophy of selfishness; a basic belief that people are selfish. Basically in our discussion we talked with the assumption that this was not true. But is it? I mean, when given the choice between a $15 necklace (down from $30!), or a $25 belt (which would go so well with your new jeans!) and donating $20 to a program that feeds hungry people, I’d say 99% of the time we’d choose the jewelry or the belt. Obviously it’s the difference between spending money we earned on ourselves or on others. But should the sustenance of a family really be on the same par with an accessory we don’t even need?
  2. Cynicism. We don’t believe the money will make it to the right place. There’s always scandals in the news about people fraudulently collecting money, charities spending the majority of it on “costs”, that we fear our money might not reach those who need it. Even if we’re talking about an established charity, these fears are a great excuse to pass the buck.
  3. Lack of recognition. Imagine if one day you put $5 in a donation box on the street. Suddenly, a cameraman steps out of nowhere, a small, grateful child takes your hand and elderly woman shakily offers you a flower. In a voice shaking with emotion and admiration a reporter thanks you for the difference you have just made to the life of a farmer in Nigeria. Ok, so maybe we don’t want this much recognition, but what’s the motivation to give your money away if nobody knows about it? The person who receives it doesn’t know about you, your friends won’t know what a selfless person you are, you might as well throw your money away!
  4. The economy. “The price of petrol is going up. The price of food is going up! Hamburgers now cost up to 10 cents more! How can I afford to give money away? I don’t even eat fast food or go to the movies more than once a month, plus I need clothes, to pay my rent, to pay my student loan and my mortgage”.
  5. “It’s not my problem.” “It’s not my fault they’re poor. I’m all the way over here in my country, it’s not my fault I was born in such a prosperous society.” – When was the last time you donated time or money to a local charity, or helped out with a programme in your own community?
  6. Desensitisation. “I’ve seen the ads on TV, I heard about a million children die every second. Or maybe it was 10 million? I’m not sure.”
  7. Resignation. “There has always been people in poverty in the world, there always will be. Governments will always unfairly persecute people, what am I supposed to do about it? I am one person living a million miles away. I have my own problems.”

 

So we’re all selfish, desensitised cynics who are starved of attention and while we’re sick of the price of petrol going up we’ve pretty much given up on world poverty.

And now we’re defensive.

 

 

 

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Y’know, WordPress is great. It is. I like my WordPress. It’s pretty. And…. easy to look through. But sometimes. Sometimes, WordPress… I just wanna… cry. I really wanna cry. I often spend like an hour or two writing a post, because I look up related things, links I might wanna include, and get distracted by various relevant things. And then I click the Publish button. And about my first 3 minutes’ work gets uploaded. The rest disappears into the cyberverse, never to be seen again. And that bugs me. It says it saved it, but it didn’t. It says it’s published it, and it’s published about a fifth. And it sucks. And freakin’ technical support is only open from certain hours in a certain timezone… I have tried leaving a message but havn’t heard anything a month later… sure, I can write my messages in Word, or copy-and-paste it into another program before I try and publish it, just in case this is one of the days WordPress has decided to ruin my evening, but I shouldn’t have to.

 

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Seeing photos and hearing accounts of the earthquake in China, many of us will be asking difficult question. Why? Why has such a terrible, horrific thing happened to these people? Never fear folks, Sharon Stone has the answer.

Well y’know it was very interesting because at first I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And, so, I have been very concerned about how to… think and what to do about that because I don’t like… that. And then I’ve been just concerned about, oh, how shall we deal with the olympics because, they’re not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who’s a good friend of mine. And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened and I thought “Is that – karma? When you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?” And then I got a letter from the Tibetan foundation and that they wanted to go and be helpful. And that made me cry. And they asked me if I would write a quote about that and I said I would, that it was a big lesson to me, that sometimes you have to learn to put your head down and be of service, even to people who aren’t nice to you. And that that’s a big lesson for me.

 

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May 12th

Today at uni I’m meeting with a group to discuss a fundraiser for the China earthquake and Myanmar Cyclone. I have heard how some Chinese students watch the news every night and just cry. I wish everyone could / would read the news, so that they can understand the magnitude of what has happened to these people, and perhaps overcome and “compassion fatigue“.

I wish everyone would watch this video.

After watching this video, it seems ridiculous that fundraising is such a complicated process. There are restrictions preventing anyone who is not part of a registered charity collecting donations on campus, and while fundraising is our next option it takes so long to figure out the best option, the highest amount of profit, the easiest project to implement, check out applicable fundraising legislation.

I wish we would all want to help.

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So today I thought I’d feature the first of a couple of clips from guys who like cats. I don’t mean guys who like tigers, or guys who like to hunt wild cats, I mean guys who like nothing more than to cuddle up too a bouncy little ball of fluff. Let’s face it: girls dig guys who like cats. But there’s a very fine line, as “that engineer dude with all those cats” points out, between being a sensitive, secure guy who isn’t afraid to cuddle a kitty, and a strange man who has too many cats.

One guy definately falling on the right side of that line is Cory “Mr. Safety” Williams. His hilariously cute music video The Mean Kitty Song has had more than 9 million views on YouTube!!! His kitty ‘Sparta’ bears uncanny resemblance to Julie, and from the song it seems they share some other common characteristics. “this little kitty is a ninja always stalkin’ ma feet / this little kitty is a warrior y’know what I mean” My own ninja is currently asleep on the bed behind me – or she is whenever I turn around…

                  

If you’ve got some spare time one day and wanna check out some neat videos, visit “Mr. Safety”‘s YouTube user page.  Even if you’re not “a cat person” don’t worry – you will be. No, just kidding. Even if you’re not a cat person Cory has heaps of other vids on his page and I find is way of talking really likeable and easy to listen to. There are currently over 190 videos on his page, with 15 Mean Kitty Videos including one on Sparta’s history. My favourite part is when he’s talking about how they came to have Sparta and describes his fiancee’s reaction

and she was all like “awwwwwwww!” Y’know, as women do

Lol you can’t fool us, Cory. You lurve him!

 He’s so full of energy and easily amused
Kitty will attack anything that moves
Causing trouble, starting battles just so he could be a little part of
He’s the meanest little kitty so we named him “Sparta”!

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I went to see this movie the other week because it looked fun, and Cameron Diaz is pretty and funny, and Ashton Kutcher is pretty and funny. And because my bf asked me and wanted to see it too! ❤

At the beginning of the film we are introduced to the two main characters separately. Cameron is Joy, a tightly wound, successful businesswoman. This in itself is funnier than it should be (because of the kind of characters she normally plays and what we know she will end up doing before the end of the film, not in a sexist way :P) ~ and it doesn’t last long. Ashton plays Jack, a guy who works for his dad making furniture. I’m sure you know the rest of the story – they meet in Vegas and wake up married.

Things that really bugged me about this film were things that just did NOT make sense. I mean, I know that when you go to see this kind of film realism and plot are not two key areas where you expect brilliance, but some parts were just annoying. Like getting the characters to Vegas. Jack: Gets fired. “Oh man, what am I going to do for money?” friend: “You’re realising this now?” Jack: “I know! I’ll go to Vegas!” …. pardon? The reason you’re going to Las Vegas, to stay in a nice hotel, party, drink and gamble for 2 days is that… you’ve got no money?? Joy’s reason was slightly better but for someone who “hates Las Vegas” she sure changed her mind in a hurry. I feel like I’m nitpicking but these things really bugged me as I was watching.

It has been noted that in movies these days the best friends get all the best bits. …I can’t think of any other examples right now but it’s definately true for this film. Joy’s bestie is Tipper. That’s right, that’s her name. The actress who plays her has an even better one: Lake Bell. For realz. Anyway she kinda stole the show for me, and not just because she insanely beautiful. Her character was really likeable in a I-hope-I’ll-never-meet-her kind of way. When Joy gets dumped she says she’ll call up her brother’s shady friends and get them to go round to his house every week, knock on the door and when he opens him punch him in the junk. When he asks “Why?!” they’ll say “You know why!!!” I just feel like here is a director who gets what a best friend is supposed to be like (gotcha back, Mel 😉 ) Jack’s best friend is called Hater. Random. Anyway he is extremely annoying but also has some funny dialogue and altercations with Tipper.

I had really high expectations for this movie and I guess that’s never a good idea. There were some really funny bits, watching Joy lob oranges at Jack’s head was a high point. And it was fun. Watching them try and live together was pretty amusing. Queen Latifah also made an appearance as their marriage councellor.

It all turned to custard in the end. Not to give too much away, but Joy’s big “moment of realisation” speech was so clichéd I couldn’t even hear what she was saying over my own disbelief, and Jack’s – I didn’t hear any of his either ‘cos I had Ashton Kutcher’s voice in my head – you know on Punk’d when he’s like mocking people in his big loud laughing voice? I just heard him taking the piss out of himself the entire time.

That said, it was a fun movie. I’m not usually one to go see movies with taglines like “Get Lucky”, but it was fun. Good date movie. I’d probably wait ’til DVD to see it otherwise. Stay after the actual movie finishes for the “6 months earlier…”, and an additional scene where Tipper comes good on her promise.

Director: Tom Vaughan
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Lake Bell, Rob Corddry

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