i fucking wish
As long as the wilderness has wifi.
i fucking wish
As long as the wilderness has wifi.
Last week, the country was riveted by the story of young Diane Tran, a high school junior age 17, who was tossed in jail for a night because she was missing too much school.
The reason her case attracted so much attention? Tran missed those days of school—or arrived late—due to exhaustion. She worked two jobs to help support her siblings. Her parents had split and moved out of town. She became, in essence, a poster-girl for both the recession and for the criminalization of youth. Even those local newscasters expected to be dispassionate were moved to say their “hearts went out” to this girl.
One of Tran’s employers is a wedding planning business, which she assists and whose owners house her with her parents out of town. The other is a full-time job at a dry cleaning store. Her third job, then, is going to school, where she is enrolled in several AP and honors classes, but missed 18 days. After a previous warning, a judge decided that a night in jail would teach her a lesson. He didn’t see why people were kicking up such a fuss. ”A little stay in the jail for one night is not a death sentence,” the judge told the same local news channel.
But then thousands of people around the world read the headline variations on “honors student goes to jail” and began expressing their support—with their voices and their wallets, signing a petition and contributing to a fund for Tran.
At last, the judge in the case agreed todismiss the contempt charges he had leveled at Tran. News sources reported that with paperwork, she can have her record expunged.
But none of these reprieves happened until Tran had already spent the night in jail.
From Corporations Are People to Stand Your Ground to I’ve Got Mine, So I Don’t Know Why You’re Complaining, Kid, There’s a fundamental lack of compassion in American culture. I don’t know if it’s always been that way, or if it’s the way I see things, or if it’s something that I’m just becoming aware of right now, but I believe it’s profoundly immoral.
And the thing is, it’s a load-bearing pillar in the Conservative mindset, right? Conservatives who self-identify as religious, but completely disregard the teachings of Christ, who — according to the Bible they’re always quoting (as if it begins and ends with Leviticus) — wanted everyone to treat others with love and compassion.
I can’t believe that, in 2012, this country is so unenlightened that there is anyone who thinks it’s okay to put a child in jail for any non-violent offense, even for one night.
If you’re still reading, go read the entire article; it’s important.
"There’s a fundamental lack of compassion in American culture."
I’d been having that same revelation as of late. The way we’ve constructed our society is based a lot of selfishness to reap the most benefits you possibly can solely for yourself, regardless of how it affects the other party—like how if you’re in an accident, it’s totally standard to never admit fault and make sure the other side looks as guilty as possible, all because we’re “supposed” to milk as much as we can out of insurance and lawsuits. Even if we can empathize with the other party, and maybe they just made a stupid mistake, or even have a good reason for their mistake (a reason that just isn’t overtly recognized by our law system’s structure, like in this girl’s case) we’re supposed to only be looking out for ourselves, and have no interest in outside parties. People are always complaining about legislature or movements that “takes away all mymoney!” despite the fact that the money that’s taken away is meant to go to teachers or public servants or people in poverty. But it doesn’t matter, because apparently it’s their own damn fault for being in shitty situations, like the one this girl was in, and punishment is the only answer ever—not, you know, actual help or something. Because that’s AMERICA.
Anyway, I was just noting Wil Wheaton’s comment—I’m getting WAY away from the actual story, which is worth a full read, if you’re interested in the pros and cons of criminalization and youth culture. That said, it IS really great that people were compassionate enough to support the girl when the story broke. But the fact that American people generally have such a gaping lack of empathy is infuriating.
'Tis the season for Lent, which means for a little while there might be a surplus of chocolate, soda, and masturbation. But here in the 21st century, more and more people might be giving up social networking—which, if that's what you're giving up in the name of God or The Doctor or whoever, that probably means it qualifies as a big deal. No doubt you've heard the constant debates over how social media is changing our culture for better or worse, though usually people say it’s for the worse. I’ll take a wild guess and say you, the reader, have a Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or some other knock-off like that “FriendZone” site the college kids are always talking about.
I can’t really argue for the negative effects it has on society—just a quick glance at Twitter will prove that people are really, really stupid. But there are ways to have these pages to share and connect with people, and even use them quite a lot, without plunging your social life down the toilet and giving in to Skynet. I’m certainly not saying I’m the absolute perfect social media user myself. But I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of disillusionment or stress because of it.I’d like to think I’ve learned enough from my good and bad internet experiences—as well as creepily observing everyone else—to say that I at the very least don’t use it badly (anymore.)
What I’mwriting about is based on what a comedian I follow on Tumblr (oh hay social networking) said: “If you think Facebook is annoying, you have annoying friends. If you think Facebook is shallow, you have shallow friends. Whatever you think about Facebook, that is a direct reflection of your friends. OR…you are using Facebook wrong.” I’d argue this could work as the basis for the internet as a whole—that how you view it is a direct correlation to the environment you’re in and how you use it. If you think the social networking realm is a shallow, narcissistic, drama-producing life-ruiner machine, read on and see why it probably means you’re doing it wrong.
this is why my friends think I’m gay. I get way too excited over a good beard.
Naw dude. You just appreciate beauty—nothing wrong with that. Lots of artists can call someone of the same sex “beautiful” in some way without actually being attracted to them. American society is so ridiculously weird about those kinds of taboos—automatically assuming a compliment is the equivalent of “I want to have sex with you.” Yet they’re clearly two completely different concepts.
I mean, I’m gay and I love TDB, which I guess doesn’t help your case at all—but I don’t follow it because I want to get turned on by it (though that is an unintended side-effect sometimes), but because beards are awesome and, when a lot of care is put into crafting and photographing them, they can be yet another form of art. And they’re just fucking awesome.