March 02, 2006

"Family Life Week"

I know of nothing quite like a chapel week dedicated to "Family Life" that can make me feel like a complete and utter freak of nature.

For this "Family Life Week," the speaker is some senior from some university (I missed the chapel where that information was given). He has given his personal testimony, and today he talked about his experiences with dating relationships and his desire for finding a wife. He also provided advice to those in the audience who may also be looking for a significant other.

I always feel uncomfortable during these types of talks. The assumption that the speaker makes is that every normal person actively seeks to be married and start a family. Those of you who have read this blog with any regularity know that I have no real desire to begin that type of relationship whatsoever and that I despise the thought of having children myself.

Some of the speaker's anecdotes I found almost creepy. He told of a friend of his who would pray for his future spouse every time he found and picked up a penny. After this friend was married, the friend gave his wife a large jar of pennies and said that each penny represented a time he prayed for her.

In the audience, the girls smiled and sighed at the "romantic" story, and some of the guys seemed to appreciate the gesture. However, the thought of someone giving me a jar full of pennies and saying each penny represented a time when they were thinking of me (before we had even met) makes my skin crawl. I had the same reaction when the speaker himself said that he bought a ring for sole purpose of reminding himself to pray for a "future spouse."

What is so bad about being single? Am I so strange because I do not want a person to obsess over? Am I unique because I do not pray for another person to "complete" me?

I still experience physical attraction to other people, of course. I still require other people for some of my emotional needs. It is entirely possible that I will eventually enter into a "deeper" relationship with another person. I just can not comprehend why some people so desperately want that relationship.

Posted by Randy at 12:24 PM | TrackBack

February 07, 2006

Open Dorms & LETU

As eveyone directly affiliated with LETU knows, Student Senate and various levels of administration are currently considering adding extra hours for open dorms. The current addition being discussed would allow visitation of opposite-sex dorms on Sunday from 5 p.m to 9 p.m.

The Apartments, the living area I represent in Senate, seem not to care that much because any additional hours between noon and 11 p.m. on any day would not affect us. Therefore, I want it to be clear that the following is simply my opinion on the matter and does not reflect the view of the Apartments.

As the rule currently stands, one is allowed to visit the dorm rooms of those of the opposite sex during three six-hour windows at the close of each week. That's eighteen hours spread over three days. I think this is ridiculous.

With a few exceptions, the students at LETU are legally adults. We can drive. We can vote. We could buy cigarettes, and some of us can even buy alcohol. We are old enough to be considered responsible for paying LETU, and many of us do bear the bulk of that financial burden. We can select our own majors, choose our classes (in almost any order), and decide to drop classes or college altogether.

We are given tremendous responsibility to plan our future through our educational and financial choices. Yet, we apparently can not be trusted around the opposite sex unless we are almost continually supervised. I can only assume the reason for this is that those who make the rules believe college age men and women are so full of hormones that they will literally tear off their clothes the moment they aren't being watched.

Oh, wait, that isn't the reason. It's because they are trying to help us students make wise decisions. They are protecting us from ourselves. They don't want us to become distracted if we are trying to do homework, prepare for class, or try to sleep. Apparently, students at LETU aren't capable of asking someone to leave. They don't want us to succumb to temptation. Apparently, students at LETU aren't capable of making moral decisions regarding sexuality unless a multi-layered system of checks are in place.

I am against having "closed dorms" at all. We, as adults, are capable of making responsible decisions. Those who don't make responsible decisions face consequences for their choices. Just like with the internet filter, anyone who wants to get around the "open dorms" rules will do so.

I guess I am just opposed to rules which punish everyone because a few are irresponsible.

Posted by Randy at 05:55 PM | TrackBack

November 21, 2005


I have a lot of things I could say. I have enough specific rants to fill every day since my last post. However, I have held my tongue (or, I guess, fingers).

My reason is simple. I don't want to name names, and almost every single item I feel like talking about requires me to name names. After all, most people who read this would be able to recognize most of the people I would rant about here. The people involved range from my roommates, my friends at LETU, my friends outside of LETU, and random people in various classes. I guess one could say that I am generally annoyed by a lot of things that a lot of people do. What makes this worse is that, generally, I am annoyed by rather unimportant things. I am getting rather aggravated, and I have no good reason to be angry.

I have other things about which I plan to write. I am trying to solidify my political stance on drug-related issues, and I will probably share it once I have it. Until then (or until I am inspired by something else), I will just continue to keep quiet.

Posted by Randy at 05:26 PM | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

Proposition 2

The state of Texas will be voting on a number of state constitutional amendments in November. The most well-known of the proposed amendments is Prop. 2. The description of the bill is:

The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage. (source)

Those of you who know me also know my own feelings toward this, and I have explained those feelings on this blog before. It should be of no surprise that I will be voting against this amendment. I would be voting against if the amendment only banned same-sex marriage, but it's inclusion of anything "similar to marriage" is enough for me to oppose this vocally before voting.

That phrase is open to all kinds of interpretation, and I, quite frankly, don't like any of them.

Posted by Randy at 12:10 PM | TrackBack

October 11, 2005


Today, Dr. K implied, quite possibly unintentionally, that all Christians should want to have children one day. The natural extension of that is any Christian that does not want children is really just being selfish and "worldly," wanting to be hedonistic through life in order to enjoy it to the fullest extent.

Attending a conservative Christian university, I should be accustomed to hearing this type of statement. For some reason, though, this time it really bothered me.

It is (or at least should be) well-known by now that I do not like and I do not want children. To be completely honest, I am not sure I even want to have a spouse some time in the future.

I'm very confused as to how this makes me a selfish person seeking to live a worldly life. In fact, I'm very confused as to why not wanting to have children is more selfish than wanting to create a family as soon as possible.

Choosing to have children or not to have them is a choice. While I personally plan not to have children, I am not going to condemn those who decide otherwise. I think that wanting the same respect for my own choice is reasonable.

Posted by Randy at 11:35 AM | TrackBack

September 05, 2005


Yesterday, I ate at Red Lobster with my mother and a family friend. They were on their way home from Shreveport. They had been gambling. (On a side note, my mother told me that she hadn't slept since Friday morning. I get my sleeping habits from her.)

On a whim, I decided to count the number of American flags I saw between the LeTourneau University campus and the Red Lobster on the Loop. The distance between the two is approximately seven miles.

Because I wanted to know how many flags an average driver would see, I decided I would not be "looking for" the flags. I only counted if they fell within my field of vision. I would only count those I saw in front of me and those I saw when preparing to turn.

In those seven miles, I counted over 120 flags. 120+ flags. 7 miles. That is somewhere around seventeen or eighteen flags per mile.

This count only includes flags along two streets and a portion of the Loop.

I don't know how to respond to this. I can understand wanting to hang a flag as a symbol of patriotism, but isn't this just a tad extreme? What is the point of having a flag every twentieth of a mile or so?

Posted by Randy at 12:37 PM | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Public Relations

Topics like this are what really make me disappointed that written words can not accurately portray the tone of a person's voice. If they could, you would know just how much I despise public relations people. Let me explain.

In my journalism seminar last night, our guest speaker was the vice president of a major PR firm in DC. I went into this class with an open mind. I knew that many journalists hate PR firms, but I thought I would at least listen to the perspective of the firms. The speaker preceded to tell us all about PR and how those who work PR should try to make the journalists' job as easy as possible. "Be persistent without being pesky," she advised.

She later went on to contradict her advice completely. "When you or your client are invited on television or talking with reporters, come up with two or three main messages and--no matter what is asked--always find a way back to those messages." "Never answer a hypothetical question." "Always push the message you want to get out."

This, in my opinion, is part of the reason media quality has declined as much as it has. No one will actually answer the questions that are asked. This is part of the reason that the American public is so ignorant when it comes to everything.

This firm represents clients in a large variety of areas. It has politicians, authors, special interest groups, commentators, and a variety of others. It seems that in today's world anyone who is anyone needs a PR team. If someone wants to be known, he or she must pay someone else to manipulate the public. It is disgusting.

Posted by Randy at 11:20 AM | TrackBack

June 23, 2005

The President's Rally (near DC)

I was informed earlier this week that the IPJ program (and all of TFAS) had been invited by the White House to attend a rally for Social Security reform in Maryland. As I have never seen any president in person, I leaped at the opportunity.

President Bush led a script reading led a panel discussion about Social Security and why it is going to be bankrupt by 2041. Ben Stein, a financial consultant, and two college-age Republicans completed the panel. I did not find the discussion itself that interesting, though I did find humor in Bush thanking FDR for implementing the Social Security program in the first place and his claim that the people should be able to trust the government.

What I did find interesting, though, is that a group of 300+ interns from across the nation (some supporters of Bush, some not) were invited to a rally in Maryland. Our group was only a portion of the interns present. I've heard as many as 500 were invited.

To get into the event, you had to have been invited by the White House. Once inside, if a person made any vocal disagreement with the President or his plans, the dissenter would be removed, or so we were warned. "While I know some of you may disagree with his policies, this is not the time to express that disagreement," our director said (paraphrased from memory). "They will remove you."

Clapping and other signs of support were supported, of course.

There were a number of protesters outside of the rally location, naturally. After discovering that a significant portion of the audience was not from the area, I felt as if I should have been with them.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this method? The White House invites those who would already support almost anything he wants to a rally supposedly designed to raise support for a controversial issue. The local people with real questions are left outside to protest as interns from across the country are invited into the rally because the interns are part of a certain organization.

There is no interaction with the people. Bush is only receiving confirmation from those that already agree with him, and anyone who may not agree is threatened to be removed if he or she expresses disagreement.

It is all quite. . .disconcerting.

On the plus side, I was able to take photos of President Bush. I really like one of them.

Posted by Randy at 08:46 PM | TrackBack

June 20, 2005

Politics (in DC!)

This post is simply going to be my political opinions on a variety of different controversial topics. It is all going beneath a cut because I have no idea how long it will be once I finish, and I will probably add to it afterwards.

I am mainly writing this in response to the disproportionately large number of comments I have gotten concerning my "Christian" T-shirts post and the one accusation that I was "trolling" with a "controversial" opinion.

Read at your own risk.


Abortion: Politically, I'm pro-choice. Personally, I'm pro-life. I would never encourage someone to have an abortion, but I can not justify allowing my beliefs regarding when life begins to control someone else's body. The main issue in this debate, in my opinion, is where life begins. I do not know where to draw that line, and it can be taken to extremes on both sides.

I believe that abortion should remain legal, but I think that it needs much more regulation.

Euthanasia: I believe that if a person of sound mind wishes to commit suicide he or she should be able to do so. One should not be forced to die a horrific death if one wants to die painlessly. One should not be forced to "live" as a vegetable if one has specified earlier to not be kept alive. As long as this decision is kept in the metaphorical hands of the person who will die or (in Schiavo-like cases) the person responsible for that person's decisions, I fully support the right to die.

Iraq: The USA had absolutely no reason to invade Iraq. None. We were fed false information (whether deliberately or not is up for debate). There were no legitimate WMDs. The supposed humanitarian arguments are easily debunked. Invading Iraq was a mistake.

Gay Marriage: As long as marriage is considered a legal issue, any two consenting adults should be able to marry. The government can not and should not claim that certain relationships are more valid than others.

Marijuana: If smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol are legal, using marijuana should be as well. Put the same regulations on it that are currently on tobacco and alcohol. Make the marijuana industry legal and drug-related crime will drop. Put a tax on the drug and the government can collect revenue. Aside from potential drug-related deaths (which few seem to complain about concerning alcohol), I see no downside to this.

United Nations: In theory, the United Nations is a good idea. In reality, it needs reform. I don't know where I would start or exactly what I would do, but reform is needed. I certainly wouldn't send someone who has blatantly stated disgust with the UN as the ambassador of the USA, though.

Posted by Randy at 11:22 PM | TrackBack

April 09, 2005

Because I Want Conversation. . .

I found the following article while doing research for a paper:

"High Court Blasted By Texas Judge"

DALLAS (AP) -- A Waxahachie district judge attacked the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, charging the justices with sitting "as deities," doing what seems best to them irrespective of laws and customs.

Judge A.R. Stout, the 40th Judicial District judge for 25 years, accused the justicies of acting as policymakers and legislaters and showing no judicial restraint. (empasis mine)

"They have been doing what seems best to them, irrespective of our laws, the customs of the past, what has been good for this nation in the past and what will be best for its future," Judge Stout said in remarks prepared for delivery to a luncheon club.

Judge Stout said he takes issue with all the Supreme Court decisions on communism and subversion, on the Fifth Amendment, on draft dodging, what he called the "school and mob" opinion and "their aggrandizement of power" decisions.

Source: The Longview Daily News. 12 Sept. 1963.

Judge Stout was speaking out mainly against the Supreme Court's decision regarding prayer in public schools. He is later quoted as saying: "This is a blasphemy on the history of our nation."

What I find particularly interesting about his argument is that he accuses justices of "acting as policymakers and legislators." He is accusing them of "legislating from the bench," to put the accusation in a modern phrase. Where is this argument coming from? The Supreme Court is apparently ignoring past "laws, the customs of the past," and "what has been good for this nation in the past."

Do any of these arguments sound familiar?

They certainly should. They are used every time the "customs" of the majority are challenged by the rights of the minority. Christians used them (and are still using them) to challenge school prayer and the white population used them to argue against desegregation of public places and interracial marriage. These topics were controversial at the time.

Today, these same arguments are being used once again in an attempt to block the rights of a minority. This time, however, the minority consists of men and women of all ages and of all races. These men and women want society to accept their relationships as valid.

It is quite obvious that the majority of Americans do not want to see this. Gay marriage has been banned in a number of states. Most Americans do not want the courts to defy "custom" or to change the "traditional." They prattle on about "protecting the sanctity" of an institution they themselves defiled long ago.

The United States of America may have been formed by men (and women) with a Christian background. Religious and Christian terminology may have been placed within our Constitution and every single important document relating to the foundation of this nation. Christians may still be the major religion here.

However, our nation is not a theocracy. The wants of the majority can not be allowed to overpower the rights of a minority. Under the law, everyone should be treated equally. That is not the case in America today.

We can not pass laws that legalize discrimination against a man or woman because of race, religion, or gender. Why can we pass laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation?

Posted by Randy at 07:03 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2005

The "Proper Behavior" for a Gentleman

It seems like it has been quite some time since something said in chapel has inspired me to publish a rant. I did not realize that until I started writing this. How strange. Anyway, on to the point. . .

I have generally enjoyed the series of chapels from the counselor lady. This may be because I generally enjoy psycho-babble type stuff, but I think that would be an entirely different topic. While she really hasn't introduced anything groundbreaking to the student body, she has reinforced a number of ideas that I believe are important for most people to understand.

Then, she had to ruin it with her opinion of the "proper gentleman."

A "proper gentleman," as far as I can tell, is willing to sacrifice anything and everything at the drop of a hat in order to make a "lady" comfortable and/or at ease. I have no problem with those who voluntarily do everything they can to ensure a woman never has to lift a finger in the presence of a man. However, a problem arises when people begin constantly expecting that behavior from me.

I will gladly help a woman carry things, open a door for a woman, or "defend" a woman's honor. I don't see assisting a woman as acting as a "gentleman." I see it as being courteous. Therefore, in my mind, the system works both ways. If a woman says she does not need help with something, I will not offer help with it again. If a woman asks if she can help me, I am going to let her help.

I expect people to treat me in the same manner, and I do mean people of both sexes. If I offer to help, either let me help or tell me that my help is not required. If I say I do not want help, do not continually ask if I need it.

Apparently, this means I am not a "gentleman." Thankfully, I do not really care.

Posted by Randy at 08:33 PM | TrackBack

February 27, 2005

Actually, Yes I Can

An Open Letter to My Current Roommate:

I know that you are a supporter of President Bush. I know that you are a die-hard Republican who has probably never actually questioned any decision made by your neoconservative leaders. I know that. I acknowledge that. As much as I would like you to be more open-minded, I know that it probably will not happen any time soon.

With that said, I must get something off my chest.

Despite what you believe and so vocally express, it is possible for someone both to oppose the war in Iraq and to support the troops that are fighting there. It is not only possible but, I would say, predominant in most "liberal" thinking.

For example, I absolutely support the US troops. They are simply doing their job. I have a good friend from home that is a marine. I am hoping for the best as far as they are concerned.

However, I do not support the reason that they are fighting. This does not mean I hope they have a hard time, that I hope many of them die in order to "invalidate" the war, or that I hope they are removed before they complete their job.

Therefore, I have to ask for you to stop your slanderous rhetoric. I am sick of hearing it, and it is starting to make me angry.

Thank you,
Your "liberal" roommate

PS: I really miss rooming with this guy.

Posted by Randy at 10:25 PM | TrackBack

February 21, 2005


Today in General Chemistry II, Dr. DB was trying to explain something about oxidation-reduction reactions. The word "imminent" was used. After the appearance of "imminent," the following took place:

DB: Class, what does "imminent" mean?
Class: *silence*
DB: Ok, President Bush said that the threat from Iraq was imminent. What did that mean?
Class: *crickets chirping*
Every part of my being: NONEXISTENT! It means nonexistent!
Me, in reality: *sigh*
DB: It meant immediate, right? Right? Yeah.

I am far too polite for my own good.

Posted by Randy at 12:37 PM | TrackBack

February 14, 2005

Spring is Here

Spring has finally returned. Naturally, it comes bearing gifts.

First, we have the couples who are now EVERYWHERE on campus. These people need to hurry up and get married so they can share a room. Last night around midnight, I saw three couples walking around the loop as I was walking from the Village Center to my apartment. My apartment is less than fifty yards from the VC.

Second, we have the pollen. Well, it isn't back yet, but I know it will be following along shortly. For those of you who don't know, this means the attack of the allergies.

It seems many people think of love when spring rolls around. My mind focuses on watery eyes, clogged sinuses, and constant sneezing. I can't help but wonder if that is related to my (blissfully) single status.

Anyway, happy Singles Awareness Day.

Don't forget to check out the list.

Posted by Randy at 06:37 PM | TrackBack

August 31, 2004

Politics and Experiments

I have not posted anything lately because I have not had many interesting and coherent thoughts join together. Some may argue that is nothing new, but I am not one of them.

Today in American History to 1865, however, Dr. Johnson said something which caused a number of thoughts in my mind to run into each other. The good Dr. Johnson proclaimed that the founding fathers of America considered what they were doing an experiment. He went on to say that this experiment in government is still running to this very day. For one brief moment, time stood still and what you are reading began to form in my mind. (You may ask how time could stand still for a "brief" moment, and I may then tell you to be quiet and read.)

Let us say for the moment that the America we live in is part of a political experiment. It is my belief that the experiment may soon (within the next 100 years or so) come to an end.

What's that you ask? How can I believe that the American political machine will come crashing down? Let me tell you.

People no longer think of differing political views as different opinions, but instead they think of them as character flaws. This is an observation I had known for quite some time, but I must think Mr. Pearson for putting it in words for me. The terms "liberal" and "conservative" are now used as insults, and a great many people now take offense if called either word.

Very few politicians will run for an office solely by promoting their own ideas and beliefs. Instead, we see massive amounts of mudslinging, name-calling, and immaturity. Politicians attack each other instead of debating their ideas. The first speech that I heard from the Republican National Convention was an attack on John Kerry. The same men and women who influence our nation spent a good amount of time mocking and laughing at Kerry while booing and hissing at his voting record. I did not see the Democratic National Convention, but I would almost bet that something along the same lines happened toward Bush. Both John Kerry's and George Bush's daughters were booed while making speeches at the MTV Video Awards. An organization that is proudly anti-Bush has made a comparsion between Bush and Hitler. American politics is no longer about choosing the best person for the job. It has degenerated to choosing the lesser of two evils.

Does this strike anyone else as being a horrible way to elect anyone into a position of power? Over the last couple of decades America has become polarized in the realm of politics. Many claim that Bush is "a divider, not a uniter," but I think that same claim would be made if anyone else had been in office for this term. A large number of people do not seem to think that, however, and they seem to be fueling the giant hate-machine that is the 2004 election.

How long will it be before the American people are disgusted with current politics? How long will it take before people begin to consider extremist groups seriously? How long before some form of dictator is put into power?

I can hear many of you now. "That will never happen in America! The people here are too smart for that!" If you think that, I want you to consider a few things. How many young (college-age) people do you know who truly care about history or politics? How many of these young people can carry on a conversation about politics without it sinking to insults towards those that disagree with them? How many of these young people could explain to you why communism, etc., is a bad idea? How many people do you know who have read the Constitution?

I know my answer to all of those is the same. "Only a few." The American government works on a system that requires the general masses to be educated. As a whole, we are not. If this generation is the future of America, I can only see a dismal sight.

I think the American experiment will be coming to an end within the next one hundred years. Please, someone prove me wrong.

Posted by Randy at 02:27 PM | TrackBack

April 29, 2004

Compliment Psychology

Why can't I accept a sincere compliment gracefully? Why do I always feel the need to utter some self-deprecating nonsense whenever someone gives me genuine praise? Why do I always feel uncomfortable right after I am given a compliment?

I have a theory. I've been told what's wrong with me quite often in my life. My family (God bless 'em) sometimes focuses on what is wrong with people instead of what is good about them. I was the "smart kid" throughout school. This brought about hideous amounts of ridicule, teasing, etc., from even my friends at school. My friends and I were brutal with each other to the point that some people thought we hated each other. This causes me to subconsiously feel that something harsh is coming after any real compliment. I begin to feel uncomfortable when it doesn't, and I tear myself down in order to make myself feel better. Instead of saying "Thank you," I say "Thank you, but..."

That isn't right. When I'm given a compliment, I should be able to accept it without feeling guilty, uncomfortable, or simply wrong.

I've known this for some time now. So, if I know what's wrong, why can't I fix it?

Posted by Randy at 12:55 PM | TrackBack

April 25, 2004

Misplaced, Comma

As I'm sure a good number of you know, I have been called a "Grammar Nazi" on more than one occasion. While I believe that is going a bit extreme, I enjoy being seen as a person who knows the grammatical rules of the English language.

Naturally, I almost went into shock today when I saw the following on a billboard:

"We support those, who served."

How can you massacre punctuation in a simple sentence on a billboard? I could understand a mistake in punctuation in a more complex sentence in a paper, but how can anyone let something that horrible slip by without someone noticing it?

How are these people still alive?

Posted by Randy at 08:35 PM | TrackBack

April 18, 2004

Movie Censorship

I do not like censorship. I hate it. I can't stand people who insist on fast-forwarding through scenes with "objectionable" content. It irritates me when words in CDs and movies are "bleeped" or muted. I heard a story just yesterday of a guy on my floor who tried to speed through the part of The Shining with the old naked lady getting out of a bathtub.

Because of this, items such as this DVD player annoy me. It basically lets the user select a level of filtering for certain movies. The company has around 500 filters available at the moment.

I can understand a parent using this tool for monitoring what their children watch in movies. However, that is the only practical use for it that I can see. If an adult wants to watch a movie and objects to certain content, he should check to see if the movie has any of that material. For example, if a person strongly objects to large amounts of violence, he should know to stay far away from either of the Kill Bill movies.

Except in extreme cases, "objectionable" content such as nudity, sex, violence, and strong language add something to a movie. It is a part of the director's artistic vision for the movie. Strong language adds an element of realism to the majority of an audience. Violence has always been a form of entertainment (boxing, anyone?). Sexual content can add a strong element of passion to a movie. Naturally, swearing just for the sake of swearing and adding nudity to a film in order to produce lust in the audience typically ruins any attempted effect at realism or passion.

I respect people who do not wish to see or hear these things for one (good) reason or another. However, I do not believe that my viewing experience should be altered for someone who could either close his eyes or not try to watch the film in the first place.

Posted by Randy at 11:16 PM | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

Senatorial English

The members of the Consitution Committee for the LeTourneau University Student Senate should all be enrolled immediately in the English Review class.

After much thought, I decided that I did not want to attend the Senate session this morning. I quickly scoured my floor and bullied a poor, unsuspecting freshman into going for me and collecting any papers I might need from the session. He returned with a resolution that causes me to cringe every time I look at it.

The resolution concerns debate guidelines for Senate sessions. Here are some of the more horrendous errors:

"After stating his thoughts without interruption, the Senator is to take his seat."

(Can someone please tell me what the Senator should do if he is interrupted? That isn't anywhere in the guidelines and I'm not sure what I should be expecting.)

"When the rules of debate are in effect, the elected Speaker Chair is responsible for making sure debate moves along without problems, and is in charge of calling on Senators to speak. If more than one person has raised their hand, and is waiting to speak, it is the job of the Speaker Chair to choose the person who has not yet participated in the debate."

"The debate will conclude before or after the hearing of a maximum of 6 Senator opinions on each side of the issue (12 total)."

These people are representing their respective floors both to the administration and to the student body. Is it unreasonable to expect from them a certain amount of skill in writing?

Posted by Randy at 02:02 PM | TrackBack

April 05, 2004


(The following post was written at the same time as my review of Runaway Jury. I decided that it would be much better as a separate post.)

What makes a lawsuit "frivilous"? What is the proper criteria to call a lawsuit ridiculous? Little more than a year ago, I believe that I would have given a very different opinion on the subject than I will present today.

I'm going to give a basic plot outline concerning the lawsuit the actual plot of Runaway Jury surrounds. A man is fired from a trading firm (I think). He then buys a gun, returns to his workplace, and kills eleven people before committing suicide. The widow brings a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer alleging negligence in their selling and marketing practices.

A year or so ago, no one would have been able to convince me that this woman's motive was anything other than greed. Her husband was killed and she lost half of her household income. She sees an opportunity to milk a wealthy industry for a large chunk of money. If she wins and the jury is sympathetic, she would never have to work again. She would use her husband's unfortunate death to ascend to a life of luxury. Are there any motives behind this other than money? I would have been certain that she has convinced herself that there were, but I would not have believed any actually existed.

Today, due to personal experience with tragedy, I have a very different outlook.

As I'm sure any regular reader of this blog knows, my sister was killed in a horrible accident approximately one year ago. In my opinion, this accident happened due to the negligence of the company involved. The facility involved did not have a fence around it, did not have warning signs in easily visible locations, and did not have any kind of locking mechanism on the container which exploded. To my knowledge, very few people in the surrounding area knew of the danger surrounding the equipment. The equipment itself appeared to be in a horrible state of decay--rust and holes were visible almost everywhere.

In light of evidence such as this, I believe that a negligence/wrongful death lawsuit is completely appropriate. My family is not seeking a financial award. Any money received from the group lawsuit is completely secondary. We want the regulations concerning the site of the accident changed. Unfortunately, the only real way to do that is with a lawsuit. As the explosion itself was caused by survivor of the accident, many people may see the lawsuit as frivilous. After all, it wasn't the company that tried to look into the container. Still, the company had very dangerous areas that were easily accessible by young teenagers.

My family and the other families may be seen by some in the same light as I used to see many "wrongful death" plaintiffs. My perspective on the matter, however, has changed greatly. Lawsuits that appear "frivilous" can be deeper than one might realize.

This rather obvious epiphany has caused me to become more interested in the facts behind lawsuits commonly seen as ridiculous attempts to get easy money. I'm not saying that all lawsuits are valid; however, I am saying that one shouldn't wave off something as frivilous without checking the facts of the case first.

Posted by Randy at 01:27 AM | TrackBack

March 29, 2004


I have strong opinions about worship. Some people have very strong beliefs concerning worship that I think are absolutely ridiculous. Most often my rantings concerning chapel begin with a description of the worship service. Throughout these rantings and several discussions, I have developed a rather unique perspective on the whole worship process as seemingly defined by today's Christian culture.

I have come to believe that singing, dancing, throwing hands up in there, and praising loudly is not only irrevelant to real worship but also slightly harmful to the image of Christianity as a whole.

Now, before I am lynched, please hear me out. I believe I have some very valid points here.

First, let me explain what I mean by "modern worship." Imagine that you are sitting in a large room packed with people. These people all have "bubbly" personalities and are all wearing Christian paraphernalia. Suddenly, the light goes down, except for the stage light, and a band of mostly good-looking people walk across the stage to their instruments. They ask everyone to stand up. They begin with a prayer that is accompanied by some small musical notes played on a guitar or piano. This sufficiently calms everyone down and puts them in the "right mood" to worship. The band thens begin to play songs that are highly emotionally charged. After about an hour or so (more if it is a concert), the band stops playing, gives parting words, prays, and exits the stage.

Now, let's examine the physiological effects of modern Christian worship. The first thing asked of the audience is to stand. This makes sure that the blood flows through the body. Since the audience is also standing, it is easier and more natural for them to begin swaying back and forth in time with the music. This also helps the blood flow throughout the entire body. Once the audience starts singing, the amount of carbon dioxide in the room rises a great deal. The oxygen intake becomes quite diluded with carbon dioxide and causes the audience to feel slightly light-headed. Depending on the amount of singing, the blood of the audience can become slightly alkaline. This is due to the amount of carbonic acid leaving the blood stream. The effects of this and the carbon dioxide in the air help cause the typical happy feelings one gets while worshipping.

Let's move on to the psychological effects of modern worship. An observation was made in a book I recently read that claimed most people do not have severe emotions if no one is watching them. While I believe that there are several exceptions to that idea, I do believe that, generally speaking, it is quite accurate. Think of someone you know who is both deeply fond of worship music and sings quite loudly during worship services. Think back to times when this person is listening to worship music with a small group of people. Does this person still sing loudly and make almost-obnoxious movements? Typically, the answer in no. In a crowd, however, this person has an audience. These people can have a large effect on others in the audience. People might see this person and believe that they are not appropriately worshipping. Consequently, they may begin to sing louder, clap harder, or move faster. On another note, the "happy" feelings produced from the physiological effects of increased carbon dioxide are connected by the mind to the subject of the song. Thus, people begin to believe wholeheartedly that they are happiest when singing about that subject. A sense of belonging also develops between those in the audience. They begin to feel that they are accepted within this large group because of what they are worshipping.

Now, before you begin to object too loudly, I'd like to point out that this helps to explain the devotion many have to cults. When they worship, chant, or whatever they do, the misguided people feel happy and believe they are doing the right thing.

Many people experience many things while worshipping. I believe that a large portion of those experiences form from the physiological, psychological, and emotional manipulations (whether done knowingly or not) of those who lead the worship. True worship does not need music, lyrics, or a large crowd of people. All it needs is a heart in tune with God and the dedication to praise Him. Is it nice to worship with others? Absolutely. Is it always necessary? Absolutely not.

I currently prefer worshipping on my own rather than worshipping in Chapel. I don't like the crowds of people who constantly mock and ridicule those who are serious in their devotion to Christ.

Posted by Randy at 12:11 PM | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

Art, or Something Like It

Art. What exactly is art? The word brings to mind such names as Rembrandt, Picasso, da Vinci, and a multitude of equally famous people.

Does it bring to mind Marco Evaristti? If not, you should know that he has recently completed a work known as 'Ice Cube Project.' Is that really art?

Does art include music and literature? Is it limited to the realm of paintings and sculptures? Can photographs be considered art?

And what about "modern art"?

I overheard another student say something along the lines of, "Nowadays, art has gone completely downhill." Not surprisingly, this is from the same guy who seems to live in the past. He enjoys "film noire" movies and "classics." He listens to a great deal of rock "oldies" and seems to find bands I've never heard of that I think are rather horrible. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with old movies or some of the music he listens to, but I do believe he is being rather hard on today's artistic endeavors.

The main goal of any artistic endeavor, in my eyes, is to portray to another person a feeling. I believe that art is mostly, if not entirely, about emotion. A beautifully painted landscape can inspire awe at the beauty of God's creation. A painting portraying a mother and child can capture the tenderness and gentleness of love. Paintings that appear to be nothing but colors randomly thrown onto a canvas also can inspire certain feelings.

In some ways, these types of artists are as talented as any famous painter. They seek to convey a multitude of emotions in a seemingly chaotic manner. Many people know that Anatole Krasnyansky is one of my favorite artists. I happen to enjoy his more traditional cityscapes, but I love his more modern style. I own one of his paintings. Several people, however, seem to be offended by any art other than the traditional forms. These people greatly irritate me.

There is no "correct" form of art. Every kind of art has some value. Unfortunately, if the "right" people do not like a certain work of art, it will probably fade into obscurity.

Posted by Randy at 08:52 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

Randy vs. Chapel, Round 2

(Edited because this was written rather hastily and I felt like changing a few slight things)

Before I begin, let me say that I completely agreed with almost everything that Mr. Cahill said in Chapel today and that I will probably be attending the evening chapel at seven o'clock. I am not complaining about his message. With that clarified...

I did not like Mr. Cahill's presentation of his material. Despite his probable good intentions, he did manage to come off as a bit of a braggart to me. I'm sure that wasn't what he was trying to do. The snapping of his fingers got extremely annoying incredibly fast. I understand he was making a point. That doesn't change the fact that it was loud and high-pitched. How a finger-snap can sound high-pitched is outside of my knowledge, but his did to me. I was also rather annoyed by his constant need for repeating a word. "Yes!" "Disobediant!" "Disobediant!" "Yes!"

Those things, however, I can just ignore as being annoying quirks of a speaker. I can not do that with this next point because I have heard several speakers do this exact same thing.

For about two years before I became a Christian I considered myself an atheist. Not many people know this about me because I don't really talk about it. I was absolutely convinced that every single Christian was a moron, and I was fairly certain that the majority of them were hypocrites. I believed there was an almost ridiculous amount of evidence to show that life began without the help of any all-powerful being. All of this caused me to despise anyone who tried to "guilt-trip" others into becoming a Christian.

I would not talk with anyone about Christianity or Christ unless I was ridiculing it. I could not stand people who would walk around practically saying "Praise God" to anything. Nothing could have convinced me to actually listen to someone who was serious about God. This continued up until I did convert to Christianity.

My conversion to Christianity was not the result of some random Christian walking up to me off the street and asking something along the lines of "Do you know Jesus?" I would not have taken that person seriously. My conversion was the result of actions that I took. I went to a church camp for the sole purpose of being around my friends for a couple weeks of the summer. While here I met actual intelligent Christians who earned Christianity a lot of respect in my eyes. They presented evidence against evolution. The end result of going to this camp was my acceptance of Christ.

The point of this is that witnessing to me directly did not work during my short time as an atheist. This is a fact that many people neglect to mention. Mr. Cahill made it sound as if anyone can just walk up and ask anyone "Where are you spending eternity?" and almost immediately convert the person. If this were an ideal world it might be like that. The truth of the situation is that many people react extremely negatively to anything dealing with any religion. I know that I did. I expected to go to that camp and mock it the entire time.

My conversion came about because people cared about me as a person before bringing religion into our conversations. They got to know me. They took my opinions seriously. They listened to me. It was very obvious that they cared about me. This happened after several conversations. I can't believe that someone honestly cares about me after a ten minute to one hour conversation.

I find it irritating that so many speakers make it sound as if a Christian to walk up to an atheist, talk with him or her for a couple of minutes, and walk away with a brother or sister in Christ. While it can and does happen sometimes, it will not happen all that often. Most people don't like mentioning that, though.

Posted by Randy at 02:48 PM | TrackBack

February 25, 2004

Warning: Game Talk Below

(This post was inspired by this Penny Arcade news article.)

Video games. To some, these little collections of data are the most boring and pointless way to waste time that man has ever invented. These people often pity those who play video games because they waste so much time watching flashes of light on a television screen. To others, these same collections of data have become almost idol-like. These people are willing to sacrifice time, grades, money, and any form of social life just to earn the next level or get the next rare item.

Where do I fit within the above spectrum? I'm not entirely sure. I sometimes use games as a way to kill time. However, I have also been known to be completely obsessed with one game--gladly sacrificing other activities in order to complete the game. I am sure that over the course of my life I have spent several hundred hours locked in a fierce battle, solving either ridiculously complex or stupefyingly simple puzzle, and running from or shooting at zombies. I believe that, as far as the "gaming" world goes, I am probably around average.

One thing that I've learned is that I need games to have a plot. Any plot, even "the Princess was kidnapped by a giant turtle thing go and save her," is better than nothing. I prefer a game to have a complex plot. Thanks to my reading background, I am unable to consider any game "good" unless I am satisfied with the story that goes along with it. This is why I usually don't enjoy fighting and racing games, but it is also why I have come to love role-playing games.

To me, playing a "good" game is like reading a book or watching a movie. The game must be plot-intensive and it must have a decent plot. This becomes very important if the gameplay time exceeds twenty hours. It must involve characters that are developed throughout the story. If I reach the end and I do not care about any of the characters, the game has failed.

Anyway, the point of this is to say that I consider the plot of a game to be one of the most important factors in determining how I rate any game. Yes, other things are involved in my rating system. Graphics, replay value, battle systems, overall difficulty, and other things (not in that order) also affect my final judgement on a game. This might make my opinions of certain games a bit skewed, but that is just how I think.

Posted by Randy at 03:26 PM | TrackBack

February 16, 2004

Randy vs. Chapel

Chapel. Today. Words fail me. It would appear that some people enjoyed this morning's chapel service. I, however, am not one of them. I am not exactly sure where to begin.

I guess I'll start with the worship band itself. I have never enjoyed that band. I do not appreciate their singing "talent." I did not enjoy the amount of times someone or some instrument was off-key. I do not have the best ear for musical notes. I know this. If I can tell that they are off, they should also know it. If not, they shouldn't be up there in the first place. They do have talent in one area, however. They can magnificently tear apart and paste back together songs. They ripped several good songs to shreds in order to pick the "best" pieces out and only play them. I understand that praise and worship should have nothing to do with the band itself. I believe that if the band is consistently distracting towards actual worshipping they should not be playing at all.

The lead female vocalist said something early in the service which grated on my nerves. She said that it was fine if people wanted to raise their hands, etc., to worship. I agree with that completely. However, she then continued by saying it was alright for all of the people "too-cool-for-school" who didn't worship by raising their hands and singing at the top of their lungs. Why did that irritate me? I am generally a quiet person. Everyone who knows me pretty much knows this for a fact. I do not worship by dancing around, throwing my arms up in there, and singing loudly. That just is not me. To imply that those who do that are more spiritual than those who do not greatly irritates me. It's nice to know that she would consider me to be a very spiritual person if I danced around yelling "Praise Jesus!" The fact that similar messages have been said in one way or another in previous chapels greatly bothers me.

The male vocalist also irritated me when he began to speak. He quite blatantly stated that emotion is the single greatest part of worship. "If you aren't excited right now, you should check your pulse." Personally, I have never been "excited" while I worshipped. That is not the emotion that I experience. I usually experience some degree of joy and happiness when I worship. However, I apparently don't experience enough joy and happiness because I was not "excited." I must not be a truly spiritual person.

The end of chapel. The calling of those who were "sick," physically or spiritually, to the front. I have never really liked the "call to the altar" service. It is a great way for a person to look like he or she is a very spiritual person. In reality, everyone is sick in some manner or another. To be completely honest, every single time there is a call to go to the altar every single Christian should go up there. That is why I don't like it. It is redundant. Everyone can just as easily put a hand on someone from their seats as they can standing in front of a stage. The fact that this call was supported by using a verse that sounded as if it wrenched out of context doesn't help their case very much.

I left chapel disturbed by what I had witnessed, and I know that several people agree with me. I don't mind if other people liked this morning's chapel. That is fine with me. I just want my opinion out there.

Posted by Randy at 06:06 PM | TrackBack

November 27, 2003

Headstone Gratification

I am not nearly as upset over the headstone anymore for several reasons.

First of all, the birth and death dates are on it. When I saw it the first time they had been covered by flowers people had brought up to the graves. Secondly, the paint is not running. What I thought had been running paint is actually darker dirt that had been knocked onto the headstone by rain. Thirdly, my parents aren't finished with it yet. They are going to be changing some of it as soon as they can get it done.

I was also pleased to hear that my parents didn't like the dirty white color, either. They had been assuming it would be a darker color.

I still think that the thing looks a little tacky, though.

Posted by Randy at 05:35 PM

November 26, 2003

My Sister's Headstone

Ok, I specifically waited until now to write about this because I was afraid that my anger might cloud my judgement if I started too soon. I'm hoping this won't stir it back up too much.

I have never been so utterly disappointed and infuriated with my family as I am today. I'll try to keep this informational instead of turning it into a rant.

As I was coming home from LeTourneau today I remembered my mother telling me last week that my sister's headstone was finally put up at the cemetary. It had taken a while because a relative of one of the kids had wanted to make the headstones for all four of them. Everyone looked at the design that he had given us and we all agreed that it looked nice.

The basic plan for the headstones had been four blocks of some kind of stone that appeared to be separated but were in fact all one long headstone. On top of each block was what my mother called an "old cross"--the ones with the three know-like things at the end of each end of the cross. The actual name of that kind of cross escapes me. On each individual stone there would be a sport symbol etched next to the name. The symbol next to my sister's name is a basketball. On the back of each stone there would be a piece of writing if the parents of that child had wanted one there. It looked very nice in the design we were given, so I approved.

Little did I know what monstrosity these people would create.

As I drove up to the cemetary my first thought was, "Holy shit!" Each individual headstone (including the cross) is at least twice as big as the majority of the other headstones in the cemetary. The stone (I don't know what kind it is) was a "dirty white" color. This is the exact same color of a model of my car my parents had tried to convince me to choose. I told them I didn't want that color because it looked nasty all the time. I had assumed that the headstones would be the color of most headstones. This hideous white contrasts horribly with a few beautiful black headstone with etched forest scenes a few rows away from the graves. Apparently, the "individual" headstone idea had been thrown out altogether. It looked as if the stones used had been stuck together using superglue. The sides and top of the entire thing had not even been smoothed.

The etched lettering is absolutely horrible. It looked as if they had decided at the end to just cut out the shape of letters and use spray paint to make the letters black. I think some of it had started to run. On the back of one of the graves was a HUGE error. Either the person who was making it didn't care to notice that you use an "r" in "your" EVERY time, or the person who wrote it doesn't know proper English. Considering the overall quality I would say either choice is equally valid. I did not even see any birth and death dates.

However, they did manage to stick an open book statue-like thing on top of the headstone between my sister's and her boyfriend's individual crosses. Written in this book (in the same spray paint-like lettering) are the lyrics of "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica along with the note that my sister's boyfriend had written her. Had they just put the lyrics I could have handled it. I wouldn't have supported the idea, but I wouldn't have complained. But, adding a little section next to it that says something along the lines of, "this is my song to you yea i hope you can understand it," to a headstone? They even included the lines he had used to separate the lyrics with the note.

The whole thing looks incredibly tacky. I still can't believe that my parents allowed that thing near the grave of my sister. The worst part is I don't want to voice this disgust with the headstone to my parents. If they feel bad about it I don't want to add more fuel to their guilt, and if they like it for some reason I don't want to spoil it for them.

Posted by Randy at 10:30 PM

November 22, 2003


I have been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Specifically, what is it? How is it defined?

There are many definitions of friendship. Some people only consider a person a "friend" when they are close enough to tell that person anything on their mind. A "friend" in this sense is also someone who is called in times of need. Others would consider a person a friend after talking with them a few times. Still others have a constantly changing definition of the word.

If you consider the first definition to be true, I have probably had ten real friends my entire life. If you consider the second definition to be true, I think the number would increase to about a hundred or so people (Please remember that I'm from a small town. I'm not anti-social).

But, when one is trying to determine who his or her friends are, is his or her own opinions enough? If a person considers someone a good friend, but they think the person is simply someone that they know, are the two friends?

How is a friendship formed? I don't believe that a couple of common interests are enough to start a friendship. They may introduce you to new people, but I don't think friendship begins with an interest in something. Is it a combination of personalities that cause both individuals to value the time they spend together, or is there just something in each person's brain that tells us when we have met a potential friend? I don't know.

When a friendship is formed, what responsibilities does that add to each person? People have said that friends should be loyal to each other, but what does that really mean? Does that simply mean they should support each other, or does it go much deeper? If it does, how much deeper does it go? Loyalty can be taken to mean two very different things to different people.

One thing I have a hard time giving people is trust. Partially the fault of my father (an amusing anecdote and my earliest memory, maybe I'll tell it another time), I have developed a problem trusting anyone. It takes a large amount of time for people to earn my trust. I believe, however, that trust is very important in any friendship. I think that this might be part of the reason I'm not very "approachable." When people come to me with problems, I don't start by giving them any form of sympathy. Instead, I wonder how they plan on trying to use me to solve their problem(s).

Honesty is another "responsibility" one takes when a friendship is formed. I strongly believe that friends shouldn't lie to each other. I have had very little experience being lied to by those I consider my closer friends, but I know that I have been guilty of little white lies occasionally. Do these little lies really matter that much? What does it say about the person gives them and the strength of his or her friendships?

Well, it's almost 4 AM and I'm rambling. I'm going to sleep. If anyone has any strong opinions, or even any small comments, feel free to leave them.

Posted by Randy at 03:54 AM

October 01, 2003

Damn Nazis

Would you be offended if a high school band waved a Nazi flag and played a song from Germany during a high school performance about World War II?

I know that I am. They should fire that Nazi band conductor and he should be charged with treason. That would set an example. In fact, let's just re-write history so that the Nazis never existed. It's the only way that we can truly move on from the horrors they committed.

Why don't we also only teach our children about all of the great things that America has done? They don't need to know any of the not-as-good things. Let's teach that slavery never existed and that the government was nice to Native Americans. We are most definitely the best country that has ever existed and we will always be the best country in existence. Hail America! Hail America!


Yes, I understand that it was a big day for the Jewish people. Yes, I understand that the Nazis did slaughter millions of Jews. But it is a freaking historical production you morons! You can't do a historical productions about World War II and omit the Nazis!

Yes, I agree that the Nazis did horrible things. Yes, I think that people are stupid and that they overreacted about history.

Posted by Randy at 12:25 PM

September 26, 2003

More "Christian" T-shirts

Yet another "Christian t-shirt" saying:

Front--"Friends don't let friends go to Hell."
Back--"Sin Kills."

And from a discussion on Christian bookstores:

Floormate--"I go to a Christian bookstore and they had one C. S. Lewis and no Francis Schaefer. I go to a secular bookstore and they have practically all of both. Which one am I going to shop at?"
Me--"Well you don't go to a Christian bookstore looking for real books."

In the words of the same floormate above, "I hate the Christian subculture."

Posted by Randy at 11:56 AM

September 24, 2003

"Christian" T-shirts

I have discovered that I have an increasing dislike of "Christian" slogans and puns on signs and t-shirts. You know what I'm talking about. Want examples?

"The only vitamin a Christian needs is B1."
"A ch ch just isn't a church unless UR in it."
"Be the Moon. Reflect the Son."
"Free trip to Heaven. Details inside."
"Want to avoid burning? Use Son-screen."

Every single one of these made me want to find the person who created it and just beat him or her into a pulp. These phrases are not "cute" or "funny." I find them repulsive.

What are the point of these things? Are they supposed to keep Christian morale up? Are they supposed to attract people who aren't Christians to a church? What?

I find it extremely hard to respect the views of people who use "cute little sayings" consistently. If I wasn't a Christian and I was bombarded with these little phrases, I would not want to be with the people spouting them. My thoughts about the subject would be something along the lines of: "What a bunch of morons. I am so happy I don't have to deal with those people every day."

Posted by Randy at 11:59 AM

September 10, 2003

My Family

My grandparents are going to be coming up to Longview this evening to take me out to eat. I love my grandparents. I love all of my family. Really, I do.

But all of them can be annoying as hell. I hate listening to my grandmother and aunt gripe and snap at each other behind the other's back. I'm sick of the gossip, the whispering, and the confiding. I am sick of hearing all sorts of racist remarks and I am tired of being quiet about my objections to them just to keep the peace. I'm tired of listening to everyone judge everyone else. I'm tired of being the person family members come to in order to rant about something.

I seem to constantly want to get away from my family. When I finally do I start feeling guilty for staying away so long because they want to spend more time with me because of my sister's death.

It's all just one big circle that is going to drive me insane when I add a large amount of homework to it.

Posted by Randy at 05:23 PM

August 08, 2003

A Music Video

Before today I had never been offended by a music video. I have been disgusted (Nine Inch Nails video to their song with the lyric "I want to f**k you like an animal" and that video to that moronic "you and me baby ain't nothing but mammals..." song), but I had never actually been offended until just a few minutes ago.

Because there was nothing else on I was interested in watching, I turned the channel to MTV to watch TRL (Total Request Live, I watch it occasionally to see what songs and videos are currently called the best by the general masses. Usually I wouldn't vote for any of the songs on the countdown.). What disturbs me the most, however, is that the video was in the number one spot. Christina Aguilera and Lil' Kim's "Can't Hold Us Down" had claimed Justin Timberlake's "Senorita" spot at the top of TRL.

The video starts with Christina Aguilera walking down a street in a city wearing a very tight and strapless thing around her upper torso. She was also wearing a small jacket over that, but at one point she throws the jacket off of her. Naturally, her midsection was not covered. She was also wearing shorts that looked more like a bikini bottom with small flaps in front and back.

Anyway, as she was bouncing down the street, some random guy had the nerve to grab her butt. After this horrible display of disrespect toward the femal race, every woman in the neighborhood decides to get into a mob-sized group and yell at a male mob-sized group.

Eventually, Lil' Kim bounces out into the open and reveals that she is wearing a bikini and something that looks like a jacket. I honestly believe that both Christina and Lil' Kim went to the fashion/costume/whatever person for the video and said, "Make us look like whores."

The lyrics I mostly wasn't able to understand. One phrase I heard repeated, however, went something like this: "...I don't understand/ If a guy has three girls then he's the man/ but if a girl does the same then she's a whore..." Now, I think that the lyrics themselves do point out the double standard toward promiscuity that a large portion of society holds today. However, in my opinion it doesn't matter if you are a guy or a girl, if you are a whore you are a whore. (Strangely enough, the video played before this was 50 cent's "P-I-M-P") So my problem isn't really the lyrics of the song, although I do think they promote sex. My problem is with what the people are doing in the video.

At one point a girl is holding a water hose in a phallic way. Christina then grabs the hose and pretends it is a microphone for a short time. She then later holds the hose between her legs and sprays the group of me with it. The men don't act much better. Several times they thrust in the direction of the women and during a large portion of the video they are, I'm assuming, trying to impress the women by dancing.

The video ends with Christine once again bouncing down the street, but this time she is smiling as if she just accomplished something and without a jacket.

I think the point of the video and song was that women should be able to be just as sexually active as men without being scorned by society. I think the whole point of me writing this was to say to all women that if you dress like a whore you are not going to be respected by any man.

Posted by Randy at 01:42 PM

July 31, 2003


In my town there is really only one cop who drives around waiting to give people tickets. This cop is well known in the surrounding areas because my town is one big speed-trap.

Now, this cop absolutely loves pulling over and giving tickets to high school and college age kids. If a kid this age gets a new car, like say a 2003 Mitsubishi Spyder, you can be sure that the cop will try everything in his power to catch you doing something you shouldn't be doing in a car.

Therefore, I am taking great pleasure in torturing that asshole cop. I went to my aunt's house today and the cop saw me. On the way back to my house, he was in two different spots on the roads I have to take waiting for me to drive by at a high speed (one spot before I had to get gas, the other after I had stopped to get gas). I have been very careful ever since I got my car to drive the speed limit anywhere near my town because I was warned about this by my parents.

So, all I have to say to you, Mr. Policeman, is that you will never catch me intentionally going over the speed limit, running a red light or stop sign, or turning without using a blinker in or near town. Stop wasting your time and move on to the next kid with a new car so you can continue your God-complex.

Posted by Randy at 03:30 PM

July 24, 2003

Family Ramblings

Well, it is three o'clock in the morning central standard time and I can't sleep. What do I do when I can't sleep? I ramble.

I've been wandering through several different blogs simply by following links on other peoples' blogs. There is some interesting stuff out there in the world of Blogger. However, I didn't find anything I thought was interesting enough to link it. If anyone out there finds something they think is interesting, please leave a link.

I am so very ready to move back to Longview. I am so bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. My family is also really starting to aggravate me. Everything from my grandparents' spontaneous gambling trips (which might be interesting if I was 21 or older) to the constant bickering and gossipping of other family members is really starting to get on my nerves. I have discovered that my family is best experienced if you don't live in the same town as them. Less fights, more peace, less drama, more trust.

Another thing that I am just now mentioning: my parents have been in Mexico for five days now. They are coming back home on Sunday. I got my vacation earlier in the summer (Florida Keys, thanks to my cousin) so now they are getting one of their own. I would have been jealous had they gone with anyone other than who they did. I could fill you in on that, but it is just too much to try to explain.

While they have been gone I've spent a lot of time at the house by myself. I have greatly enjoyed this time. I have made obligatory visits to my grandparents and will actually be staying with my grandmother tonight. Ever since my sister's death my grandparents have become very clingy. I guess that it is perfectly understandable. However, it is still annoying.

One family member that I don't find annoying (most of the time) is my uncle. This may be because he escaped the death-clutch that East Texas apparently has on the majority of my family members. He was the dean of the English department at the University of West Florida for a few years. He is currently on a teaching hiatus, living with my grandparents, and writing a book about two "famous" authors I've never heard of: Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams. I even helped him with some of it by transcribing a CD for him. He is one of the members of my family who can carry on an intelligent discussion without trapping himself in circular logic (My aunt once told me that people shouldn't protest a war because soldiers died to give them the freedom to do so. So people shouldn't be allowed to use rights people died to get? Riiiight.)

Another family member I enjoy speaking with is the cousin that took me to Florida with her husband and kids. She has also escaped from this horrible small town. Although, she still feels that she is trapped in Nacogdoches, also known as Nac-of-nowhere to several people. I also (usually) enjoy conversations with her mother (the aunt quoted above) despite the occasional logical fallacy.

All quirks aside, I do love my family. I just need some time away from them. Soon.

Wow. This became a family rant. Interesting...

Posted by Randy at 03:30 AM

July 13, 2003


It is with great shame that I complain about what I will today. I hate admitting part of this about a family member, but I feel that if I do not vent this somewhere I will go on a murderous rampage.

You see, my father has, for some unknown reason, become a Nascar fan. He will gladly sit in front of a television and watch cars you can barely see under advertising drive several hundred circles around a long track. When this happens, the television is taken for an hour or two and my mother and I are forced to find other means of entertainment.

I was informed today that the Nascar "season" is halfway finished. I was both extremely delighted and extremely annoyed.

I have come to hate Nascar with the burning passion of a thousand suns. The fact that it is the choice "sport" of many hicks is bad enough, but I can't stand that every single person involved with broadcasting has a deep southern accent.

If my father continues at this rate, I will soon be unable to say "Nascar" without the same great disdain that the Cynic uses when speaking of "happy people."

Posted by Randy at 05:54 PM

July 04, 2003

Country Music

I would just like to take this time to assert an opinion of mine.

I hate country music.

I really, really loathe the song with the chorus that goes:

The sign said Beer, Babes, and Ammo.
They had everythin' in between.
They had everythin' any ol' beer-drinkin', hell-raisin', bonefide redneck needs.
They had fishing hooks and girlie books and a rebel flag on the wall.
The sign said Beer, Babes, and Ammo,
To me, they got it all.

I also hate the song probably titled something like "America can Survive" and I am ashamed to be able to tell you that it is sung to the same general tune of the song "A Country Boy can't Survive."

Both of those "songs" were sung by men who sounded drunk.

I hate country music.

Posted by Randy at 10:36 PM

June 16, 2003

Rural South

This is absolutely amazing to me. Even though I have now been out of school for over a year, I am still informed on an almost regular basis about the ongoing soap opera that is my high school. I'm not sure why some of my friends still follow what is happening there, but I really don't want to know who is going with who, who is cheating with who, and, in this latest case, who got who pregnant. (That last sentence probably should have had a few "whom"s in it, but I don't care at the moment.)

Do you live in a rural southern area? Are you surrounded by self-proclaimed rednecks and hicks? Do you think of yourself as a slightly more open-minded person than most of those around you in your hometown? If you answered "yes" to those three questions, you might be able to understand the constant frustration I get when trying to carry on any political or religious discussion with the majority of the people here in Hicktown, Texas. I am so tired of hearing (in a Texas drawl) that people protesting the government should be kicked out, that all homosexuals should be shot, that black people are the cause of many problems, that there is a God because He exists, and other ignorant things that the person spouting it hasn't even thought about.

Now, all of those views aren't carried by everyone, but it seems more and more that everyone here has at least one of them ingrained into their mind. Every time I come home I am reminded once again of the typical stereotype about Texans and southerners and become outraged that these people are helping to make that stereotype look more and more like fact. Why does this make me so upset? Because I hate it when a person hears my accent, identifies me as a Texan, and then stops listening to anything I have to say. I hate my background causing other people to make assumptions about my intelligence and how I will behave. I hate people rolling their eyes when I say something that they disagree with and simply ignoring it because I'm just an "ignorant Texan."

I know that I have my own stereotypes that I sometimes catch myself using, but at least I am trying to not stereotype every single person that I meet and trying to stop using those stereotypes. That is more than I can say about a lot of people.

Posted by Randy at 11:50 AM

May 20, 2003

Random Rants

I haven't posted anything for a while because I have had no experiences/thoughts in the last few days worth commenting over. Today, however, inspiration has struck.

Rant #1: Home videos.

My mother has searched our house and the houses of a few relatives in search of home videos. I recently discovered why the camera wouldn't play on the television (wrong VCR channel) and ever since then she has been watching those tapes every chance she gets. She also told me today that I needed to help her make copies of all the tapes for other family members, etc. Now, I understand completely why somebody would want to watch these things after recent events in my household. However, I prefer the memories that I have in my head to those that I might see on film. If I ever want to her my sister's voice, I can watch the tape. If I wanted to know what she wore on a certain day, I can watch the tape. If I want to watch her play a basketball game, I'll watch the tape. However, I prefer the things I remember about times such as our last vacation over what little the tape can offer.

Rant #2: Kittens

Our family was cursed with three kittens about a week or so after my sister's death. Ever since then, these little bastards have been kept in my family's bathroom. It was fine when they didn't move from the little semi-ball they made. Now, however, you walk into the bathroom and a cat tries to climb up your leg. The bathroom floor stays covered with kitty litter and food. It is getting to the point that I am ready to just toss the kittens outside. Each kitten already has a home it will be going to but the people won't take them yet because "they aren't old enough."

Rant #3: Gadzooks

This isn't my rant but I felt it deserved mentioning anyway. Gadzooks has apparently become an all-female store and is now marketing rather discriminatory and sexist clothing. If a male-clothing store tried the crap they are pulling the NOW would kill the store and take all of its money. For more details, visit the Cynic or a Heretic.

Posted by Randy at 12:34 AM

May 13, 2003

The Lottery

I hate the lottery. Today I was waiting to pay for a pizza to be made in the local convenience store/pizza place behind this woman buying Lotto tickets. She bought forty dollars worth of Lotto tickets. Forty dollars! From the looks of this woman's clothes and car, I think that money could have been spent in a better way. Why is it that the majority of money made from the lottery comes from people who are close to if not in the poverty level? The only thing I can think of is that they feel like if they hit the jackpot there they wouldn't have to worry about money ever again. The odds alone should tell these people that it most likely won't happen, especially now that Texas has added more numbers to the drawing in an attempt to make the jackpots higher before they are won.

And speaking of that, what genius thought of that idea? "Hey, I'll tell ya what. Let's make it harder to win. Then, more money can be won. Who cares if the chances to win get knocked even lower? More money! More money!" It seems to me that the money they make when the jackpot skyrockets wouldn't make up for the number of "constant" gamblers who they have lost from making it harder to win. Of course, that doesn't usually stop people when the jackpots do climb. My own parents will even buy a ticket if the jackpot goes over $100 million.

Posted by Randy at 07:15 PM

April 22, 2003

Blood Rant

So I go to eat lunch, and when I finish, I decide to go to MSC1 to check my mail. I walk through the door and I am bombarded by some woman who emphatically explained that my donating blood would save three lives. "Every donation saves three lives!" Right. First of all, I've been feeling sick, so I don't think they would really want my blood. Second, just because the "average" states my blood would probably "save" three lives doesn't mean it will. Third, I have a phobia of needles. As much as I would like to give blood, I can not make myself get strapped into a chair and have a needle stuck in my arm for a few minutes. It's not going to happen.

Don't try to guilt people into doing something they may not want to do because of a "fact" that sounds good. Inform people of their chance to give blood, advertise it, offer to grant them amnesty on any overdue library books, do anything ethical you want to try to get people to give, but don't you dare come to me and imply that I am killing people because I don't like needles.

Posted by Randy at 12:06 PM