martes, 20 de octubre de 2009

When the past comes a-knockin'

A friend of mine recently sent me, via email, a copy of a paper I had written in high school, which she had just rediscovered in her inbox. I had all but forgotten this paper; though, given the current governmental situation in America, it seems to have regained a bit of validity. Thus, I present to you a ballsy little composition from my junior year of high school.

Que disfrutéis mucho de ella.

Becca Niles

AP English 11-6

Mr. Antey

13 March 2006

A Modest Proposal Approach to Political Correctness Civic Decorum

It has come to pass over the recent decades that the American society, or rather the conglomeration of societies (all unique and individual in their own right) that form America, have found themselves oppressed by not only the Euro-descendant majority, but by the English language itself- or rather, the distinct American dialect of English. As a result of this verbal oppression, the minorities* of the united, individual societies of the United States of America have created, excuse me, adapted and evolved a certain euphemistic guide to public speech known as “Political Correctness.” This method emphasizes the intentional verbal omission of all subjects relating to traditional Western ideology and Caucasian ancestry also known as, the “majority.” Americans take great pride in Political Correctness because the key to a truly successful democratic republic lies in the complete disregard of the “popular majority.” While this method has proven extremely effective in social equalizing, it still contains one significant restriction- its name.

Consequently, my goal is to determine a new title for Political Correctness. First, the term “political” could potentially** imply that a “polity” and even a “government” are the only acceptable means of existence. To those who wish to remain outside of a nation and those who denounce government, or “anarchists,” this term may appear slightly offensive. Also, the term “correctness” could presumably imply that one’s goal in life should be to be “correct,” thereby implying that to be “not correct” is in fact incorrect and frowned upon by society…and those who choose to remain outside society- which is not incorrect. Also, if one were to oppose the “correct” party, the opposer would proceed to be incorrect thereby either disproving the “correct” party or affirming the existence of an absolute truth, both of which are completely irrelevant. Furthermore, the adapted acronym, “PC,” is the same as that of “personal computers,” which are not readily available to those who are not of an immense monetary status.

Thus, seeing no other option, I had elected (or appointed, depending on personal governmental views) the phrase “Civic Decorum.” However, after a review by Harvard sociologists, the majority voted to keep the name. Therefore, because of one sociologist’s aversion to Hondas and another’s profound distaste for cubist art of the 1920’s and rum, I changed the terminology to “The Dogmatic Repression of Progressivism.” This time, the phrase successfully received one affirmative vote out of a possible 348. May the democratic American spirit live on in the name of the Dogmatic Repression of Progressivism.

*In no way am I suggesting or condoning inferiority by the term “minority.”

** I apologize to those who harbor a hatred for physics or merely prefer kinetic energy to potential energy. By using “potentially” I am in no way endorsing one energy or the other.

martes, 13 de octubre de 2009

Varias tonterías

First, I would suggest putting on the Avett Brothers' cd "Emotionalism" as some background music for this blog - with an emphasis on the songs "salina," "paranoia in b-flat major," and "will you return?" you can find them all at

That said,
Mañana es mi cumpleaños - 21. Oi.
Tontería numero 1) birthdays
Once again, here's the link to

Y porque es probable que no vaya a escribir nada mañana, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother for birthing me, both my parents for raising me and enduring my bullshit, and my brother, friends, and guitarra for keeping me sane - or at least facilitating and accepting my insanity.

Today, realizing the fact that my birthday is tomorrow, I was struck with my first bout of considerable nostalgia.

Tontería numero 2) nostalgia
This nostalgia seemed a bit strange to me, considering
1) I've been here over a month and this was my first attack.
2) I am never nostalgic. Period.
3) Nostalgia is an utterly INÚTIL (useless) mental state.

I suppose it was just brought on by the fact that I have always been able to spend the day of my emergence from the womb with my closest friends eating, drinking (which is now legal for me, en los Estados Unidos...), driving around listening and singing to ungodly loud music, and being rambunctious youth.
Ah well. I'm in Espain.
This birthday will be celebrated with different friends, food, more legal drinking (which, in Espain, I could do before this birthday), listening to semi-loud music - so as not to disturb the Romanians, and being angsty young adults - since 21ers can no longer really be considered "rambunctious youth."
Not to many differences on paper, eh?
Still. It's a strange feeling. Not a bad one. Not a depressing one. Solamente diferente. Hell, after college, things are going to change all over again; and the changes in my life are no different from the changes people undergo every day.

At least at that point, my guitar and I will have reunited.
Which leads me to:
Tontería numero 3) shipping costs.
Screw you, international postage. I want my guitar.

I would also like to say that CONTRARY to the schpiel of the campus shrink that we all had to attend, this is NOT my "honeymoon" stage of living en otro país wearing off. I am still quite enamorado de Madrid (and always will be) - and I wouldn't leave right now for anything (barring catastrophes).
Nonetheless, do I wish that I could directly share this experience with those closest to me?
Without a doubt.
Por lo menos tengo el Señor Camel y buenísima gente.

Nevertheless, to prove that some things will simply never change, I would like to provide you with a set of notes from my Literatura Espanola (siglos XI-XVII) class:

Yes. These notes are from two days of class.
Please note the ridiculous amount of doodling surrounding the severely disproportionate amount of written information - which I wrote just in case the professor decided to walk around the room and happened to see that I had written absolutely nothing.
I suppose, in the first paragraph, I should have also thanked my father for endowing me with his unwavering attention span.
So dad, if you managed to read this far without wandering off to do something else, thanks.

Tontería numero 4) Attention spans. So overrated.


viernes, 9 de octubre de 2009

Estados TONTOS de America... ¡¿PORQUE?!

I´m typing on a spanish keyboard right now, so you´re going to have to ignore the obvious accent marks as apostrophes. Sorry.

First, I recently scored a job with an international consultant agency teaching english. 10 pts for an income.
Second, classes are spectacular.
Third, perhaps I´ll type more about that later; because right now, I have an agenda.

Let´s talk about this Cyber Security Act of 2009 - backed by none other than the democrat from Indiana, Evan Bayh.
I´m not going to summarize the bill for you, because honestly, you should form your own opinions rather than accept mine. Before reading on, here are some informational links:

The first link is a direct link to the actual bill in congress. Interesting how they give you an obscenely optimistic and fallacious overview before requiring you to sign in and give yourself over to governmental screening before reading the ENTIRE bill - freedom of information, what? Nevertheless, the bill is in various other places online.

All I have to say is it´s a good thing I am on an international server. Though, if this bill is passed, it is very likely that this server could be blocked, you know, because of possible "misinformation" and such...
This takes me back to a wonderful time in the 20th century involving a certain soviet nation and a little thing we like to call the iron curtain.
Comrade Obama, why are you doing this to the last free nation in the world?
First off, people WILL find a way to get around these ridiculous guidelines.
Second, exactly how much of our crisis money are you pumping in to this anti-freedom crusade?
Third, I second Steve Bellovin (of the second link) in questioning 1) what exactly defines an "emergency" and 2) how on earth do you plan to obtain replacement parts for "compromised" servers without internet access?! Unless, of course, the internet is still accessible to a select few government officials...
Hmm...a society where only the government is privied to certain rights...

This obvious historical cycle of fascist blunders makes perfect sense to me after taking a few classes over here. No, I am not favoring one form of education over another here, nor am I flaunting international experience. I´m merely stating an observation.
However, when the liberal arts, politics, and the like are consistently taught from a historically critical point of view, rather than the American introspective point view, the obvious trends in governmental and philosophical mistakes become apparent. If the United States put more of an emphasis on world history, this blatant disregard of personal freedoms would be a little more apparent to the masses.

And now I have to go to class.
I hope this post makes it across the Atlantic without being censored.


lunes, 5 de octubre de 2009

Syntax schmyntax

Since I am still getting complaints - yes. There will be pictures in this entry. Even if they are hijacked from facebook (courtesy of L. Fergs).

Hmmmm classes began today. And if that sentence wasn't anticlimactic enough...I only have one class on Mondays and Tuesdays; that class happens to be Sintaxis comparada ingles/espanol.

Sounds cool enough, in theory; but, our professor has told us on many occasions that there won't actually be any formal linguistic "syntax" - which is kind of a downer for those of us who signed up for a class called "comparative syntax..."
Instead, it is essentially a translation class - which is useful, but not syntax. Come on now.
If nothing else, it gave me a reason to buy a spanish translation of Crime and Punishment. :)

For something a little more exciting: L. Fergs came to visit me in Madrid this weekend. I finally got to do some relatively touristy (but not too touristy...) things in this amazing city - this amazing city that will NOT be hosting the olympics, HAHAHA Aaaah.

Madrid fail.

They took down the olympic ads in record speed, by the way. If only everything else were as efficient.

So. Visitamos el museo de Prado and saw some pretty spectacular paintings. It's breathtaking to see works of art in real life that you have really only seen in textbooks for the past 6 years. We couldn't actually take pictures inside the museum (ner), but here's the next best thing, the Prado library:
If only we could have actually gone in. Somehow, I think we weren't exactly internationally renowned library material.

We also chilled for a while at el Parque de Buen Retiro, where I decided to climb some trees. I don't know. Seemed like a good idea.

Aaaand here's a nice example of the arcos that are placed strategically throughout the city:

Ah! And then there is this one:

This gate, ladies and gentlemen, is no ordinary gate. This gate just happens to belong to some of the first grammar nazis in the history of philology- La Real Academia Española. Unfortunately, there were so many freaking trees in the way, we couldn't even get a legitimate picture of the building. Accident? I think not.

Oye, if there is one building in all of Madrid that i WILL enter before the end of my stay here, it is this one. Escuchad a estas palabras - va a ocurrir.

Well, I suppose that's really it. There were some bars and cafes in there, but you can just Google search pictures of Spanish cafes and put in some top 40s cassettes from the late 90s if you want the full experience. I mean, I'm pretty sure I've heard "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba more times since I've been here than I ever did in the States.

On that note, I'm going to leave.