Saturday, December 4

Canadians, eh!

I played this Canadian in chess, and boy, was HE arrogant. I beat him 3-4 times, and this is the funniest of them all.

Enjoy:


Saturday, November 20

Not dead, just in the ICU

So I haven't updated recently I'm still faring better than:

this one, and this one, and this one, and this one.


I shot an 8 point buck today. w007.

I have a shitload of stuff to do =(

picture:



Sunday, October 31

Because everyone loves blogs

It was recently pointed out to me that some teachers are starting to read blogs and pass them around the break room, and that's all well and good. I beleive Welker said as much in his editorial type thingy. Fine.


I just ask them to keep their personal feelings about me out of the classroom. Start your own fucking blog and make fun of me there and all that other shit that y'all seem to enjoy to do. Don't mark my tests down b/c you don't like me or i don't like you.

Other than that, fuck off ^_^

Sunday, October 24

Concerning Distric Flags and Fall Camporees [updated]

Disregarding my usuall "style" of writing, I think I'll just list what happened this weekend.

Friday, went camping with the Boy Scouts. We had to carry everything down there we needed for the District campsite contest thingy. Basically we had to build a model campsite and it's in essence a bunch of bullshit, anal retentive shit that really doesn't need to be done. But, we do it anyway. (already you can tell this is gonna be a positive and uplifting post, right?)

blahblahblah, someone tells me to go the wrong direction on teh compass course, we end up at least 5 miles off course and at a general store called Priddy's. They're giving away free fries, and since teh guy in charge of the compass course said, "If you consume anything on the trail, bring me the wrapper. If you get a drink from priddy's, i want teh can. If you get a candy bar, i want the wrapper.", we gave him teh bowl. He didn't say anything about french fries but I assume they applied as well. heh

We lost teh competition b/c some dumbass, i want say names *COUGHDAVISCOUGH*, put the latrine right on teh fucking river. taht was a hundred points, and we would've won with them =
Oh well.

all in all a good weekend..ish.. yeah.. right not at all. I almost lost my retainer and i'm sure i had a minor concousion from hiting the fucking trailer door, and i'm damn well sure my shin is broken, but i'm gonna say it isn't anyway, b/c it doesn't hurt anymore.

Thursday, October 21

KICK ASS ESSAY!

Honors English II – I

October 25, 2004

Third Party Candidates in a Two Party System

At the last Presidential Debate two third party candidates, Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party and David Cobb of the Green Party, were arrested for trying to gain entry to the Presidential Debate in Arizona. Before the debate they had petitioned the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) but were refused. On the night of the debate, they walked their way through the crowd and across the police line to submit another petition and gain admittance to the debate, but were stopped and arrested. This kind of two-party control hurts American democracy as well as Americans themselves.

The current system for elections does not accommodate third party candidates at all. The first noticeable setback for third-parties lies in the election itself. American voters, called the electorate, unknowingly make the mistake of assuming there are only two candidates. When they’re presented with a third (or fourth) option, they either ignore it or believe they’re “wasting their vote.” Our bipartisan government does not alleviate this problem, but rather exacerbates it. The government passes laws that hinder third parties ability to gain admittance on the ballots. Right now, Cobb is on the ballot in only thirty states; Badnarik fares slightly better with forty-eight. How can people be represented fairly when they cannot even have the chance to vote for all the candidates?

The Electoral College elects our leaders based on the majority vote winner in the individual states. This system itself conflicts with the will of the electorate. Often times it skews the election, giving Americans presidents that haven’t received the majority of the votes. This has happened several times in American history, the most recent being the 2000 election, were Democrat Al Gore received roughly five hundred thousand more votes than the current president, George Bush. Most everyone remembers the “Floridian Fiasco” in which chads and questions of voter intent muddied the waters of the election. There, the third-party choice of Ralph Nader supposedly drew votes away from Gore, allowing Bush to win the majority of Florida’s votes. This in turn conceded all of Florida’s Electoral votes to Bush, granting him to win the Presidency. Allowing third-party candidates to only influence, not win, elections is decidedly unconstitutional.

Running for president requires pools of cash, usually ones big enough for an average child to go swimming. In the 2000 election alone, George Bush and Al Gore combined for more than 400 million dollars in funding. Third-party candidates can simply not afford to spend the exaggerated amounts of money required to have your name recognized by the average voter.

Because of this third-party dominance the government has become complacent, simply refusing to advance any beneficial or progressive legislation. In biology, when a population breeds among itself and doesn’t receive any genes from others, it develops genetic disorders and diseases. The same can be said of government. By limiting itself to two ideologies, it denies itself the opportunity to grow in new directions and evolve. With politicians worrying only about reelection, they sometimes forget what they’re being reelected for. Politicians adopt moderate policies that differ just enough from their contemporaries to attract notice. To fully represent the people fairly, a change is needed in the political system of the United States.

One method of broadening America’s political horizon requires a change in voting style. Most of the time people don’t agree with every policy of the politician running for office: they’ll like the drug plan, but not like the economic plan. But by being able to cast our ballots for one or more candidates, as is allowed in approval voting, voters more accurately express who they wish to represent them. Assume that John, a fictitious example by trade, likes the benefits plan offered by Jeanne, an imaginary lawyer with big ideas, but likes Ivan’s stance on the pursuit of parole violators. Under the current system, he would be torn between these two candidates and be forced to pick one over the other. In approval voting, John would be able to choose all the candidates that he supports; he could vote for Jeanne, Ivan, and not to mention Bob (who has a decidedly good record on ink control). All the while he can exclude the candidates that he does not support (e.g. Opgeven, Martinez, and Codger). The candidate that claims the most votes wins office and people are no longer forced to choose “the lesser of two evils.”

Realizing that approval voting will never be able to take hold in this country, another option presents itself: abolishing (or at least reworking) the Electoral College. America by ridding itself of the Electoral College will be able to uphold its time honored tradition: “One man, one vote.” As a result of having a president that wasn’t elected by the majority, America undermines its core values of equality. By at least changing the “winner-take-all” system used by states to calculate electoral votes, America will better serve its people. If states change their laws to award electoral votes proportionally there will no longer be states in which the minority is ignored. Swing states will be eliminated and candidates will have to campaign everywhere equally. Eliminating the Electoral College all together would allow the popular vote winner (such as in elections for minor offices) to reach office.

Unless candidates have enough money to match their weight with the weight of their money in twenty dollar bills, they will remain unrecognized by the general public. Advertisement prices are high enough to make anyone with a tight mouth and even tighter wallet jaw drop. If producers were required to give all qualified candidates an equal amount of free television and radio coverage at approximately equal times of day then every viable candidate would be equally represented and thus known by the public. The government also should distribute an unbiased, nonpartisan document with every candidate’s position and record accurately displayed. They should then mail it to every house and thus inform the electorate of their choices and options. When every candidate receives equal coverage then the public can make an informed vote based on information, rather than on appearances. In doing so, the exorbitant amounts of money required for campaigns would be reduced to a manageable sum that everyone could afford.

By combining all of these solutions, America greatly increases its ability to move forward in an ever changing world. But even by adopting only one of these answers America takes a step toward progress. Two-party dominance does nothing but stick the U.S. in the dreaded “quagmire” so feared in Vietnam. It’s time to give other options a chance.

Tuesday, October 19

My Friend test. Careful... there are many trick questions.

Knock your collectiveselves out

Oh, and tsk tsk Jeremy. Only 20%? Only residence and author? You dissappoint me. Your spies must not be as good as you thought they were. And my hair is not orange (hint to the rest of y'all)

Monday, October 18

Another Goddamned Essay

This one is on tragedy and tragic heroes. More specifically, the ones displayed by Oedipus Rex and Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

Please read and give insights. Only Mark read the last essay I published =P (ty, btw)

Oh, and Mark, how about another shipment of Penguin Mints?



Honors English II-I

October 18, 2004

Tragic Heroes in Global Literature

Great literature is found all over the world from different cultures, time periods, and countries. Each culture, not surprisingly, has the same types of literatures as the others. For example, Oedipus Rex and Things Fall Apart are both tragedies. A tragedy tells of a main character that is destroyed by some character flaw and by forces beyond his or her control (Writers Inc., 425). This main character, called a tragic hero, is a high ranking character that experiences a downfall because of his or her character flaws and some even beyond control. Oedipus of Oedipus Rex and Okonkwo of Things Fall Apart are both prime examples of tragic heroes.

Oedipus is king of Thebes in ancient Greece. His downfall is a result of his arrogance, pride, and contempt for the gods. These character flaws and the will of the gods drives Oedipus to kill his father, sleep with his murder, and blind himself. His arrogance is evidence in his accusation that Creon employed Teiresias to announce Oedipus as the murderer of King Laius:

“Do you think I do not know
That you plotted to kill me, plotted to steal my throne?
Tell me, in God’s name: am I a coward, a fool,
That you should dream you could accomplish this?
A fool who could not see your slippery game?
A coward, not to fight back when I saw it?
You are the fool, Creon, are you not? hoping
Without support or friends to get a throne?
Thrones may be won or bought: you could do neither.”

Oedipus wrongly jumps to the conclusion that Creon is responsible for Teiresias’s assertion. He then places himself over Creon and denounces Creon as an inferior fool. Oedipus also shows his arrogance with his encounter with Laius. While traveling to Thebes, Oedipus encounters Laius at a crossroads and demands the right of way. This resulted in a slaughter of the king by the future king. Oedipus’s arrogance here seals his fate of incest and patricide.

Pride also consumes Oedipus in this tragic drama. From the very beginning Oedipus parades his accomplishments and abilities as king. “I would not have you speak through messengers, and therefore I have come myself to hear you - I, Oedipus, who bear the famous name.” He also encourages the masses to sing his praises. “Great Oedipus, O powerful King of Thebes!”; “O mighty King”; “A king of wisdom tested in the past.” He also flaunts one particular bit of pride over and over throughout the drama: his defeat of the Sphinx. “Then once more I must bring what is dark to light.”; “When that hellcat the Sphinx was performing here... It demanded a real exorcist.” His pride ultimately leads to his downfall.

The most outrageous character flaw, and the most damning, of Oedipus was an appalling sin in ancient Greece: contempt for the will of the gods. Oedipus’s first episode of this was in his attempt to flee from his step-parents in the hopes that he wouldn’t kill his step-father and fulfill the oracle’s prophecy. In doing this, he says to the gods that he will not do as fate commands him. Later, after fulfilling the prophecy unawares, he confides with his wife, his mother. They reach an agreement that the Oracle was wrong and that the prophecy will remain unfulfilled. Combined with his arrogance and pride, this contempt of the gods’ will brings the full wrath of the gods upon him. He is no more able to stop the impending storm than a squirrel is capable of stopping a forest fire with an acorn and two pinecones.

Okonkwo is also an excellent exemplifier of a tragic hero. He too was swept up in a storm of fate and incapable of adapting because of his character flaws of arrogance, pride, and rigidity. His arrogance and pride is manifest throughout the entire book. The most striking example of this is at a town meeting to discuss a matter of importance. An agbala (woman; man with no titles) exclaims his opinion and Okonkwo coldly replies without glancing up, “This meeting is for men.” The irony here is quite funny because this is the same insult that the children call his father. His pride is also apparent when he reflects on the days of his youth. He was a renowned wrestler and loves to reflect on those days. “At Nwoye’s age Okonkwo had already become famous throughout Umuofia for his wrestling and his fearlessness.” Always the memories of his past, when he arose from nothing and achieved greatness, float through his skull and he always falls back on his warrior background, even while in his motherland. “‘Let us not reason like cowards,’ said Okonkwo.” “Okonkwo made a sound full of disgust. This was a womanly clan, he thought.”

Okonkwo’s critical flaw is his inflexibility. The major theme of the novel Things Fall Apart is that flexibility is the key to surviving change. Okonkwo is unable to deal with the rapidly changing lifestyle that the Englishmen have brought with them. This inability is the key component responsible for his demise. By not being able to adapt to the shifting ways of the new life brought about by the settlers he has been sentenced to death- by his own hand or another’s.

These completely different stories by two very diversifying authors from two highly contrasting cultures and time periods both reflect the perfect tragedy. Both Okonkwo and Oedipus fulfill the role of tragic hero flawlessly. Oedipus in the end is doomed because of his hubris to blindness, humility, and exile. He could not prevent nor prepare for the devastation caused by the uncontrollable act of realizing his grave errors. Okonkwo is condemned to hang himself when he cannot cope with the change brought about by the white man and his religion. He murders a messenger and takes his own life after he realizes that he will not be able to live in his new world of Christianity and judges.