Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Plus Side of Irrationality

I think everyone is somewhat programmed to be "rational," or to at least want to be. It's absolutely clear that many people simply aren't "rational" in their thought processes, but usually when you point it out, they acknowledge it and have to admit that they're not. I don't think anyone goes out of their way to try to be irrational when making their day to day decisions. Heck, the law even bases a good chunk of its caselaw on the assumption that people operate rationally, and substantial deviations from that rationality cast questions on the value of the case.

But I've recently come to think there may be some instances when I kinda wish I were just a little bit less rational, and more completely off my rocker. I shall explain.

Just about a year ago, I was dating this guy. (Let's call him Jack.) [As a refresher for those of you (both of you!) who are reading this on a semi-regular basis (which means I've been horribly neglectful of you for not posting in ages), I pretty much stopped calling him as a chicken-shit way of calling an end to the relationship.) Anyway, point being, while not the best way of getting there, it was a pretty clean break -- I've probably only bumped into him twice since I weaseled out of it.

Jack had met most of my friends during the time we were together, and they all got along well. One of my best friends (let's call him Rick) still thinks Jack was great for me and why did I ever break up with him? I won't lay them out here, but I have my reasons, and trust me, they are very legitimate reasons.

So after I told all my friends I was no longer seeing Jack, the usual sympathies were exchanged, etc. But I do remember being of the resolve that I couldn't tell anyone not to call Jack anymore. I figured it just wouldn't be right to tell my friends who they could and could not talk to. So, I refused to make a blanket proclamation that Jack was now off limits to my friends. If they wanted to contact him, they could, and I would be fine with it.

And, honestly and truly, I am.

The other night, Rick went out with a few other friends; I was tired and broke so I stayed home. The night rolled along, and, apparently, Jack rolled into the bar. Our other friends having already well exceeded the point of non-sobriety, Rick ended up talking to Jack. According to Rick, they chatted for a good part of the night, and they even changed venue at one point ("I'm heading to this other bar; you want to come?" "Sure!").

And really, I'm okay with it.

But a part of me wishes that I wasn't.

A part of me wishes that I was angry at Rick. A part of me wishes that I felt that, if Rick were a true friend, he'd shun the company of an ex. A part of me wants to feel that combination of jealousy and anger, of betrayal and shame, that comes from having your best friend consorting with your ex.

But I don't feel anything like that at all.

I suppose it's healthy that I don't. But what does that say? All I can come up with is that my not feeling anything means I was never really in love. This is a fact that I will readily admit. I know I didn't really love the guy, and that for much of our time together I could barely tolerate him.

But the fact that I didn't love him only reminds me that I don't think I've ever loved anyone. I've never so freely given of myself that I even ran the risk of being hurt were it to end.

The guy I was seeing before Jack dumped me after six months. He looked like he was going to cry as he did it. I never cried once over the breakup.

So a part of me wishes that I did feel some irrationality. A part of me wishes that I did feel hurt that Rick would feel perfectly fine in hanging out with Jack. Because that would show me that I am, in fact, human, and that I am, in fact, capable of loving someone.

But maybe I'm not. And maybe that's why I should be mourning. Perhaps I should be mourning this as proof that I will never find love because I am completely incapable of it.

Even Cylons have love. I don't.

And dammit, now I have Rick Springfield stuck in my head:

You better love somebody
It's late
You better love somebody
Don't wait
You better love somebody
Don't tempt fate
You're gonna pull it just a little too far one night.

(Okay that last couplet makes no sense in this post, but the rhythm gets messed up if you don't quote the whole chorus.)

So I'm incapable of love.

Strangely... I think I'm okay with that.

Random TV Thoughts

Possible spoiler alerts. Do not read on if you've got a backlog of Tivo'd shows you don't want to hear about. Though odds are, I'm not watching anything you are, because my taste in television shows is horrific.

-- The bachelor guy on "Farmer Wants a Wife" is really, really hot. And sweet. I didn't want to get into this show, but DAMN. Then again, I'm not really INTO this show because I fast forward past all the stupid bimbo scenes and concentrate on the guy, and his beautiful eyes, and his winning smile, and his hot bod.

-- I really do hope that Horatio Kaine really is actually dead. David Caruso can't act for squat to begin with, and his character was so far rogue that he really needed to be disposed of.

-- I just started getting into "Robin Hood" on BCCA too. Kinda neat.

-- I'm kinda over both "Two and a Half Men" and "Family Guy." I DVR them, but they're on soooo often, I'm tired of them. And the fact that they're on so often means I'm already into repeats.

-- As much as I love "Gilmore Girls," the fact that it's cycled back to the pilot episode reminds me of how much I hated the first few seasons. Why Rory ever became friends with Paris given what a frigging beyotch Paris was from the instant they met is beyond me; why they remained friends over the years boggles my mind.

-- As much as I love the CSI shows (including NCIS), I always wonder how it is that every single crime scene ever is immaculate before the time of the crime. These guys find one stray hair and it belongs to the killer. I can't imagine that anyone's house is so neat that it has absolutely no stray hairs or other DNA evidence that isn't easily explainable.

-- "Doctor Who" is awesome, but why is the SciFi channel actually ahead of BBCA? One would think that, of all channels to be current on "Doctor Who," it would be BBCA, not SciFi. Also, much as I love David Tennant, I'm getting kind of tired of his whole talking-through-gritted-teeth thing.

I need a life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Justice Scalia Begs the Question

Today, the Supreme Court upheld portions of the Child Pornography Protection Act.

I haven't read the case so I won't go into detail about it, nor do I have any opinions on it (yet). Basically, from what I can tell from the NY Times, the law prohibits people from offering photos of children in pornographic photos. Even if the photos are fake, or nonexistent. You could offer to send someone kiddie porn and not actually have kiddie porn. But you could be convicted for it.

Here's the rub for me: the following line from the article.

"Offers to engage in illegal transactions are categorically excluded from First Amendment protection," Justice Scalia wrote.

I find this logic circular. The First Amendment doesn't protect illegal speech, he says. So all Congress has to do to escape the reach of the First Amendment is to criminalize the speech.

Okay, that's a little simplistic. It's one level removed. Congress can criminalize any behavior it wants (within constitutional constraints), but talking about committing the crime is not protected by the First Amendment.

But what if, as here, the speech is intertwined with the purported crime? The crime, from what I can tell, includes offering to distribute or share child pornography. Doesn't that mean the speech is the crime? As so, how can you categorically remove that from First Amendment analysis?

Am I missing something here?

Weight Loss Issues

I've had body image issues for as long as I can remember in my adult life. It's awful when I look at my pictures from junior high and realize how thin I look -- yet I can remember that, at the time, I fancied myself terribly fat.

I've only gotten bigger since.

Tonight I watched this BBCA show called "Super Skinny Me," which is a documentary type show where they took two female reporters and put them into the field of trying to lose weight. Mind you, these girls are not huge by any stretch to begin with, but they're both, for the sake of this show, trying various diets, routines, etc. to lose further weight.

One woman is truly going over the edge. She's trying way too hard: effectively starving herself, going on crazy diets, working out excessively, etc. And she's loving her results. She just asked a personal trainer down to absolutely no body fat. The trainer told her that he couldn't, because if she went down to zero body fat, she'd be dead. Her response: "Well then just this close to dead?"

The other woman, thankfully, has a decent head on her shoulders, and she's realizing that she's not enjoying losing all this weight. She misses her "womanly curves" and her boyfriend doesn't like snuggling with her and feeling her ribcage. She met an actual anorexic chick and realizes that she can't see herself thinking that Nicole Ritchie is actually healthy.

I watched this show because I thought it would be interesting to see these perspectives on these women's relationships with food. And I was hoping that it would present a picture of how awful body image issues are and how unhealthy it can be to monitor your food intake so zealously.

But then as I watch this show, it hasn't really done a good job in painting eating disorders as bad things. Hell, seeing this chick go through what she's doing, even though she is kinda miserable, I kinda find myself thinking that the watercress diet seems kinda doable for a week or so.

Because I'm fucking crazy. And I do want to lose weight.

Meantime, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies tonight to take with me to the office. They taste all right.

Because I'm fucking crazy. And I just love food. I mean, really.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Panic! You Can't Scream Out

I found myself at DAR Constitution Hall last night. To see Panic at the Disco on the Honda Civic Tour.

I confess, I like them. I like the sound of their first album and I find their antics innovative and creative. I didn't like their second album all that much when I first heard it, but it's been growing on me.

What I did not realize to save my life (and really, I should have researched this) was that Panic has a rather sizable fan base that consists of prepubescent little girls. And it didn't help that the opening acts -- Motion City Soundtrack and The Hush Sound -- also appear to be popular among the pre-teen set. Oh yeah, and Phantom Planet. In case you don't know (I didn't), they sing the theme song to "The OC." Yeah. Pre-teen. (Okay, okay, dammit, I admit it, I liked Phantom Planet and just added them to my myspace friends. Grrrr.)

Okay, my characterization of the girls just not fair. They're probably not prepubescent. But they are, I'd guess, around 15. I would hazard a guess that they probably could, in fact, get pregnant if they tried hard enough. Okay, to be fair, there were some boys too, but they we of the Y chromosomes were severely outnumbered. I mean really.

Some were their with their parents. Many, I'd hazard to guess, were not. My only comment on this is: when I was their age, no one was shelling out the cash to let me go to concerts. Let alone spend the hundreds of dollars it likely cost to get the t-shirts and other memorabilia. Let's not forget that pretty much each of these girls had cell phones (and not the cheap kind, we're talking phones with slide-out full keyboards and 5.2MP digicams in them). And digital cameras with which they were either photographing or video-recording large parts of the concert. I have a full-time job and I can barely afford that shit for myself.

Have you ever been in an auditorium filled with prepubescent girls while one of their favorite bands is on stage? I swear I could feel my ears tingling to the high-pitched screams these girls let out. To the extent that one can "feel" sound, I did. My ears were this close to bleeding. My right one still hurts today. I've spent an inordinate amount of time today saying "What? What??"

A few observations, if I may (and since this is my blog, I give myself license):

-- It must be really really weird to be a 13-year-old girl standing next to her dad (who was actually quite DILF-y) when the band sings the following lyrics: "I've got more wit, a better kiss, a hotter touch, a better fuck / Than any boy you'll ever meet, sweetie you had me." That song actually starts with lyrics involving slipping off your dress. I dunno, I guess that's a Family Talk moment in the making.

-- I think it may be a little irresponsible for a band, knowing mode age of its audience, to ask how many of them are single, and to follow that up with, "because I'm sure Brandon wants to take someone back to his hotel tonight." Because frankly, I'm sure a lot of those squealing pre-teens would jump at that opportunity, irresponsible though it is.

-- I also think it's a little irresponsible, when your lead singer comes out for an encore sans the rest of the band, to announce that the rest of the band is occupied in the back stage, "probably doing Jaeger bombs or something." Seriously, folks, can we at least try not to glamorize drinking totally-fuck-you-up drinks to kids who have almost a decade before they can legally drink it?

-- I find it humorous that the Honda Civic Tour touts its environmental consciousness and the fact that it donated a portion of its ticket sales to environmental causes... while all these little girls ran around carrying their souvenir paraphernalia in plastic bags.

Side note: When going to a musical event, do not take as your date someone with no rhythm whatsoever. Especially if he doesn't seem to notice this fact. When the band says to clap with them, it's not that hard... but for some, it is.

But anyway, I still should say that yes, I did enjoy the show immensely. Although I had reservations given how down-tempo their second album as a whole was, they amped it up for the show and it was a really great time. But all I can say is that if Fall Out Boy makes their way out here, I will go to their show armed with earplugs, accusations of geriatric state be damned!