Humanity: The Only Species That Think It’s at the Top, But It Isn’t

When I checked the news today, I was surprised to see something other than the Olympics or Mitt Romney/Obama or some pointless article about somebody saying something about nothing I care about.  However, the first article I came across was “600 million without power in India after 3 power grids fail”.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-07-31/india-power-outage/56600520/1

This topic particularly intrigued me when I first saw it.  My two reasons: Immediately, I thought, ‘I wonder how many people really care?  Seriously, the Olympics are going on.  Anyone in London or a sports bar isn’t concerned about the power in a Third World country.’  My second reason for taking quick notice to the article was that I just sat through a webinar by the Department of Energy last Wednesday discussing grid failure and how it affects tribal reservations.  When I sat back for a moment, I realized this really delves deeper than all of those topics: This is a matter of how vulnerable we are, how ignorant and stupid we can be, and how our dependency on power is going to be the cause of our fate.  (Talk of an energy crisis, anyone?)

First, let’s look at this situation in India: The most populated country in the world.  600 million people, “more than the entire population of the European Union plus Turkey”, 20 of India’s 28 states.  Had this actually taken place in Europe, it would have been utter chaos.  With all of the Universities and high-tech experiments, the superior hospitals, tourism, and the Olympics broadcasting, it would have been insanity and we would’ve had a lot more than one article in the newsfeed about it.  But it’s India.  I mean, how many of the residents even use that much electricity?  Obviously not as much as the US.  We top the charts in energy consumption.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t use it.  In fact, some people’s lives depend on it.  Who’s to say no Indian is on a dialysis machine – or was?  The article mentions an electric crematory that shut down in the middle of processing bodies.  More importantly to the living population, miners were trapped underground and had to be rescued by other means.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Olympics are a great thing and it’s nice to see so many countries come together, but why can’t we come together like this to fix the world’s problems?

Second, let’s check out this grid failure situation: Like I said, I just sat through a webinar regarding failures.  Failures are more common in remote locations, like Indian reservations in America.  This has to do with a lot of factors, like distance to remote locations, difficulty to access and repair problems, money and affording monitoring of the system, and even inconsistent use of the power.  The Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in India blamed their grid problems of the last few days on states “taking more than their allotted share”.  That is just poor management.  But grid failure is not uncommon, and it is particularly prevalent in these remote places (of which India could be considered a part).  So many precautions are installed in the United States to help monitor these electrical inputs and outputs, as required per code, and yet problems still happen.  India’s codes are likely less strict and poorly monitored, but if a Third World country losing part of its power temporarily can cause this much disturbance in the transportation and other aspects of the population, just imagine how much damage it could do to Europe or North America…

…which is what leads me to the third point: The weakness of humanity.  We do not dominate the top of the food chain and we never did.  The way I see it, we were physically weak and awkward beings.  If we did evolve from monkeys, think about: Monkeys hide in trees and, while some might be violent and attack, our direct ancestors would have been prey before predators in the jungle.  Our niche in the evolutionary journey was to outsmart the predators.  By doing so, we eliminated our less intelligent population to the point that our brains and thought-processes were becoming superior.  We then figured out how to use tools and other appendages otherwise not naturally a part of our bodies to take down other animals, to hunt and gather.  Also as a part of our weakness and physical ineptitude, we formed groups to create strength in numbers.  These groups lead to a system, sometimes a hierarchy, and, usually, as time does tell, these groupings lead to disputes and splits and, ultimately war.

That is how we have become our own worst enemy.  We can worry about meteors or aliens or what’s at the bottom of the ocean all we want, but while we’ve got our backs turned to each other, we’re just going to be marching into our own graves together.  We are digging our one-way ticket out of here.  We form these alliances which only mean we’ve left other alliances unformed and tensions building elsewhere.  We’ve strived to be better than one another for the ultimate success in technology and firearms, to makes ourselves threatening but to claim we are trying to be of no threat.  We race to own all of the resources, then feel threatened when those resources aren’t in our own hands.  We burn up useless energy trying to let everyone have a piece of everything, from exports to travel to useless luxuries, then we use more energy trying to solve our problem of, well, not having enough energy.

What happened to a few hundred years ago?  Not that things were perfect then, but we didn’t have such an electrical dependency.  Is it that our population is becoming so rapidly large?  We are trying to meet demands and generate such enormous surpluses to cover our backs in case a crisis happens?  Are we working at such a fast pace that we can’t do without energy?  And we wonder why people are stressed and fat and miserable.  Why money is so important when money is time, and time can’t be spared.  Society continues to degrade itself into a world where no one remembers what the real family values or priorities for happiness are.  We have no respect for each other because we have no respect for ourselves, for our planet, or for what is genuinely important in our lives.

So if you take nothing else away from this entry, at least consider this: Where do your values lie?  And what would become of you if we had an energy crisis that we couldn’t overcome?

And then remember that, although you are reading this on an electrical machine, I did too write this with power that those 600 million Indians are currently doing without.

Some of the Dumbest and Vainest Fashion Trends of the Last Decade

I know I just wrote a post this morning, but then my friend Lizzy and I were talking about what kinds of things I want to blog about and I said: Stupid fashion trends.  Granted, there are a lot of fashion trends that are stupid.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you how I think short skirts with heels look trashy, how much I don’t get wearing a belt with pants that sag below your butt, or which colors actually go with black.  No, this is more about how the runway comes up with really stupid looks that even the media can’t brainwash society enough to think those trends are actually the “cool thing to wear”.

Ballet Heels

ImageImage

These are just stupid.  This is what started my conversation today with Lizzy.  Funny thing is, I thought it was something that came in a phased out in the mid-2000s… but I was wrong.

Ballet heels (or boots) actually originated in the 1800s.  They’re supposed to force the wearer into walking en pointe, like a ballerina.  The thing that kills me is I thought the 7″+ heels were bad enough.  Apparently, circa 1900, the Viennese fetish boot was a precessor to the modern trend, which started appearing in the 1980s.  No, this Victorian-era boot actually had 11″ heels that were longer than the shoe itself.  In other words, you could wear the shoes but you couldn’t walk in them.  Stupid?  Hell, yes.

The Preppy Style

This is an age-old trend.  Don’t get me wrong, I like some parts of it.  Like I like wearing polos and I do shop occasionally at overly-priced Nazi stores like Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister (for as long as I can breathe without choking on the perfume, i.e. three seconds).  I actually enjoy guys in the golf look, even if they pop their collar and wear a sweater tied around their shoulders.  I guess I’m used to it.  I’m used to Dockers and whale pants.  I’m used to bowties.  But that’s just it: I’m only used to these things because I went to private school!  We had uniforms.  To look trendy and wear a uniform, you did those kinds of things.  It’s as much as you could get away with without being suspended for a violation of clothing code or something dumb.

What I can’t stand is, first of all, how the runway takes the looks to stupid, stupid, stupid extremes.  I have no need to elaborate.  Simply look at this runway model and tell me if this looks like a good idea:

That’s what I thought.  I swear, if I publish this and walk outside to find people milling down the street with over-the-waist, rolled-cuffed pants and tacky work-boot-like heels, I will have officially lost all faith in society.

The second thing that drives me crazy is when I do walk into these stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and I can’t help but notice all the clothes are basically my school uniform with jocked-up patches and slutted-up skirt lengths.  Seriously, talk about wanna-bes, these stores have become the go-to for kids who wish they went to boarding school.  I actually recall my one friend (who went to a public school in a town near my private school) telling me that his old school was “practically a private school”.  I said, “How’s that?  You didn’t pay to go there, it was a public school.”  His answer?  “Yeah, but most of the kids were rich.  They all wore Abercrombie.”  Ha.  So private school = rich = preppy dressed Abercrombie wanna-bes?  Not private school = people who care about their education = hard workers with intelligent means of spending?  Oh, world, you make me so sad.  True, I might be slightly biased, but just look at this…:

Besides, most of Abercrombie’s advertisements anymore are wildly inappropriate, to say the least.  I mean, I thought you were advertising clothes, not being ripped and not wearing anything…

Tights as Pants

I don’t care if they’re black or leopard printed, if they actually fit you or if your underwear shows… Who decided it was a good idea?  Speaking of not wearing anything… There is actually a site dedicated to this cause called www.tightsarenotpants.com and their fantastic background on one page sums up my thoughts perfectly:

Amen.

Lolita and Other Asian Trends

What happens in Asia stays in Asia, right?  I tell you, the people that really get into anime…they are insane.  Take for instance this Lolita look, one of many over-done looks currently circulating in places like Japan.  It’s basically a Victorian-like look with different offshoots such as Gothic, Sweet, etc.

I’ve noticed Asian trends usually revolve around looking like anime or dolls.  This is the ideal time to mention the anime-style contact lenses that have been a hit in Asian to make Asian eyes look much larger.

Also, there is a surgery that can accompany it.

Who said anyone takes fashion too far?  Hmm…

I really could go on.  But I think that is enough for now.  I’ve made my point: The Runway has bad ideas.  Sometimes people give in to those bad ideas.  Sometimes those bad ideas don’t really catch on.  Just don’t be a sheep, please.  See through these supposed “trends” and realize there might be something morally wrong with submitting to them.  What is fashion, anyway?  Status?  Feeling good?  Or just doling out money to greedy designers who really don’t have any taste?  Case and point:

The Nebby Media and Kristen Stewart

I figured this would be a good topic to start my new blog on: how much I hate the media, especially in light of a recent event.  That recent event is, of course, Kristen Stewart reportedly cheating on Robert Pattinson with the married-with-two-children director Rupert Sanders.

I have never been a particular fan of Kristen Stewart.  I never know how I feel about her.  She has always seemed to stay true to herself, which I’ve respected, but I’m not sure if really like her as an actress.  She seems to play the same dismal, depressed girl-in-distress in nearly every movie.  What I find particularly interesting in relation to this is the dynamics of the affair, namely how Kristen Stewart somehow manages to be the hearthrob to two very successful men.  True, she is topped the Forbes list in terms of actresses’ incomes, as found at http://www.hollywood.com/news/Kristen_Stewart_Highest_Paid_Actress_Forbes/31330760, but I still don’t know what beyond “thrill” (and maybe a big head) would cause an actress with so much money to cheat on one of Hollywood’s most desired young men.  And what about Rupert?  He just finished directing Snow White and the Huntsman in which Kristen played Snow White and Rupert’s wife Liberty played Kristen’s mother!  That’s a bit twisted.
Since all of this has errupted, Kristen has seemed to make attempts to define the severity of her “cheating”.  In all the downplay, it has been emerging in the media as more of a flirtatious fling than a full-blown affair.  Is this true?  I’m not so sure (and quite frankly don’t care).  To my utter surprise, however, Liberty Ross actually implies that she forgives her husband.  In this article on Entertainment Wise (http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/82987/Liberty-Ross-Forgives-Ruper-Sanders-For-Silly-Kristen-Stewart-Flirtation), Liberty has succombed to this downplaying and smoothed over the creases of what the media has made her husband’s doings out to be.  I’m just worried about the kids… “Mom, what does an affair mean?”  “Mom, does daddy like-like Kristen?”  I can only imagine what they’d say.  Surely they can’t help but catch wind of something plastered over every magazine cover in every store.
But the media is such a pain.  The Paparazzi should be illegal.  People bombarding other people’s lives to dig up secrets in ways that would be harassment if you were someone not making millions of dollars… yet, despite how much hatred there is for the Paparazzi, it continues.  Why?  Because there is a demand for the snooping.  People want the gossip.  People want to know what she eats to look that way, what he wears so they can be successful like him, what they did to cause their celebrity relationship to fall through… What I can’t help but wonder is this: If we didn’t have the media telling us so many of these intimate details, would the victim’s lives be totally different?  Does the media affect the outcome?  And how much isn’t getting turned up that could be?
 
Applying my questions to the Stewart-Pattinson-Sanders disaster: This “affair” came to light whenever the Paparazzi published some photos earlier this month that led to interviews and questions which Stewart and Sanders had to answer to.  Okay, maybe they could’ve walked away, but the tension in their relationships?  That question of what if, what if this isn’t just the Paparazzi?  What if there’s something really going on and you’re not ducking out of the limelight because you don’t feel like dealing with it?  You’re ducking because you’ve been caught?
 
So Sanders and Stewart have got to explain something.  In the meantime, Ross and Pattinson are getting pushed for answers and suspicions.  More and more turns up and so some small tidbits of what might have been happening spill out with more photos.  Suddenly, the media twists words into whatever it wants them to say.  Those pictures of Kristen hugging Rupert, what if, just what if, that was a happy hug about her success?  Nothing more?  Pictures can catch you in the most awkward times… I know that as a dancer because I could be doing all the right motions, but catch me mid-step and I look like I’m falling.
I’m not saying that Kristen didn’t do anything because I don’t know.  And quite frankly, I don’t give a damn.  I think the media should just burn in hell and let people be people.  How would you feel if your boyfriend/girlfriend was seen hugging someone else and you woke up to find the front page of the newspaper with “scandal” and your pictures plastered all over it?  Then you have strangers pounding on your door and blocking your threshold, trying to catch one word from your mouth or one photo of your stressed expression?
 
Regardless of what Kristen did or didn’t do, I’m sure the media will find a way to tear apart everyone’s relationships and marr their reputations… at least until something more entertaining comes along.  In the meantime, Kristen has still been periodically tweeting (about things unrelated to Rob or the affair), and Rob last tweeted July 19th about the TCAs – his first tweet in a couple of months.  (Curious to read his feed maybe?  I’d feel sick seeing all of the comments, good or bad.)  However, there is also rumored talk that Rob was about to propose to Kristen.  In this article http://globalgrind.com/entertainment/robert-pattinson-marry-propose-kristen-stewart-moved-out-details, they supposedly reveal from an “inside source” Rob’s secret motives.  But here’s the thing – they got this scoop from this “inside source” quote:
 
 “Robert hoped to marry Kristen and was making preparations to spring a proposal before she admitted cheating.  He had bought the house in Los Angeles to be their home and saw them staying there for a long time.  Now Rob is angry – h’es left the mansion and not spoken to her since.  They have exchanged heated text messages only.”
 
Okay, “making preparations”.  That could  mean exactly what the article is saying, that he was about to propose.  But it could also just mean he is serious about the relationship and down the road… … … My point is, the media snags any credible or non-credible bit of information, takes it out of context, and creates a new drama that stresses celebrity relationships and destroys people’s trust for one another.  It’s the same as gossip in school, or rumors on campus.  Except it’s much worse.  It’s your career, your life, your reputation, and everyone who does or doesn’t know you sees that tainted image everywhere you go.
My advice: Liberty, do what you gotta do.  Rupert, grow up.  Kristen, duck out of the limelight and get your life together.  Rob, as with Liberty, do what you gotta do and make those decisions based off of reality and not any media-inspired garbage.  Sadly, no matter what these couples decide to do, they’re still going to be judged for their choices.  My advice to them as a whole: Cross your fingers that something enormous will happen.  And, no, I don’t mean World War III – that doesn’t hit home enough for today’s society.  I mean, pray that some other celebrity couple gets a divorce or that Miley Cyrus does something stupid again.  And good luck.