Friday, January 18, 2013

Tom Green's relentless shame

Someone commented on an essay from last year, to let me know that the videos I had links to were removed. It seems that once again, Tom Green is attempting to eliminate all evidence of his rotten behavior, just like he did years ago, when the video with Jesse James Dupree first surfaced on the Internet.

Here's the original essay, posted on January 11, 2012. You'll need to read it to understand why access to these videos is worth the effort:

Hypocrisy, Tom Green style

As I stated in my reply to "Anonymous's" comment, because the incident was digitized, it will always be out there. Thus, in this update to that previous blog post, I hereby provide two new links that are currently working.

In addition to providing new, working links, I have also recorded the videos for posterity. I encourage everyone else to record them with FlashGot or DownloadHelper, plugins you can install in Firefox. I'm not sure if they are available for Internet Explorer, but that's irrelevant if you're interested in using a superior browser.

Here are the new links:

Tom Green behaves like a petulant child toward Jesse James Dupree

Andrew Dice Clay makes Tom Green nervous

The video with Andrew Dice Clay is actually on Green's YouTube channel, because they are now good friends, but the video linked here was the first time they met. At one point, Green was actually a little frightened. Spare yourself the bulk of the meandering vulgarity, and just watch from 2:34 to 4:00.

And there you have it, until Green's legal machine does another toothless sweep.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The dark glass

This morning I was struck by an interesting thought.

The house was still dark, but my son, who is still just a few months old, gets hungry, and he doesn't really notice what time it is. I got up, changed his diaper, and put him in his playpen temporarily so that I could rush off and relieve the pressure in my own bladder.

While in the bathroom, I encountered a wild mouse that had been leaving his or her droppings in places they ought not to be, such as our larder and our son's play mat.

So I killed the mouse.

Some may object to this action, but that is beside the point of this essay. I was willing to endure the occasional nibbling on, and thus spoiling, our food containers and goodies within. I had been keen on doing the live capture thing and releasing him back to his natural habitat.

But he was far too adept at avoiding my traps; he left me little choice when I had to consider things like bacteria and disease that could possibly be introduced to my helpless little boy.

As I fed my son with formula, because my wife was sick in bed, I suddenly had a flash in my head of this passage:

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


And I wondered... here he was: innocent of, and oblivious to, what just occurred in the bathroom. He had no idea how much I disliked having to kill a small furry creature. He had no idea about my thought processes in this regard, especially the part about making sure my son stayed safe from unclean and possibly dangerous exposure.

He had no idea that there was potential danger, he had no idea that the danger was removed, he had no idea that there was remorse experienced during the process.

All he knew was that he was being held by someone familiar, who made him feel safe and comfortable, and his uncomfortable feeling inside of him was going away because of this funny tasting stuff he was swallowing. I say funny tasting because I'm figuring that formula doesn't taste like mother's milk.

Thus I realized there must indeed be things that go on behind the scenes, things I'm not aware of. I often assume that my awareness of being me and being alive allows me to perceive anything relevant that goes on around me.

But unless my arrogance meter starts pushing too far into the red, I've also always been aware that there is more to life than meets the eye.

Something for all of us to consider, especially at times when we confidently assume we've correctly assessed our lives.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Ageless dissonance

The age-old debate about whether or not there is a God is tiresome. When I was a younger lad, I found it fascinating, and was certain there had to be a conclusive answer either way.

I was wrong.

Why is it impossible to resolve to universal satisfaction?

Because the realm of the unknown is just that: unknown. Due to the nature of something unknown, the conclusion regarding it is left to the individual's subjectivity to discern a suitable answer.

After all this time and experience witnessing the futile nature of the debate, ad nauseum, you'd think I'd know better than to watch a YouTube video of an official debate between Christopher Hitchens and Frank Turek, that was held on September 9th, 2008:

Does God exist?

Someone in the audience pointed out near the end that everyone attends these debates already comfortable with their own answers, so the debate is reduced to meaningless spectacle, instead of being the edifying event it is allegedly intended to be. I would have to agree.

So yes, as everyone else, I watched the debate already content with my own answers. I watched Turek provide a list of bullet points based on current scientific knowledge to argue the possibility that God exists. I also watched a likely intoxicated Hitchens blather on with the usual simplistic, emotionally charged, manipulative claptrap, instead of honestly addressing the premise of the debate.

Did my personal belief system make Turek's compelling argument based on probability more feasible than it already was?

No. It was a reasonable argument, whether or not it was ultimately defensible.

If I were an atheist, would that make the cliché histrionics of Hitchens any less disappointing for someone who came to watch him emerge triumphant?

No.

The debate was a farce because the question being posed is never answered by reason; it is only 'answered' by a preconceived mindset. Hence the meaninglessness of such a debate.

If one mind can't convince another in these matters, then why ask the question? Regardless of what opponents in this matter may contend, the burden of proof is on both sides, not just one.

Instead of "Does God exist?", I think the question should be:

Should one be free to believe something is true that someone else believes is false?

Your answer to that question reveals not only your mindset, but also your true intentions.

As far as the mindset of the minority of atheists who are defined by their anger and cynicism, I'd say Turek summed it up in his description of Hitchens's book:

"There is no God, and I hate Him."

What a needless waste of time and emotion.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ego amplification for profit

Under the clever moniker of "social networking," those who would make money off the unwitting masses are reaping billions of dollars. In the days of "It's all about YOU," what could be more sinister than making a person feel important by ironically diluting their intimacy for large sums of money?

My wife and I have noticed the ever-increasing incidence of people tinkering with their so-called smart phones while participating in a physically face-to-face social gathering. For example, over the holidays, there were several people (not all of them young) who believed they were successfully carrying on conversations with those in the room and simultaneously with those on their phones.

They were wrong.

A conversation, or at least a truly satisfying one, involves talking and listening, not just making oh-so-clever sound-bite commentary to as many people as possible at the same time. Does a performer truly care what the audience has to say?

Imagine for a moment what it means to be "plugged into" all your friends, all the time. No matter where you go, you bring your entire crowd of five hundred friends with you. Any seasoned party host will tell you that it's a fine line to walk when you're trying to keep everyone happy and leave no one out. You can't interact intimately with one individual during the process, otherwise other partygoers will feel left out.

Where does the ego amplification come in?

When people think they're having decent conversations with not only the person in front of them, but also simultaneously with everyone in their friends list, what they're actually doing is becoming the center of attention (or at least it feels that way). Having lower quality conversations with more people is not the best way to maintain genuine friendships.

Human beings, in a normal state, want to be wanted. They want to be interesting to others, they want to be heard. What better way to address this need than to provide the attention of others on electronic tap, twenty-four hours a day?

Okay Mr. Techno-Scrooge, what's wrong with that?

A handful of manipulative human beings are getting insanely rich by abusing the natural inclination of humans to be heard and understood. They do this knowingly, by the way. Don't ever imagine that it's just unfortunate fallout from a technological "blessing." How about you tell me what's wrong with being used like that?

In terms of wanting to be heard, how is this blog any different than using a smart phone?

Well, this blog costs me nothing but time to type, and as far as I know, the people who read it are getting a bit more from it than the following text, culled from textsfromlastnight.com:

I have discovered my latent superpower. If a friend is dating a bi chick they will inevitably try and talk me into a threesome.