Critical Mass I: Kindly Informing a Slight, Forgivable Misunderstanding

April 25, 2009

This was originally going to be used as a comment for a Critical Mass ride video on youtube.com which claimed that Critical Mass was a protest by crazy left wing bicyclists who sought to “take over the city” and “shut down the streets”. There was a seething hatred toward the ride.

Just as I have purchased, insured, and drove an automobile for many years, I challenge anyone who has problems with Critical Mass to ride a bicycle to work, to school, to pick up their children, to purchase groceries, and to visit people for a single day. You are also welcome to come any of the lovely bicycle rides in San Diego. I feel that only when we have sat on one another’s Brooks saddles can we truly speak from a point of reason and experience rather than from that of ignorance and hatred.

Also, I’d like to clear up some misunderstandings regarding Critical Mass. For me, the ride is not a protest ride. In Critical Mass riders, there are as many political views as bicyclists. Just as you can’t dismiss a driver as a right wing homicidal maniac, don’t judge a cyclist until you meet and speak with them. This requires getting out of your car.

When I traveled across the US, many automobile drivers took us into our house, fed us, and treated us like royalty. When I see an automobile driver, these are the people I see. When you see a bicyclists, I want you to see a smiling face of someone who is enjoying every second of their life: the fresh air, the sunshine on their face, the exhilaration of freedom, and the good night’s rest that a day’s cycling leads to.

The reason I ride is because it’s a lot of fun. I hope all the driver’s out there forget their tempers and come and enjoy their night with us. You are all welcome to come.

In San Diego, the police escort us, so the ride is actually sanctioned by the city just as other events that have police protection.

Also, if you study the CA state driver’s exam book, bicycles are allowed on the city streets by law. There is nothing in the book saying how far bicyclists have to ride from one another just as there is no law against many cars clogging up the streets on a daily basis in what people describe as a “traffic jam”.

No need to tell people to stay home. It’s a free country. The more cars on the road, the more the streets get clogged, and the safer cycling is. Yet we can ride just as fast traffic or no. Jealous? Don’t be. There’s plenty of room out here for another cyclist. Join us.

As for protests, what is there to protest? All the drivers are nice people here. The streets are large enough for automobiles, bicycles, skateboarders carrying surfboards, and pedestrians to ride side by side as long as we are all willing to respect one another. I often yield for automobiles even when the law does not permit it for my own safety as well as my own peace of mind. Sometimes drivers don’t see me. I understand. Often drivers will yield to me many times when it is not required by law. In the vast majority of cases, both cyclists and drivers are kind and patient. We remember things in a way that reflects our world view.

Again, come to ride, watch from the sidelines, or sit in traffic. Whatever the case may be, I hope you enjoy every night. Life’s too short for anger.

Fallacy of Equality

April 18, 2009

There is a little misunderstanding in advocacy groups. I made this mistake myself for about a decade.

I like to call it the Fallacy of Equality. Basically it states that if you are advocating for an alternative, you must give equal time to all sides including your opponents.

This is complete nonsense. When has anyone who has tried to sell us inferior, dangerous, and unnecessary products had to point out that there were inexpensive or free alternatives by their competitors?

About never. So why should advocates be “fair”?

I am both a Linux and a bicycling advocate. For years, I believed that I had to give equal time to Microsoft products. Then it occurred to me that Microsoft spends billions of dollars a year in advertising (that’s corporate for advocacy). Do they ever mention that you can download a bootable alternative that runs circles around their software? No. They mock Linux.

In the Linux community, I try to be positive and to welcome everyone with equal arms. This means being kind to MS Windows users as they might not have realized that there are alternatives. However, this does not mean that I am going to accept that every expenditure for the government, corporate, or otherwise should take Windows into account? Again, see above. Microsoft does not do this why should I?

Similarly with bicycles. I was recently told that I should give equal time to automobiles because no form of transportation should be privileged. Again, this is nonsense. There is only so much money for transportation. Every cent spent promoting automobiles detracts from cycling. In fact the number one reason that people don’t cycle is because they fear getting hit by a car.

Need I mention the yearly automobile company spending in advertising? Need I point out the countless free advertising that auto companies get every time a cyclist is the butt of a joke in a movie? Should I mention the millions spent in pushing autos with public money with driver’s education programs across the country? Why should I give up the pennies for bicycles to give “equal time”.

When are the big guys going to have to give “equal time” to my views? Imagine Microsoft spending a few billion in Linux promotion? Linux would “eat their lunch” in a level playing field. Imagine a true cost comparison of a lifetime of either cycling and driving including the 40,000 victims of driving a year, countless cases of diabetes, heart disease, and childhood asthma that our car crazy legacy. Again, there would be no comparison and bicycles would win every time.

So the next time you want to advocate X and someone asks you to be “fair and balanced” or give equal time, ask to split the total cost in promotion down the middle. I’d gladly take half the transportation budget in dedicated bicycle paths. Never happen? Then don’t bother me with equal time. Now excuse me while I chase some more funding crumbs from the table of crappy, mass produced products.

Shamelessness

April 17, 2009

Not to belabor the point from yesterday, but I was still thinking about it on my ride home today.

I realized another thing about some drivers. They have such a deep hatred of bicycles that they don’t realize how dangerous they are. When you are on a bicycle, a car is the Nemesis, the Big Bad, the Terminator.

Driver’s don’t seem to get it.

When I violate a traffic law on my bicycle by mistake, I feel real shame. If it works out then I feel like I let the whole bicyclist community down by making us look like a bunch of outlaws. If there’s a near accident. I apologize to the people who would have hurt me. I realize that I really messed up and I almost paid a big price for not paying attention. That’s totally on me. I want to crawl in a hole.

My question is, why do drivers,when they break the law, and almost kill me, get angry at me? What’s their problem? Don’t they have a sense of right and wrong and the notion of shame? Don’t they care?

I have come the conclusion that no matter what I do, I’m always going to appear to be a criminal to many a driver. I could be the caregiver for their grandmother. I could support their favorite cause.

They just don’t get it. They think it’s all a big joke. Or they get really pissed. “Bikers why can’t they stay off the street.”

This knowledge is not depressing to me, it’s a big relief. I feel a big weight off my shoulders. It means that I will be hated by some NO MATTER WHAT I DO. I read in a book called The Science of Fear by
Daniel Gardner that people fundamentally think different when they think in political terms or are emotional. That’s why the guy didn’t even hear me yesterday. I could have been offering him a million dollars no strings attached, it would have all been nonsense to him.

When people are driving, and they encounter a cyclist, the cyclist is a nuisance. They are vermin. They are terrorists even. Not people we can talk to. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Closed door. End of story. Good-bye.

That’s great. I don’t have to feel a big burden to make people like me. I don’t have to make excuses for riding a bicycle because no excuse will be needed.

Oh, I’m still going to carry out my plan of yielding for everyone no matter who’s right or wrong. I’m still going to smile to everyone I see. I’m not going to let a few assholes turn me into them. I’m not going to lose this fight.

Right now I’m going to turn to my favorite text that always makes me a better person: The Perfection of Patience.

“Anger destroys all the good conduct, such as generosity and worshipping the Sugatas, which has been acquired over thousands of eons.

There is no vice like hatred, and there is no austerity like patience. Therefore, one should earnestly cultivate patience in various ways.
The mind does not find peace, nor does it enjoy pleasure and joy, nor does it find sleep or fortitude when the thorn of hatred dwells in the heart. “

A Road Rage of My Own

April 16, 2009

I should just change this blog to rile to rile (or just rile) because there has been little “haha” laterly. This will change. However, we are going to have a little more rile today. Here’s my story of losing my mind with road rage today.

My wife rides her bicycle everyday to work because she enjoys the ride, gets great exercise. I go along for the ride for the same reasons. Having traveled the US, I can safely say that our ride is the most beautiful in the country. We cut through Balboa Park to enjoy the mix of natural beauty, architecture, and the skyline from the bridge on El Prado.

It was on this bridge on April 16, 2009 at 8:30 AM where we had the encounter with the angry old man. I was riding and talking to my wife when suddenly a mini-van came out of nowhere from behind it. It started honking and came close to hitting us. I lost it.

Ignoring protests from my much more intelligent wife, I went after him. I know it is petty, but I don’t like someone to threaten the lives of wife and myself. Also, my wife has a speedometer. We were riding at 15 MPH which is the speed limit on that road. He had to be speeding to even catch up with us let alone pass us. So he broke more than a few laws.

When I caught up with him, he tried to speed away. I was shouting obscenities at him like, “Come back here, you asshole. And come on tough guy.” I’m not proud of that. Like I said, I was really angry. Finally, I caught up with him at the stop light. I was able to get next to his window where I informed him of the two laws he broke.

He parked along Sixth St. Then he reached into his side holster, and I was sure he was going to brandish a gun.

“Great,” I thought. “He’s going to shoot me. My wife will be so pissed.”

“Send a car,” he said into his cell phone.

I was perfectly OK to waste his time waiting for the police because I was in the right.

He got out of the car and started to go off on me. “You run stop signs. You have no right to be in that lane. That’s for cars to get through. You can’t block the lane.”

(He’s wrong. Bicycles don’t block lanes, they ride in them. Under California law, they are vehicles just like automobiles and have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of other vehicles.)

He continued, “You want to ride your bike into my truck and fuck with me? Come on fuck with me.”

I thought that this was really funny. He almost killed us, but now he’s an innocent guy being bullied in his giant vehicle by a tiny bicycle. I still chuckle when I think of this as it’s so wrong on so many levels. Yes, automobile drivers get run down daily while driving by tiny bicycles. The death rate is, um, zero per year.

I told him that I wasn’t there to “fuck with him, but to inform him.”

He looked shocked. “Inform me? What are you going to inform me about?”

I said, “I all ready told you. I am now respectfully listening to your position.”

He looked even more astounded. It was like he was realizing that I was a human being for the first time. I know his feeling. When driving it’s easy to see humans as impediments and not as people with flesh and feelings. I started to feel compassion for this man.

I realized that although I had all ready told him he was speeding, he had not heard me. He only saw me as a crazy person. This is understandable because I was very angry. I was yelling. How could he hear me otherwise? He was in a sealed off car, and he was trying to speed away. I realized that he hadn’t planned on a discussion. He thought he could harass me, threaten me, and not deal with me again. I believe that the nature of driving encourages bad behavior in people who would not think of acting out while walking around.

I repeated what laws he broke. I explained that my wife had a speedometer and that we were riding at 15 MPH. I informed him that the speed limit is 15 MPH and that he had broken the law by passing us.

Suddenly he didn’t want to talk anymore. He had to run. He wasn’t even going to wait around for the police he pretended to call. He ran back to his truck, jumped in, and sped off.

I wanted to tell this story because I realized that there are many misconceptions about bicycles. I would like to debunk them.

1.Bicycles “block the road”.

Actually, by law, bicycles are traffic like the rest of vehicles. When cars have to slow down at a light or to park, people don’t get into a fit. Likewise, if there is a slow moving vehicle, you need to slow down to a safe speed.

Unless they have a death wish, bicyclists do not try to impede traffic. If they are risking their lives in the middle of the street, they are there for a good reason. Perhaps they are turning. They probably know what they are doing, and they should be given space and accounted for.

2.El Prado is through traffic only. Bicycles are not even supposed to be on the road.

Although it’s possible to drive through Balboa Park, legally, by going on El Prado, the route is a bit convoluted. There are frequent, mandatory stops. Pedestrians will walk into the street without looking. For this reason, the speed limit is 15 MPH even though it does look at if that tiny stretch of road, across the bridge is designed for much faster traffic. This is a untrue. You will stop in about 10 seconds after accelerating. Sometimes pedestrians will walking into the road without looking. For these reasons, it’s best to stick with the legal speed limit.

3.Bicycles are law breaking loons who ought to be taught a lesson by nearly killing them and honking at them. After this, they will gain a clear grasp of the law, and never break a traffic law again.

Bicyclists don’t break traffic laws anymore than automobile drivers. Do you honestly know anyone who drives the speed limit all the time? If you do any amount of driving, you will realize that you must drive a safe speed for road conditions. Usually this is within the speed limit, but not always. Even though you may not be caught, you have just broken the law and became a criminal.

For similar reasons, bicycles might roll through a stop sign if conditions are safe because it takes a lot of effort to go back up to full speed. This practice is legal in some states and will soon be legal everywhere. For a bicyclists to break a traffic law is to assume a lot of personal risk, and this is not advised.

However, even if a bicyclist is in the wrong, is it OK to almost kill someone? Everyone makes mistakes and should be corrected. The proper way to communicate is not violence, and it is not to blow your horn. A honking horn carries no information and escalates any situation.

If you would like to discuss traffic laws and reform a bicycles. Pull up next to them and calmly offer to sit down and share a cup of coffee. Nearly everyone responds well to kindness. Over the cup of coffee, you can share you gripes, concerns, and express what the bicyclist did wrong and how you’d like them to change. You will get more results with this method.

If you try to kill them you might succeed and now you are a killer. If you fail, you’ll look like a petulant and cowardly asshole especially if you get stuck at a light and the bicyclist catches up with you. This happens far more often than drivers believe.

Left Wing Media Update

April 14, 2009

Here’s a video of Fox News whining that the New York Times is too RIGHT–yes right–wing.

My head hurts, but this further proves my point. They go on to show how Obama is actually going to put forth many conservative programs, but this is not covered by the media.

So basically, Fox’s point is that they hate Democrats even if they support their policies. It’s not about the policy, it’s a popularity contest. You’re wrong even if you’re right because you aren’t in our shitty club. How old are these people anyway?

Left Wing Media Debunked

April 14, 2009

I’m sick and tired of hearing that old lie–yes lie–about the “left wing” media. This is something that Limbagh has been saying for years, and people are starting to repeat it. If enough people repeat it on the radio and TV, it must be true.

Actually, it’s complete nonsense. My argument is that everyone on TV are moderates and the LEFT HAS NO VOICE IN THE MEDIA. None. In fact, Chompsky pointed out the intellectual gulag that left wingers are thrown into. If a story is left of the New York Times, it must be crazy, right? Because the crazy left has its voice. Its the New York Times. Therefore, if it’s even more left, it’s crazy. Welcome to the idiotic world of circular logic. Circular logic is false.

Actually, nobody really has left wing opinions unless they do some hard thinking. This requires disconnecting from the media for a while and hashing it out on your own. If you do, and you reconnect you will find some stunning things. One of them is that all the most important issues in your life, the things you really care about and want are completely ignored by the media.

People look at me like I am a crazy person when I tell them this. Therefore, I am going to put out a table that shows the difference between the Right, the Left, and Moderates. I am not going to apologize for this table. It seems like these positions are distorted but that’s only because the media actually distorts what’s going on. I took out all their bullshit euphemisms and made things very clear.

Whatever side you are one, I have a lot of respect for you, as a sentient being. I realize that you only want to be happy and free for suffering. I hope that this is so. I feel the same about everyone else as well.



























































































Topic



Left



Moderate



Right



War



Withdraw all troops today.



Reduce the troops a little.



Invade more countries.



Automobiles/Energy Policy



Ban cars. Switch to bicycles. Become energy independent over
night. End funding for terrorism and end the deaths of 40,000
Americans/year due to our destructive automobile habit.



Electric cars which uses more fuel than regular autos.



Burn all the gas as quickly as we can, after all, it’s our,
“way of life.” Forget about the children.



Economy



Congress has slumber party until homelessness is over. After
all people are sleeping out in the cold now. If they have time to
bail out the wealthiest companies they should give fair time to
those without homes.



Give money to big corporations with oversight. After all, the
companies failed so they should be propped up but not rewarded.
They need to watched for a few years.



Give money to big corporations with no strings. After all, the
“market” can take care of itself. It certainly knows who to
give tax money to: rich people.



Nuclear proliferation



Assist all other countries with nuclear programs. If we help
others then they are not likely to attack us. After all, the fact
that the Soviet Union had nukes prevented World War III.



Talk to the countries that are proliferating to try to get them
to realize that nukes are a bad security investment. After all,
the biggest nuke stockpile in the world sat idle while terrorists
used our own airlines to destoy our biggest buildings. We need to
have more friends in the world.



Alienate countries. Invade and kill their civilians. After all,
if they are all dead, then they can’t harm us. If anyone tries to
get nukes, we’ll kill them. Hopefully countries will disarm when
they see this.



Islamization



Non-issue. Why bother with other country’s governments? Our own
country is messed up as it is.



??



Secularize other countries while at the same time we introduce
Christianity and our own morality in our own courthouses, laws,
and classrooms by any means necessary.



Taxes



100% tax cut for those making less than $250,000. Give the
people, overnight, the tax cuts that Bush promised, but never
delivered. Moderate taxes on wealthy. A small percent of a huge
portion won’t be noticed by wealthy, but it can be used to pay for
everything.



Minor tax credits for things we like. Increase overall taxes.
After all, Bush ran up quite a big bill. Obama is trying to beat
him on debt. If we don’t start to pay interest then our creditors
will cut us off.



Tax cuts for wealthy. High taxes for middle class and poor.
Don’t give anyone any benefits for their taxes. Use non-issues
such as abortion and homosexuality to distract voters from the
fact that their taxes are the same as they were eight years ago.
Rack up massive debts until the government ceases to function.
After all, the wealthy do the best in countries where every aspect
of the government is for sale.



Guns



Keep guns in the hands of the law abiding. Don’t collectables.
Allow for hunting. Ban sales of cheap hand guns, shut down gun
shops that evade the law. Prevent straw purchases by limiting the
number of sales per month.



Ban guns aren’t really popular in most murders, but look scary
on TV. Mild restrictions on cheap handguns, the biggest killers.



No regulation on guns. Rich people can buy bigger guns than the
poor and afford their own security. If the poor kill one another,
who will really cares?



Drugs



Deregulate and tax.



Use in college then pretend that drugs don’t exist.



Keep millions in jail, as long as they are minorities. Ignore
drug users if they are white and wealthy. Elect them to office.
Party with coke, but publically denounce its use.



Food Bill



Ban unhealthy food. People don’t know what’s best for
themselves. They’ll be happy when they are healthy. Regulate
industry to make sure that they are not selling toxins to the
public. Make food more local and agriculture more sustainable.
Limit pesticindes. Ban GMO foods as they are not proven safe and
they are completely unnecessary and a trojan horse for consumer
lock-in and theft of agricultural knowledge.



Fund unhealthy food. Mildly regulate unhealthy food. Allow
crappy food to proliferate as the “market has spoken.”



Give top dollar to promote unhealthy food. Cut funding for
study of dietary disesase. Fund creation of exotic seeds which can
be patented by big corporations. Eliminate natural seeds from the
market driving up the price of food while making it unhealthy, and
wasting fuel shipping food around the country.



Abortion



Non-issue. Like other healthcare, it should be free with no
questions asked.



Ignore this issue. It is political dynamite.



Pretend to oppose abortion. If someone related needs one,
secretely ship them to another country where they can get one done
safely and without annoying activists. Do nothing to actually stop
abortion even while you have complete political power.



Homosexuality



Non-issue. Treated like normal couple by constitutional
amendment.



Pretend to care, but stall on issues. Also politcal dynamite.



Demonize them. It’s a great distraction from economic issues.
Have people vote for morals so they forget their pocketbooks.



Immigration



People immigrate because their own countries are treated
unfairly by large corporations. Level the playing field and
everyone will be happy where they are. After all, immigrating is
dangerous, and it’s sad to leave one’s family. It’s something only
the most desparate try. Breaking minor immigration laws is part of
dealing with the constantly shifting rules, and uncaring and
unhelpful immigration officers who never knew struggle. Besides
Americans disregard laws they don’t like all the time even if it’s
a minor inconvenience such as traffic laws.



Be vague. After all, we don’t wish to offend the white,
sensitive people who don’t live near immigrants. We also don’t
want to offend our large minority voting base who feels their jobs
are threatened by immigrants.



Immigrants are illegal. Throw the book at them; just make them
go away. Unless, we need cheap labor then employ them once they
scale the Communist era, Berlin style wall we are building. But
don’t let them live in my neighborhood.



Education



Step back and wonder why we are so over-educated. Is it useful
to spend all one’s youth studying? The jobs aren’t what they were
ever since the unwashed masses started going to college. Focus on
career training and leave the esoteric stuff to the rich kids.



Give more money to schools. Public education for all. Make
student loans available for everyone and encourage them to go to
college thus insuring a generation of wage slaves forced to work
merely to repay student loans.



Only for the wealthy. For all others, not my problem.





Pour massive amounts of corporate money into colleges in the
forms of military and medical research and then bitch that all
schools are too “liberal” because they don’t support genocide
at least not all the time. Spend a huge amount of time playing
word games which distract from the real problems.





San Diego, Only a Few Dollars Short of World Class Bicycle City Status

April 6, 2009

Here’s the letter I sent to the San Diego budget suggestions.

This should be good for a laugh in their offices. Known fact that auto fumes and sedentary transportation cause neural death resulting in pathetically, poor judgment 🙂

San Diego has great weather all year round.

However, many of us are trapped in our autos because there is no safe access to parts of the city. There are places that are two miles away from me that I can only reach by auto or by an hour bus ride.

Why can I not cycle?

I suggest that all places be accessible by bicycle.

This will make San Diego a world class bicycle city. It’s known that cyclists make up the most creative and economically productive members of society.

This will attract people from all over the United States who will drive economic growth. It will allow people to abandon their autos which are literally driving them into bankruptcy for cycles which will make them healthier, happier, and will leave them with more money to spend on things that last.

Bicycle routes cost a fraction of the cost of highways, and they can be maintained mostly by volunteer labor. The city will save millions on wear and tear on the highways as people take to the bikeways.

Look at any city that has invested in its cycling infrastructure, and you will see a city that is very strong economically. These cities are well thought of, well respected, and people flock to them from around the world.

Stop wasting millions of savings for the citizens and lost revenue for the city brought on by poor planning. Help to make San Diego a world class cycling city. I’ll be happy to point out examples of where cities have benefited from a modest investment in dollars.

Media Screed

March 12, 2009

Note this isn’t funny. It’s angry and obvious so don’t read it unless you have lived in a cave you’re whole life or if you like cliches.

Disclaimer: I need to get this out here before I start before people get confused.

1. I don’t hate wealthy people. I have a religious practice that encompasses all sentient beings. I have no anger that people have worked harder or were luckier than I was. That’s life, and I’m an adult. Whether or not I am jealous is up to me. Sometimes, I wish I had things that other people had, true. I think that this is a universal emotion that everyone has felt.

2. I’m not poor. I don’t think that there’s anything special about being poor. It’s a sucky situation, and poor people get screwed a lot. Welfare does not pay enough. I challenge anyone who thinks that welfare is a scam to give away all their money and go on it. I have never been poor enough for welfare benefits even if I didn’t work for half a year.

3. Overall, I’m happy with my life.

I know this sounds a bit obvious, but I’m so sick of the media right now.

If you watch the media very closely, you will realize that they only care about the upper 10% of the US population. Anything that affects rich people is a giant disaster. If poor people are affected or ugly people for that matter they don’t care.

I liked the recent John Stewart shows when he took on Jim Cramer because I thought that Stewart was both informative and entertaining two things that I think that Jim Cramer is not.

Sorry to burst a bubble (haha), but people who listen to Cramer want to something for nothing. They live in the dream that if they put enough money in the right stock it will soar, and they will sell and become wealthy. If you want more money than you actually worked for is this not “money for nothing”? And middle class and poor people are accused of this mentality by the “left” wing media all the time. It’s sickening.

Just like the over-paid talking head bitching about the people who actually assembled their cars. How many people on TV suggested that the people on TV are over-paid to do an easy job (reading aloud)? None. They can’t relate to people who make less than they do.

That’s why I’d like to suggest changing “left wing” media with “rich people’s” media.

1. New York Times = Yuppie Times ($400,000 = middle class,  but the same “middle class” family pays someone only $40,000)

2. Wall Street Journal = Republican Street Journal (because they have a double standard when it comes to Democrats. They just do.)

The only person who actually seems to care about people who make money less than him is John Stewart. Of course, they mock him for pointing out the obvious which is that if you make a prediction that hurts people, you are hurting people. He also demonstrated that it’s not wise to invest your money based on someone on TV. It’s just not.

I was so happy to see the investment market exposed. I hated to hear that Cramer felt as if he had just made a “little mistake” and the “the whole market is down”. Then he went on to praise himself for making an obvious prediction that actually came out to be true. So what? A stopped clock is right twice a day. To see if predictions are correct, you need to look at how many times you got things wrong.

Also, they were so angry at John Stewart because they said his job was easy. I feel that it is easy. If you watch the mainstream media with brain still ON, you will see clips that should be on his show all the time. That’s because the media is biased towards rich people which means it can’t  be logical. THE MEDIA IS FUCKING RETARDED. That’s why John Stewart’s show is so easy. If people were not dumbasses in front of the camera then this would not be possible.

Yes, predictions are wrong at times as Cramer admits. If you can’t do your job right, I suggest you should quit. I have read an excellent book called the Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb which demonstrated that the markets are too random to predict. Ever. He quit his job predicting the market because he thought it was dishonest to pretend that he knew more than he did. This is an honorable man. I think that Cramer should just admit that his job is not possible and quit. Pretending that this is an a one time thing is continuing the lie.

Taleb also suggested that people should not listen to the media because it makes you dumber and is a waste of time. I agree. The less I hear the rich people’s news, the less confused I am. I apologize to the people of the media who try to be fair. I’m sure they won’t read this. Also, there was a disclaimer. 🙂

Oh, if you search and replace “rich people’s money” with the “economy”, things will become crystal clear as well.

Parental Control

January 20, 2009

I love the TV show Parental Control on MTV. This is a show where a parent, who can’t stand their child’s significant other (SO), will go on the show where they set their child up with two dates. One date is picked by the father the other is picked by the mother. Then the games begin. The entire show consists of several discreet phases.

Note that the show is heterosexually biased. In four episodes, I have not seen a single gay couple on the show. I have no idea why this is the case as MTV is one of the most gay friendly stations ever. In the world of MTV one out of every four people or so is gay. One out of every ten is transgendered and pretty much everyone else is bi. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I’m sure that MTV will eventually cross the orientation line and do a gay show. I’m sure to watch it. Until I see one of these shows, I’ll assume that the show has only hetero-couples. I’ll do a separate article on gay Parenetal Control if I ever see it.

Parental Bitching Phase

The child’s SO is made out to be as bad as possible by the parents. They can complain as much as they want. This is highly entertaining. If the SO is a female, the complaints usually sound pretty lame. So the girlfriend is self-centered and slutty. This is normal for girls this age in this period of time. It is likely that someone who is willing to be on a TV show is not going to be a good replacement for most of these girls. Also the parent’s child is not always an angel either. Therefore, this makes their whining look even more petty, but it also makes it more entertaining. On the other hand, I usually find the parent’s complaining about a boyfriend to be fairly accurate. They don’t have jobs, they mistreat the girl by grabbing her ass in public, they smell, they eat in a filthy manner, and they always disrespect the parents. These are all legitimate complaints.

While the parent’s whine, the SO demonstrates their poor behavior. Why they would do this, I do not know. In fact, I have no clue why any SO would be on the show unless they were attention whores because they are the most degraded person on the show. In fact, the most consistent part of every show is that the SO is degraded and disparaged.

One could miss this part of the show and not miss anything because this section is repeated after every commercial. Also, the writers of the show use the three or so chief complaints to create the point of view for the SO while they sit on the coach. Everything that comes out of the person’s mouth relates to one of their faults. For example one complaint was a girlfriend said “Ug” all the time. Guess what she said every time she talked? In another example, a boyfriend used too much body spray. Guess what he did throughout the whole show? Again, why anyone would do this is beyond me unless they actually enjoy making a fool of themselves on TV.

Date Selection Phase

Dates line up to interview on the show. The parents can ask the potential dates anything that they want. I love this section because the potential dates are rarely any better than the SO. In fact, many of them are worse. The girls are definitely worse than the original girls. As I said, the original girlfriends do not have anything wrong with them. All the potential new GFs are highly slutty. For example, one mother had a problem with her son’s GS tonguing everything in sight so she got a statue and told all the potentials to kiss it to demonstrate how they would kiss her son. The potentials invariably tongued the statue. None of these girls had any notion of dignity nor any idea that they were actually competing to be the best behaved person not to be the biggest slut.

On the other hand, the male suitors are often better behaved. Certainly there are many losers and douchebags in the mix, but a few of the young men actually have some concept that the parents at least want to create a facade of dignity even if they know, on some level, that they are picking the guy who are going to be banging their daughter.

It is highly strange in our culture for the parents to pick out a mate for their child. When I thought of arranged marriages in India (and in Europe a billion years ago), I thought it would be a serene occasion. Now I realize that in all cultures it is bizarre, and to me highly disgusting. I don’t think parents should get anywhere near their children’s sex lives. It’s just too strange.

The shows where they are picking out girls is especially disturbing. The mom is OK, but the dads are all pervs. I would think that an older man would have some dignity, but not on this show. It really makes our whole country look like a sewer. These guys act as if their picking out someone for themselves. They do this in front of their wives. Why their wives don’t beat them to death right there is a mystery.

Dating Phase

Once the dates are picked, the real fun begins. The SO sits on the parent’s coach with the parents and their child. In this scene one can see the parent’s house and for some reason they all look highly wealthy. Even the most ghetto and trashy people have really nice houses. If the show was just about these houses, I could watch it for hours. I’m basically watching people who are more successful than I will ever be. Also, note that all the shows seem to be in suburban Southern California. There are no people who live in Philly ghettos on Parental Control.

Then the doorbell of the mansion rings and the date is there. I think that the father’s date comes first, but I’m not sure. I have to watch much more of this show. The parent gets the date. At this point, the date and the SO snipe at each other. This form of abuse will occur for the rest of the show. This is one of my favorite parts of the show. I especially enjoy how poorly the people read their lines. What they say is clearly scripted, and yet the people have a hard time saying their lines with a lot of confidence. However, the writing is good as it usually plays on the SO’s faults and insecurities.

Once the date starts, the real pain starts for the SO. Again, I like to see the SO as a boyfriend as they are often jerks. If the SO is female then they often look hurt, and this makes me sad.The only way the SO could possibly win at this point is if they were into the cuckold fetish. However, I have yet to see an episode where this is the case. In most cases, the SO behaves mechanically and predictably, getting more and more upset as the dates continue.

Also, the SO will insult the parents and the parents will insult the SO. This is the most scripted part of the show as the insults are far better than what most normal people say, but the delivery is highly unnatural. I find it disgusting to see young people mistreat older people especially when they are the parents of their SO. This is actually painful to watch, and it makes me a little sad. On the other hand, the parents dish it right back to the SO so it’s all in good fun. Also, the parents have firmer ground to stand on because they are not watching their SO cheat on them.

The dates themselves have two parts. In the first part, there is some kind of activity. There are two types of activities. Some get the heart pumping such as motor biking racing through a mall. Higher heart rate with an attractive person simulates the feeling of being in love.

The other activity is one that gets the dates to touch one another. Examples include making sushi on each other’s bodies and stomping on grapes together in a bucket. These are especially painful to the SO who is watching on TV. The SO will often make fun of the date, but the more they do this, the sadder it is because their SO is technically cheating on them, and they can’t do anything about it. In fact, they idiotically chose to be on this show so they really have only themselves to blame.

The best dates combine both action and touching such as lubing each other up in baby oil and sliding on mats down the halls of a school.

In this part, a smart date will use the activity as a chance to get a little closer to the SO. This is dangerous for a man because I have seen men lose out because they are too “grabby” at this point. A smart man would be mindful of their dates comfort level and not go beyond it. On the other hand, a girl has little to lose by touching the guy. Guys are dumb and easy. In fact, I saw one girl make out with every date she had. In this case, I think that the parents would have been better off getting a new daughter rather than worrying about what loser she’ll bring home every day.

What I find most entertaining about this part of the date is trying to think up new activities for this show. There are infinite possibilities.

In the next part of the date, they have a snack. The snack is sometimes coorelated with the activity. In most cases, the food is junk. It is fun to look in the grocery store and ask, “Would this make a good snack on Parental Control?”

While they eat the snack, they also have a short chat, and the date has a few moments to make their last minute bid for enternal love. They usually talk about hobbies or aspirations. In one case, I heard a guy criticize their dates SO. I thought that this was lame because a person will usually get offended about criticism of their SO even if they agree.

The best move, a power play, was when a potential new guy asked their date to get a tatoo. He promised that if she did, he’d also get a tatoo. For some reason, he had figured out that she had wanted to get a tatoo all along. This was a priceless moment when she said yes. The SO was betrayed as she had promised him that they’d get tatoos together. It was also a betrayal of the mother who had actually picked this guy. I was so happy, and I realized how brilliant this was. If she got a tatoo with him, she’d have to pick him. A tatoo is a  <!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>

permanent

commitment. For him to get such a commitment in such a short time was nothing short of genius. I consider this guy to be an artist who has expanded the game of Parental Control, and I predict many new imitators.

Choosing Phase

After both dates are complete, the SO is flanked on either side by the dates. They each have one more chance to say something to get the person to change their mind. Although it’s impossible to tell for sure, I feel that the choice has all ready been made. Still, female SO’s are the worst at this. They often use threats often to withhold sex for a period of time. This is a terrible idea. Why would a guy go back with a girl so he could not have sex with her when he has two other women lined up who just acted like they were about to jump into the sack. The best move for an SO is to remind the person how they all ready have a strong connection. I guess this is only possible if they actually do have a connection, but if they don’t then they have a lot more problems.

Then the dates and SO are judged then one of them is told to leave. I have never seen an SO get kicked off at this point. The girls who are asked to leave are so hurt and angry. The guys usually take it a bit easier. I guess guys are more used to rejection. One girl took the family’s mail and dumped it all over the family.

Then there is a lame, scripted moment of silence to let the suspense build. For me, this actually really works. I try to guess who the person is going to pick. For men, in most cases, this is boring because they will usually pick a new girl. For a young male, a new female is a huge temptation eventhough it is highly retarded to date someone you met on TV for about five minutes. It’s even dumber to dump someone you were dating for a while. If they were such a pain in the ass, did you have to go on TV to figure that out? Also, anyone who goes on to find a date has to have something wrong with them.

Women know most of this. They most often pick their original SO. In cases when they will pick a new person, they advertise this early on by acting highly slutty. Even more slutty than the usual women on this show. They generally will make-out with everyone they date within ten seconds of meeting them. The most preditable time when a girl picked a new guy was when she got a tatoo with him. I knew it was going to happen, but seeing it was a big payoff.

I love to see the camera follow the SO when they are dumped because they do something to make their old flame feel good about their choice like swear of make a general nuisance of themselves.

Finally, the parents are given a chance to whine if their child stays with their orginal.

In the final scene the new lovers will have a few seconds alone. They usually will start making out right away even if they had just met a few minutes ago.

Conclusion

Overall, I find this TV show to be highly bizare. There are so many things wrong with this show that I will probably need to revisit this topic in many future posts. First of all, if your child has problem SO, what makes you think that you can find a better one on TV. Only attention whores would date on TV. I feel that most of the candidates are actually wanna be actors. I like wanna be actors, but do their parents really want their child to limit their choices to this category of people?

Also, to have the parents and the children sit in the same room and watch the dates is perverse. Needless to say I love this show. I love the competition. I love to see people degrade themselves for no apparant purpose. I love parents to act retarded. I like to see people get new dating choices where they get to treat an SO like they are one of many products in a store.

This is one of the most brilliant TV shows and writing for it would be my dream job.

Hard of Humor

January 8, 2009

Due to my recent move, and the struggle to get a job, I have found few things that are funny lately which is why I have not blogged here lately.

I even read a book on humor lately, and this has not helped. I need more time to sit down on a “comedy couch” and think about the funny.

I’m not depressed or upset in any way. I have achieved some things I thought would never happen in my life the past year. 2008 has been the best year ever for me by a long shot. I see 2009 as an even better year.

So look forward to humor. Eventually. In the meantime, I’ll continue writing on my HR and Science Fiction Writing blogs.