I believe that today will be the only day that I will be able to say that I was allowed to leave early. By coincidence we were slightly overscheduled because we didn’t receive the freight we were expected to receive and so there was nothing to do. I decided to shop the mall while I had the spare time.

I went into Black Market Minerals, a strange and only slightly unique store in our mall, to check and see if they still had these flutes that we were playing with when my nephew was up. It was funny, in a way, I picked one up and stared at it trying to figure out how to make a tone come out of it, and well, he just picked one up and started playing like it was nothing. I forgot that when he was eight, in fact, the last time I had seen him, he was playing flute in school.

For two dollars, because the guy at the counter said he’d never seen anybody pick out four flutes before, I had four of what I’ve since learned are Javanese Suling which look like bamboo poles with holes drilled in them, and play like recorders, but with a bit more versatility and more difficult pitch control. I want to send at least one of them to my nephew. Might send them all if I get bored of them.

Trying out a new program to write this… just wanted to see if I got along with something more modern than the editor that comes with Mozilla or the notepad in the Visor. I’m trying out the HTML-editing word processor in OpenOffice.org, which is supposed to be a dead-on replacement for a certain Office software suite by a certain large software company famous for its operating system, though I doubt its accuracy for the time being. Its font support is buggy. I’m also not feeling the whole autocorrection-as-I-type thing, but I think that just means that I don’t have the vibe for modern word processors. Before I took out this account, I hadn’t written anything regularly since college, and I still don’t own a printer.

The last bit of news is that while I was wasting time in the airport, I found a book in the store that told me what the XP that famous software company is using really means. It’s another one of those stupid buzzwords, but I’m not going into it because that topic’s been well covered.

Thank you all for you comments.

Iwanttoleavemybody: Don’t know who the Jackal is but any help is appreciated.

cedartree: I entered my birthday in that website, and well, you may convert me just yet… 🙂

Don’t worry about replying in a timely manner. I usually can’t post in a timely manner, and frankly, I expect most people to do this sort of thing for fun.

lazarusrat: For music that is not necessarily anti-RIAA but exists outside their scope, I recommend Magnatune and mp3.com, for starters. Magnatune’s tags “Internet music without guilt” and “We are not evil” say it all.

I do not have a plain solution for the problems that the modern entertainment industry has created for people starting out, but I believe part of the solution lies in the Creative Commons liscensing concept. It provides an easy way for beginners to get their sound out publically, without waiving their own copyrights, but also allowing enough sharing for people to get to hear them. It also provides for the existance of the sampling and remixing arts that have recently appeared, and for which modern copyright law has no provisions save for a couple of judicial precedents.

Londo: I believe that people are brought into this life for a purpose, but I really don’t know what that purpose is. I think it probably has to do with learning to get along with people, or perhaps it’s something about learning to enjoy yourself regardless of circumstance, but those observations are strictly from my own point of view. Perhaps fate is what makes us do things, without knowing why… or is that just instinct, or intuition? Hard telling.

As for talent, well…

PHENOM

I don’t expect many of my readers to be into many kinds of sports, the only one to actually mention sports in the blogs so for is El_Presidente, who’s never mentioned an obscure sport (to North America) like soccer…

Freddy Adu recently signed up with USA’s Major League Soccer. He is fourteen years old. He was the most sought after talent in the world prior to signing, and chose the USA simply because it’s where he lives. His family is Ghanese, but he lives in Potomac, Maryland, and by quirk of FIFA (International Soccer’s governing body) rules, he will play for USA for his entire international career.

Supposedly, he’s carried out some ten interviews in the past three days. I’ve missed them all because I do not watch television, but I’ve heard on the radio this morning that he’s so surprisingly articulate that there’s absolutely no way he’s fourteen. If you’ve popped open the website, look at the photographs- he doesn’t even look fourteen in the pictures of him playing!

And he doesn’t look fourteen on the field of play, either. He will play on DC United next season (MLS season begins in March) and he will probably start.

How does somebody that young get that good? Part of it is because he’s been playing soccer from childhood. Maybe his charisma around reporters came from becoming accustomed to folks asking him about his skills since he was tiny as well? (Tiger Woods got this sort of hype as well…)

Is there really a genetic factor here? Perhaps if I had enjoyed my time in the Youth Optimist Soccer Club when I was six a little bit more, I’d have played enough to reach that sort of level? It’s hard telling, because I didn’t, but I can say that one of the first things I noticed when I went to see some MLS matches was that most of the players were roughly my age. That’s not so true anymore, the average age has shrunk just a bit, but there are also less players from overseas now.

Plenty of people call Freddy Adu talented, but what exactly is talent? Talent is what people thought of me when I played a musical instrument when I was little, but I really didn’t think it was that big a deal at the time, it was just something I learned how to do. I learned how to make sounds come from a wooden box by pressing keys with my fingers just as Freddy Adu learned how to control a round leather ball with his foot. When I was in college, I met a ton of people that could play instruments way, way better than me, and even met people that sang better and wrote better too… it was quite intimidating, though I kinda sucked it up and tried to stand out in my own way as much as I could. I think I caught quite a bit of hell from teachers over it too.

I’m trying not to make this sound like despair, because it really isn’t… Why is young Freddy a professional athlete, while I’m so broke I’m living with somebody else’s mom? It’s really hard to quantify.

The only things you can’t quantify that are casually talked about in life, are talent, ghosts, maybe aliens, and God.

DOUBLE STANDARD

This one kinda harkens back to Mr_Green’s bit about metrosexuals.

As I was growing up, Barbie invited little girls to do whatever they wanted with the slogan “We girls can do anything.”

One of my dad’s Harry Chapin records had a song, “Why did the little girls come broken while the little boys came whole?… The girls were told to reach the shelves while the boys were reaching for stars…” Sometime between the 70’s and the year 2000, it became okay for girls to become as much like boys as they should please. Babes with Bazookas, Girls with Guns, Warrior Princess Xena, or whatever, they’ve all become sex idols now. If ladies want big time careers, good for them! Females in western society have successfully shed the stereotype of childrearer and homemaker, and that’s almost okay.

Almost?

That’s right. You cannot have the female’s role change unless you expect the male’s role to change in a similar fashion, or, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

That means for every career mother, there must be a homemaking dad. This is not a bad thing.

As times continue to change, we must expect to find more men that like to be fashion concious, men that cook and clean, and are good at it too, even men that like to gossip, and we must expect that none of these men are gay.

My hair is curly, and a bit long. This causes children that don’t completely know the difference between the genders to call me ‘ma’am’ sometimes, and when this happens, I usually don’t correct them, pretending I didn’t hear them. The reason for this is that young children don’t really know what the genders are for, and by correctingthem I could confuse them, perhaps in a dangerous way!

I wonder though, why I can see girls walking down the aisle looking at action figures, and their folks will have nothing bad to say, but God have mercy and Jesus Christ immediately come down and save the little boy that accidentally walks down the aisle of Barbie dolls. I understand that we have and we teach gender roles for a reason, but why isn’t anyone questioning this?

If girls can be more like boys, you have to expect that eventually a boy will want to be more like girls, and we can’t be upset when this happens. It’s what our culture wants.

See you next time.

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4 thoughts on “

  1. “Sometime between the 70’s and the year 2000, it became okay for girls to become as much like boys as they should please.” – Really? In my experience, they still get called dykes or ballbusters or what-have-you if that goes “too far.” For varying values of “too far,” some of them pretty ridiculous. I’m not saying there’s no disparity, because there is.You can turn the auto spell check and crap off in OpenOffice. I’m not sure where exactly, but it’s in there somewhere. I was going to suggest something about the fonts, but then realized I have no idea what version of OOo and X you’re running, or for that matter what OS it is.On music, thanks for the sites. I tried mp3.com ages ago, and just couldn’t stand the interface. I was massively disappointed to find out Righteous Babe Records was a member of the RIAA, but I guess it shouldn’t be surprising given you can find Ani at Best Buy.

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  2.   See, I told you talent is there, but it isn’t always that useful or long-lasting.  But I just want to sound like a know-it-all jackass who thinks he’s always right, because I am.
      Well, a jackass, at least.  As for the whole gender role thingie you were talking about, I’m pretty sure almost every little boy will still be frightened of the girl toys aisle in any store due to the fact that that much pink can and will melt your retinas.  Honest to god.  I wonder why I’m so offended that when they advertise new mops and whatnot, they market it towards moms on the go, housewives (though that term seems to be outdated and politically incorrect nowadays), and women in general.  But, I must admit, I’ve never known a woman to buy a truck for herself.

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  3. ORANGE!  I tell ya at our store, I saw a man buy his son a Barbie doll.  And I’m thinking, finally the roles of “what toys are okay to play with” are shifting.  I tell ya I never cared for matchbox cars, or GI Joe’s.  I liked the craft kits and shrinky dinks.  It is my belief in the future, all people will look the same with shaved heads (for health reasons) and dress the same (So no comments may be taken as sexual harassment), and we will become completely nueter in society, and having children or sex will become more of a job than a joy.  Maybe I’m just dreaming of a damnable future, but then again… it may be.  ORANGE!

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