2.24.2006

Dear everyone in particular,

Perhaps I haven't made myself clear. Under no circumstances will I abide by rules designed to make me a hostage to mankind, the greater good or, the damned word, society, in every sense, leaving me at the mercy of everyone but the most important person in my life: me. Practical selfishness is a virtue.

I don't care if you find me abrasive.
If you find me abrasive, you don't care enough to know me.

One can learn a lot from squirrels.

With sincere love,

Daniel

P.S. - No, this is not directed towards you. (You, either.)

2.23.2006

Speculation, if not human nature, is, I contend, essential and healthy. One's realm of fantasy is a release, a vacation, if you will, from a reality that is anything but fantasy. Alas, as with nearly every experience, speculation taken to an extreme, the belief in a false reality, is dangerous. Learning when and where to draw the line is defined as "living."

2.22.2006

The most exciting existence on campus, day or night, is that of a squirrel. I watched one today, pretending to listen to Dino, and was amazed by their seemingly endless ability for surprise. Every sound, breeze, new image they stand, heads masterfully twitching from side to side, shocked, even afraid, by the new sensory experiences.

Today is Wednesday. I existed. Tomorrow is Thursday.

2.20.2006

One is a number of such magnitude and inexorable cruelty, a concept inscribed with fatal means and ends, that, as "all-you-can-eat" Americans, singular implies the antithesis of life, the immoral reality of mathematics. In fact, one--the concept of singular--is the rule by which we live, our foundation for being. More than one, having multiple, is merely a basis for greed.

I, equally, acknowledge the basis of and fear the singular concept. One. It's still more than zero.
Women are the most intricate, complicated and rewarding entities in the human realm of comprehension. Aside from their superior capability of thought and reason, women are generally the better sex. Any male that disagrees is, obviously, single and/or unable to see the complexity contained in the female psyche. It's not hard to notice. All you have to do is raise your eyes from a certain mountainous region to a region of the female face known as "her eyes." No, men, the eyes are not mythical.

2.12.2006

One often finds joy--the normative sense--in the shortest of moments, a fraction of a second when "Z" no longer ends the alphabet and the "omega" is a sign of rebirth.

I found such a moment in a chocolate shake, not even a particularly good one either.

As much as my satirical and unrelenting, while transparent, male persona dreads to admit it, the moment had something to do with friendship and the foundation for truth allowed by the bond. (Don't tell, but I think one of my friends doesn't hate me.) Having a confidant with which to share the tasteful-tacky, wanted-dreaded moments of an all-to-confusing and overbearing existence comes close to priceless, closer so than any Mona Lisa or precious jewel.

If friendship has the audacity to carry a price, then it roughly translates to $2.99 (with meal), tax excluded.

2.10.2006

"Stillness is the antithesis of life. Any movement is better than no movement. Even movement that results in a negative outcome is, at least, living.

(We don't get to choose our emotions. We do get to choose whether or not and how we act on them.)

Shakespeare's quote "better to have loved and lost..." is incorrect. It should read, "Better to have lived and lost than never lived at all.""

-From my post at xanga.com/sirbradford117

-----

Love, having experienced the concept and after examining it through a rational lens, makes sense (at least on a psychological level). Bringing the concept of love to a level of empirical examination, one might argue, diminishes the nature of the concept. "BS," I reply. Love must have an empirical nature otherwise humans could not experience it. Examining this aspect is essential to understanding the concept and rationalizing it, an important process if one ever expects to live.

Loving someone, in a sense of the word that is anything but normative, requires a certain attitude that most who claim love lack, an attitude of incomparable understanding. To love someone, in a sense of the word that best reflects its definition, one must accept the fact that reciprocation is not a right. The expectation of reciprocation amounts to a misunderstanding of one's feelings. Anyone that expects their beloved to love in return, especially having no prior knowledge of one's feelings, is not in love. A state of "adoration" better describes the situation of expected reciprocation.

Knowing this definition, one should never be afraid to express true love. For even if one is rejected outright, asked never to see the beloved again, the mere fact that one is truly in love negates any possible response. Even if the beloved reciprocates, one's love should be exactly the same: true. Love that changes based on the beloved's reaction is, I contend, false.

That being said, I do not mean to suggest an elimiation of emotion from the acceptance/denial of one's expression of love to the beloved. By rationalizing the situation, one is better apt to accept either decision. One can be happy/upset as long as one knows and understands the reason's for the beloved's decision. When one accepts irrationality, i.e. being happy/upset and not accepting/understanding the beloved's decision, one accepts a false reality where truth and morality are second to illusion. End.

2.08.2006

I am easily swayed to believe the irrational when considering social structure. The nature of relationships, in every sense, still confuses me. I feel like a foreigner among my own species. Insightful conversations helps, but even when both parties are talking about being truthful, I have a feeling that neither is complying. It's simply human nature, I suppose, to be afraid of truth; it's often unpleasant.

I want to embrace it more and more, the truth, and continue to embrace it even when it stings, even when I bleed. What doesn't kill us makes us afraid. Conquering that fear is essential to understanding self. I want more than anything to understand me. I want almost more than anything to understand you/him/her/everyone.

I'm not asking for anything huge, just everything.

2.07.2006

I don't feel like sharing. I feel obligated to put something here. Perhaps when I'm well rested I'll work on "why the hell I write in the first place" AKA my writing theory class. Until then (i.e. tomorrow), a reprint:

I was appalled to find out that Fahrenheit 9/11 is still being used in journalism classes at Millikin University. To combat such heinous offenses, I will repost my movie review, mistakes and all, and email it to the journalism professor. Enjoy.

(originally posted July 29, 2004)

Fahrenheit 9/11: Moore Garbage

Pulling into the parking lot of Boardman's Art Theatre in Champaign, George and I immediately felt threatened. We weren't concerned by the three muggers on the corner, the unmistakable sound of gunfire, nor the half dozen drug deals simultaneously happening all around us. We were scared by the hippies...lots and lots of hippies.

We stepped out of the car, careful not to reveal our true conservative identity. "Shoot," I said to myself, "I'm not wearing a tie-dye shirt or burning incense; I'll be discovered for sure." Luckily for us, there was a scary hippie with a dog handing out flyers with "Take a Bite Out of Bush" written in bold print. We eagerly grabbed a handful, hoping to fit in. "Hey, come back here," the dog owning hippie shouted as we stood in line for tickets. I knew we were caught. Two "well-fed," white, young men with no body piercings or marijuana leaf shirts could never pose as Bush haters out on a Monday night to see the newest Bush bashing film, Fahrenheit 9/11. What was I thinking?

Nervously, George and I approached the man just waiting for a shout, a battle cry to rally his hippie, "pacifist" friends who would quickly lynch us in the streets using only 100% hemp rope, which, if no blood was spilled, they would later smoke while dancing naked and singing "Mr. Tambourine Man." Oh the horror! The hippie stared us down for what seemed to be an eternity. Suddenly, he spoke, "Do you fellows want a 'Take a Bite Out of Bush' bumper sticker?" A bumper sticker? It had to be a trap. Thinking quickly, I replied, "A bumper sticker? I don't drive a CAR! What do you think I am? Some fascist, neo-Nazi, capitalist pig!?" The hippie looked at us, looked at his dog, and finally waved us on. We had passed. We could watch the movie without fear of naked dancing and crazed hippie singing.

Just when I thought we were safe, several dozen flying saucers landed from the planet LAREBIL and began destroying the theatre with their anti-matter rifles. George and I did what we hand to do; we drew our laser swords and bravely flew into battle, destroying every alien but losing an arm and a kidney between us... Oh, I almost forgot the best part, if you believed the majority of this paragraph, Michael Moore wants you to see his movie; you're his target audience.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is the newest documentary from controversial filmmaker Michael Moore(on), the director of "Bowling for Columbine." In his latest film, Moore, who his friends affectionately call "Jabba," tries his best to destroy the Bush administration's credibility and integrity. Using news clips, sound bytes, unclassified documents, and interviews, Moore pieces together a "conspiracy" on such a grand scale, the Monica Lewinsky scandal pales in comparison, or at least it WOULD if any of Moore's conspiracy was based on facts. In reality, where we live and Moore visits on occasion, Fahrenheit 9/11 has more lies, cover-ups, and deceits than the eight years of the Clinton administration! (Putting the total at well over 300 trillion.)

F911 begins with the 2000 Election, a subject still fresh in everyone's minds since it only happened 4 YEARS AGO. Al Gore is shown celebrating his victory in Florida while Moore inserts news clips of Dan Rather and other high profile reporters projecting that Florida's electoral votes would go to Gore. Moore then claims that one station DARE go against the main stream and call Florida for Bush: FOX News. All of a sudden, the other stations, not wanting to go against the all-mighty FOX News, called the state for Bush. Worse yet, the man that made the call at FOX News was none other than a COUSIN of Bush. Oh, the humanity!

Dave Kopel, in his article "Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11," writes, "In fact, the networks which called Florida for Gore did so early in the evening-before polls had even closed in the Florida panhandle, which is part of the Central Time Zone. NBC called Florida for Gore at 7:49:40 p.m., Eastern Time. This was 10 minutes before polls closed in the Florida panhandle. Thirty seconds later, CBS called Florida for Gore. And at 7:52 p.m., Fox called Florida for Gore. Moore never lets the audience know that Fox was among the networks which made the error of calling Florida for Gore prematurely." In addition, "About an hour before the polls closed in panhandle Florida, the networks called the U.S. Senate race in favor of the Democratic candidate. The networks seriously compounded the problem because from 6-7 Central Time, they repeatedly announced that polls had closed in Florida--even though polls were open in the panhandle." Unfortunately for Bush, the Florida panhandle is the most conservative part of the state. The constant announcement that the polls were closed probably caused Bush to lose thousands of votes. Moore compounds his lie by implying that Fox was the first station to call Florida for Bush when, in fact, CNN called Florida for Bush at 10 p.m.-four hours earlier than Fox. Tsk Tsk Mr. Moore. Someone should have done some research.

Michael "I'm-Better-At-Propaganda-Than-Joseph-Goebbels" Moore continues with his deceits in his segment on the Bin Laden family's connection with Bush. Moore sets up the segment with very moving graphics of the 9/11 attacks and simple, but powerful, shots of people on the street looking in horror as the events of 9/11 played out above them. Several frames later, news clips from the nation's airports are shown, thousands of people unable to fly. "Not even Ricky Martin would fly," Moore states getting a big laugh from the crowd, "But really, who wanted to fly? No one. Except the bin Ladens." Moore then flashes the documents authorizing the Bin Ladens to fly out of the country. What Moore does NOT emphasize is that the Bin Ladens flew out of the country on September 13th, the day restrictions were lifted on all flights. A New York Times articles with the headline, "White House Approved Departures of Saudis after Sept. 11, Ex-Aide Says," is flashed across the screen giving the impression that Bush approved the Bin Ladens' flight out of the country. Actually, Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism czar and hero in Moore's eyes for testifying that Bush ignored terror threats, authorized the Bin Ladens to fly out of the country, a fact Moore fails to mention while he's praising Clarke later in the movie.

By far my favorite part of the movie comes during the Iraq War section. Moore contends Bush invaded Iraq purely for oil. (If we just had a war for oil, why are we paying $2.00 a gallon!?) Moore flashes a date on the screen: March 19, 2003-the day before we invaded Iraq. Then, in several sequences that literally made my jaw drop, Moore shows children playing in the streets, flying kites, and laughing; women walking jovially down the street, laughing with their friends; and other scenes of a supposedly happy, non-oppressed Iraqi people. Then, another date: March 20, 2003-the day we invaded Iraqi. A bomb lights of the Iraqi night; buildings are seen burning; men, women, and children crying, searching for their loved ones; innocent civilians killed in a reckless American bombing; and general chaos. Moore narrates, "On March 20, America attacked the sovereign nation of Iraq. A nation that had never attacked the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American."

I'll give you a second to read that narration again. Quiz Time: Moore is either A) a complete moron B) in denial or C) all of the above. Has Moore ever heard of the GULF WAR!? During the Gulf War, 148 Americans lost their lives in fighting with the Iraqi army-an army under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. Mr. Moore may have saved himself some embarrasement had he done a simple Google search regarding the Gulf War. It's not hard, Mr. Moore. I'm sure someone can show you have to click "Search." If any of my collegiate papers were HALF as made up as F911, I would be expelled for academic dishonesty.

I could go on for pages and pages about the rest of Moore's lies, but Dave Koppel covers the majority in a brilliant article. Christopher Hitchens also does a great job fisking Moore's movie in his article.

There's a bigger issue here than Moore and his lies (although not much is bigger than Moore). Liberals' willingness to lie, deceive, and propagandize in order to destroy the Bush administration and regain power is beyond anything America has seen in its 228 years. The Democrat Party and its supporters will say and do anything. They have no regard for the truth or the will of the American people; what's good for America is bad for the Democrats. If Osama is caught: bad for the Democrats. If the economy booms: bad for the Democrats. If unemployment drops: bad for the Democrats. In order to win, Democrat supporters have to keep the American people in fear, and, as Moore proves, they'll say anything to do it.

Moore, like many propaganda artists before him, is amazing at what he does. His style of taking quotes out of context, telling half-truths and direct lies is brilliantly convincing. Only when his movies are examined closely do his deceptive tactics surface. If you're one of the thousands who saw F911 and were convinced by Moore's lying, I can't blame you. His movie is quite believable IF you assume Moore is telling the truth. Too bad for the Democrats, he's not...at all...not even a little bit. But if you're a Democratic looking for any excuse to hate Bush (despite the truth), F911 will leave you wanting Moore.

2.05.2006

A friend/co-worker and I had a longish and, admittedly, heated discussion regarding the nature of love, men v. women and the affects of expressing versus not expressing. Basically, we wrote a dissertation.

We concluded that, in an ideal world, everyone should be allowed the luxury of truth. If party A is fond of or even in "love"--normative sense--with party B, then A should be allowed, without repercussions, to express said feelings. Additionally, B should be allowed to accept or reject A's advances without repercussions.

--Example conversation--
A: You mean the world to me, B. Since the first time I saw you I knew you were the letter for me.
B: Thank you. Your feelings flatter me, A. Alas, I do not return your feelings, and I probably never will.
A: I understand and respect your decision. Our friendship will remain the same.

Why is this the ideal? Since humans have very little control over the logistics of falling in love, rules of rationality dictate that neither party should be mad with the other for liking, disliking, accepting or rejecting. To further illustrate, consider laughter. Some people's laughs are more annoying or shrill than others. Do you get angry or upset with your friends A) if they have an annoying laugh or B) dislike your annoying laugh? To do so would be absurd. Granted, this is not the best example; I'm sure you get my point.

We also discussed the nature of male/female communication. Our problem was that we represented the topic groups. Thus, we were speaking different languages. I would make a point, she would "counter" the point by repeating what I said in different words and force me to concede my/her point. This went on for quite some time before I realized what was going on.

This further proves that women are the superior sex.

2.01.2006

Dear omnipotent deity that rules the universe (or lack thereof in which case this intro would read, "To whom it may concern"),

WTF?

Sincerely,

Daniel Thomas Richards



P.S. - Don't get me wrong; I'm not questioning your judgment. You're omnipotent (you know that already). I'm not even upset about the events in my life. They happen. It doesn't matter if reason or random decided my fate. Either way I have to live with the events, manage them to the best of my ability and, hopefully, survive. So, my question isn't really why certain events occur in my life or why I meet some people and not others. I question why my reactions to outcomes are so immature. I can admit, as you see, that life is not for me to figure out. But aren't my emotions mine to know? Isn't emotion the only aspect of our lives that is truly personal? Just so you know (as if you don't already), not being in control of your emotions kinda sucks. You should fix that in the next version of humans. (Humans 1.02 - Now featuring emotion control and feet that make sense!) I'm asking nicely that you help me fix my reaction problems. Let my emotions be rational for once in my roller coaster existence. Please. I know you're not big on answering the requests of people that doubt your existence, but I figure since you're compassionate, I might catch you on one of your forgiving days.