Friday, March 27, 2009

Why so selfish?


I have to admit I'm getting pretty tired of the constant recession coverage. I know it's major news but I don't need to know every time another company lays off employees, nor do I wish to be updated daily on the unemployment rate. But the most annoying media coverage is the barrage of complaints from my fellow Americans. Everybody wants the government, be it state or federal, to fix this mess but nobody wants to give an inch. They want Barack Obama to fix it and fix it now, but don't raise our taxes and don't spend any money. Here in New York City the cries of outrage surround the MTA and their lack of funds. Everyone wants a bail out for the MTA as long as there are no cuts anywhere else. Healthcare? Nope can't touch it. Education? Don't even think about it. Add tolls to bridges? Tax soda and beer? Pay cuts? No, no, and no. It's enough to make me scream. If we want to see the economy turn around then we have to make some sacrifices, whether it be more taxes, a fare hike, or the federal government spending billions. The economy is not going to recover by letting the money sit still, it has to move. And if Bill the Plumber, Ron Six-Pack or any other stereotype of an American wants to see the economy perk up maybe they should try helping out. Go out and spend a little. Buy some new summer clothes, a new toaster oven, go out and have a nice dinner. Consumer spending is what supports our economy.

And while I'm on the topic of spending, let's all lay off Obama for a bit, shall we? The man has been in office for just over two months and he's supposed to have miraculously fixed all the damage done over the past eight years? I don't think so. Give some of his plans a chance to work, things are not going to go back to normal overnight. But as usual, Americans want instant gratification. Greed and entitlement have become a disease in this country. After we cure the economy we need to cure Americans.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jagged Little Flashback

After filling out a Facebook "note" called 20 Albums I found myself revisiting some music that I had let fall by the wayside, and a happy revisit it was. The note asked you to name 2o albums (duh) that had a profound effect or changed your life. Although I found that description a bit dramatic it still took me on a little walk down musical memory lane. One of the albums that I thought of immediately was Alanis Morissette's 1995 US debut album Jagged Little Pill. I first heard the album during my fall semester as a freshman theatre major while enduring all the typical insanity of making new friends, juggling classes and trying to find out how to get into the keg parties. The angst and rawness attracted me and I listened over and over.

I haven't listened to the album in years but afterwards I had to go to itunes to find it. It seems that I don't actually own the Jagged Little Pill CD, most likely I just listened to my college roommates copy. My plan was to buy the album but when I looked it up another album popped up as well. An acoustic version of Jagged Little Pill that Alanis Morissette recorded in 2005, ten years after the original. I'm a sucker for acoustic so I took a listen and it was just beautiful. The over-the-top anger and venom is gone from the songs; it's replaced with more honest feelings although often just as angst-ridden. The vocals are more mature and creative.

I bought it immediately.

It's been on steady rotation on my ipod for the past week and I can't say that I'm tired of it at all. A few standout songs that were overlooked on the original album are "Not the Doctor", "Right Through You", "Mary Jane", and a really great rendition of "Hand In My Pocket". It also includes the "Hidden Track" with acoustic accompaniment. I highly recommend it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Felines


Puck on the couch...


...looking dainty.


Melvin, 10 months old


Scheming?

Generation Duh


I've tried not to become an adult with a "kids these days" mentality but with the way "kids these days" act it's almost impossible not to. Teenagers to young adults prove to me every day that they are idiots. Sure, we were all idiots about some things growing up but this is a special brand of idiot that I don't remember seeing when I was in high school. And the onslaught of social networking sites has given them a new outlet in which to flaunt their stupidity. I've seen many photos and status updates on these sites proclaiming their love of marijuana and alcohol with no thought to the repercussions of these postings. I'm not saying I was a saint at that age but I wasn't dumb enough to promote my mischief openly. In the back of my mind I was always worried that I could get caught at any time. I might have been doing some stupid things but at least I was smart enough to be discreet. The kids these days don't even know how to communicate. They have no concept of grammar making them sound like complete morons. I watch them walk down the streets of my neighborhood taking up the entire sidewalk texting on their phones, headphones in place. They may as well be strangers. The world of social networking and technological communication has rendered them socially awkward. I watched one oblivious teenage girl nearly get run down by a car while crossing Lexingtion Ave because she couldn't be bothered to look up from her Sidekick, and her headphones were firmly in place. At my last internship I had the misfortune of sharing one day a week with a high school senior who was doing career observation. Not only did she use the most atrocious grammar (yes, I'm a freak about grammar, it says a lot about a person) but she had no idea how to speak and act with the adults around her. She showed no respect for the professionals that she was supposed to be watching and learning from, but rather spoke to everyone as if they were her peers. There was not an ounce of decorum in her entire being.

Before I sound completely pessimistic, I would like to say that I have seen a few glimmers of hope among this generation of socially retarded simpletons. I just wish that they were the rule rather than the exception.