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Stephy

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Eat the Rich. [Apr. 23rd, 2011♥12:57 am]
Stephy
I find it hilarious some of the things rich people come up with to defend their wealth and their somehow divine right to go on making bigger and bigger mountains of cash. I think part of the reason we actually listen to this garbage is because we don't often hear any differing views in most mainstream media outlets - it's pretty rare to get anything less than a glowing review of "financial success" from any source, whether left, right or center. And I find it pretty disturbing in light of recent and continuing price shocks and punishments so many people not just in our own country but all over the world are enduring. So here's a little food for thought.
  • Personal wealth is achieved through skill and hard work. These are good qualities. Why should people who exhibit good qualities be punished with high taxes and strict regulations?
The truth is that personal wealth, or getting rich is hard work, there's no doubt about that. But so what? Lots of things in life are hard work. There are literally millions of things that human beings can be successful at and yet not get rich doing them. Being a good parent. Earning a degree in medicine. Skydiving. Etc.

Accumulating large amounts of personal wealth is always a highly deliberate and intensely selfish choice. People don't get and keep vast fortunes by accident. But there is only so much wealth available in the world. The amount of dollars and assets is certainly large, but finite. Inevitably when someone accumulates more than their fair share, they are stealing from someone else.

Greed and theft are hardly virtues to be applauded. Those rare few that are neither thieves nor gluttons simply do not become rich. The plutocratic economic system that we are now saddled with has those features built in, like a system of filters designed to create a kind of economic "survival of the fittest". The weapons in this evolutionary war are not, as in the natural world, bigger eyes or sharper teeth. They are new and creative ways to evade taxes, to get more labor for less from their workforce, to inveigle and defraud investors with better and less detectable fraud and kick-back schemes, and to cheat the customer into accepting less product or service of decreasing quality for an ever-increasing price. Where do all the savings from all this cutting and trimming and nipping and tucking go? Straight to the top - sucked up greedily by executives for bonuses that reward cronyism and phoned-in work performances, then funneled into various hedge funds where the bonus-sucking maneuver can be performed again and again. Until finally the investor who cares nothing for the company, the environment, the workers or the customers gets to collect a buck for doing... nothing. Just for... being rich in the first place!

At the present, being rich is tantamount to being a criminal. It is prima facie evidence at the very least of an extremely selfish individual who will never willingly give one red cent to anyone else. Not giving one red cent to their workers or their country is exactly how they became rich in the first place.

Selfishness and greed are natural traits, present in all of us, it's true. But so is aggression and murder. And we outlaw and punish those behaviors because we recognize that they are anti-social. So why not greed too? Those who cannot see or refuse to see that they are not the center of the universe need to be compelled to see it, by vigorously forcing them to contribute a much larger share to the rebuilding of the people and communities they destroy to enrich themselves.
Link{Give Me Hell}

Donna Karan [Dec. 28th, 2010♥09:07 am]
Stephy
[Feelin' |depresseddepressed]

You know, I get that even charitable and rights advocacy groups are manipulative. I guess even the legitimate ones feel they have to be in order to overcome the billions of advertising dollars, slanted reporting of the issues and general corporate cocksuckery that seeks to hide or spin unpleasant truths. And so for many years now, I've taken most charities' ploys to instill and manipulate guilt in people with a grain of salt. I'm acutely aware that most of the problems they are trying to address are very real, and very miserable - but we in First World nations are often not exposed to the realities of those problems, making them easy to ignore.

It's called "putting a human face" on the story. So people are dying of starvation and cholera and god knows what else in some dustbin of a country somewhere on the other side of the world. I don't personally -know- any of those people. I can't -see- them suffering in front of my face. So why should I care? That's a pretty standard, natural reaction. Human brains are just made that way - we're very good at responding to real, tangible crises happening right in front of us. But the further away and less personally connected we are to the problems, the less we care.

So that's where the charitable manipulation comes in. And I'm not even saying it's completely negative - you need something powerful to break through people's apathy and complacency and get them to devote a little mental bandwidth to thinking - and hopefully doing something about - the problem.

But when is it too much?

I've been bombarded by these kinds of images all my life. I used to be really sensitive to it when I was a kid. The commercials about the starving kids in Africa always made me burst into tears. My parents would chide me for being silly and crying over nothing. Of course it wasn't nothing. But neither was the carefully choreographed and heavily edited advertisement I was watching the total, honest truth. Like just about everything in life, the truth lies somewhere in between.

All of the charity scandals that happened through the late eighties and early nineties (and even continuing on into this decade) made me far more cynical about large charitable organizations and their true motives. I really began to feel extremely used when I would watch these sorts of commercial after that - even more so than the used feeling I would get from product advertisement. Charitable advertising, with the kind of shocking and disturbing images they sometimes use, to me is even dirtier than all the shameless corporate plugs in the world put together. When someone is trying to sell me something, they're usually appealing to my own self interest in some way. Hey, buy this product! You'll look cool! You'll be popular! You'll attract a hot girl / boyfriend! You'll be the envy of your peers! If I decide to buy the product and none of those things happen, which they never do - I have nothing but my own stupidity and conceit to blame.

But when a charity commercial uses the poverty and misery of animals or people to produce guilt and shame in me in order to take my money - and then pisses it away either through inefficiency or open fraud, that's really, really low. That's like, sub-cockroach. There isn't a word for how low that is.

Fraud among charities is rampant - even the last bastion of trust-able charities, the one whose goddamned fifty-pound orange box I would carry about my neck every Halloween - Unicef - has been guilty of fraud, mismanagement and waste on many occasions. So what do you do? You want to make a difference, but how does throwing money at the problem help? Especially when the people charged with taking your money and doing something helpful with it are often criminals themselves.

This whole thought process came about because this morning I witnessed - and I say this with absolutely no hyperbole - the most horrifying image I've ever seen in my life. No movie, no nightmare, nothing I've ever imagine was this awful.

It was a PETA video showing some of the fur-farming techniques in China, where apparently there are no animal cruelty laws.

There was some kind of creature in a bin on top of some other carcasses - you couldn't even tell what kind of animal it was anymore, but it looked disturbingly like a dog - with no skin left. It had been turned completely inside out. Body, face, everything. And the fucking thing was still alive. It lifted it's head and looked at the camera, then sort've rolled back onto the pile.

I can't talk about it. I can't write about it. I can't even think about it. I just... can't. For my own survival. Because if I give that give that image any more room in my mind I'll lose my grip. I cried - so hard. So long. I couldn't even look at my own dog's face for hours after seeing it. I know I'll never, ever be able to forget it.

I didn't need to see that. I didn't want to see it. There was no warning - no disclaimer, no hint of what was going to be shown in the video. The first frame of the video was a cute little bunny. I pressed play - and any hope I might still have had for the redemption of humankind was gone.

And for what? Does it really matter how money I throw at PETA? They have no say in the policies of a sovereign, foreign nation. There is literally fuck all any of us can do. Except not wear fur. Which I already find completely filthy and wouldn't do even if I could afford it. So thanks, PETA. Thanks for showing me the face of pure, hellish pain that I can't forget and can't do anything about. Thanks for giving me a feeling of hope-and-powerlessness. Really kick starts my day.

I was going to put up the link - but I'm not going to subject anyone else to that.
Link{Give Me Hell}

Spiff! [Nov. 21st, 2010♥11:36 am]
Stephy
[@ |Home]
[Feelin' |creativecreative]

Not really sure if I'm going to stick to LJ this time either... lol The reason I got turned off to it in the first place hasn't gone away - for one thing, I've always been a pretty private person and I don't like airing my dirty (or clean) laundry in public.

I felt like I was getting to a point where I was just posting silly, mundane details of my life that in the grand scheme were pretty inconsequential and I just kept feeling like, "what's the point"?

Of course, this was before sites like Twitter and Facebook even existed. Now you can post every pointless detail of your life for the whole world to see! The planet is, of course, just dying to know what color socks you chose to wear today. You can "friend" random strangers that you've never met in your life and never will! The word "friend" has lost almost all meaning in popular culture. It's kind've sad - most people's FB "friends" would probably take their wallet and car keys if they found them laying unconscious somewhere.

But anyway. Enough bitching. :) To quasi-celebrate my return to LJ, I've updated my journal's look. If it burns your eyeballs, let me know and I'll try to tone it down. My favorite color is red if it wasn't obvious. ;)


Link{2 rantsGive Me Hell}

Strange Night.... [Nov. 20th, 2010♥06:13 am]
Stephy
[@ |@ Home]
[Feelin' |thoughtfulthoughtful]

It's been... well, according to my last entry, about four years since I've written here. Honestly I thought the account would be gone or that I wouldn't be able to find the password, but here it is.

For some strange reason I've been googling some people I used to know in high school tonight to see what they're up to - it's strange how even after all these years I still recognize them instantly. And it seems none of us have really changed that much.

I wonder if they're happy with where their lives have taken them - I hope so.

Seems like everyone I used to follow and be followed by has moved on too, but if anyone is still out there and/or cares... I'm still here guys. I hope you're doing well. :)
Link{1 rantGive Me Hell}

(no subject) [Apr. 23rd, 2006♥12:40 pm]
Stephy
[Feelin' |ecstaticecstatic]

I DID IT! W00T!!

Finally, after months of working out, I've lost thirty pounds! I can fit into most of my old clothes again! It was so hard to keep going some days, but I'm really glad I did. All that hard work has finally paid off.

I feel so sexy. >:)

Still not done, though. I wanna lose another 30-40 and then I'll be satisfied. Then I can just focus on maintenance.

Okay, off to work out now. Honestly I was just gonna be lazy today and skip it, but now I've got my motivation back after trying on an old jean skirt that I used to love that hasn't fit me for a while. It's a little snug still, but it fits! *Squeee!*

Most of this I'm sure I owe to the elliptical machine that I bought... It was a pretty good deal, too. Didn't even cost 200$ CAD. I love the no-impact aspect of it. The women out there with big melons like me will know what I'm talking about. ;)
Link{6 rantsGive Me Hell}

(no subject) [Feb. 22nd, 2006♥10:31 am]
Stephy
[Feelin' |coldcold]

I'm a sheep too. :)

Read more...Collapse )
Link{2 rantsGive Me Hell}

(no subject) [Jan. 29th, 2006♥05:01 pm]
Stephy
Damn, Mario Kart DS is fun. ^_^ I used to play a game called Wacky Wheels a long time ago that was kinda like this... I think it was either id Software or Apogee that published it. It's awesome.

Kell, I just saw your comment in my last entry now. I actually tried phoning you earlier before I read it... I didn't leave a message on your machine 'cause when you didn't pick up after three or four rings, I figured you weren't home. I wanted you to be the first person I call on my new phone! I picked up a cheap cordless today when I was out shopping. Already got you on my speed dial and eveything. ^_^ Oh well, I guess the Chinese delivery place will have the honor of being the first ones to get a call on my new phone. Talk to you soon hon! I'll prolly phone you tomorrow night. Love ya.
Link{3 rantsGive Me Hell}

(no subject) [Jan. 16th, 2006♥12:20 pm]
Stephy
[Feelin' |boredbored]



It's actually a pretty fun game. Maybe I'll fire it up tonight.
Link{5 rantsGive Me Hell}

Says here it's "for ages 3+"... That's me! [Jan. 4th, 2006♥09:32 am]
Stephy
[Feelin' |sillysilly]

I love my DS thingy.

And VG Cats. ^_^

Hootie-toot!
Link{Give Me Hell}

(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2006♥03:16 pm]
Stephy
[Feelin' |boredbored]

Check all that pertain!

[X] I have a job.
[ ] I have a car payment.
[x] I have a house payment/rent to pay.
[x] I've made a house or car payment late.
[ ] I've had a car repossessed.
[x] I know my credit score.
[ ] I have kid(s).
[ ] I have kids by more than one person.
[ ] I pay child support.
[ ] I'm married.
[ ] I've been divorced.
[ ] I'm 30 or older and haven't been married.
[x] I have toys from my childhood that are older than half of myspace / livejournal.
[ ] I remember when David Lee Roth left Van Halen.
[ ] I saw "E.T." at the cinema.
[x] Fraggle Rock.
[ ] "Where's the Beef?"
[ ] The two Coreys.
[x] Garbage Pail Kids.
[ ] I've found grey/white hairs.
[ ] I have aches and/or pains for no apparent reason.
[ ] I've uttered the phrase "Kids these days..."
[x] I've uttered the phrase "When *I* was a kid..."
[ ] I think current teen fashion is laughable, but I own something from the 80's or early 90's thats equally lame.
[ ] I know off the top of my head who Crockett and Tubbs are.
[ ] "Capital Gains tax", "401k", and "Homestead exemption" all mean something to me.
[x] I remember when it was just "Star Trek".
[ ] I had a Trapper Keeper.
[ ] I know what "Reaganomics" was.
[x] I remember when Michael Jackson was black.
[x] I remember Max Headroom.
[ ] I know who killed Laura Palmer.
[x] I remember when VCRs were a "new gadget".
[x] I remember Atari.
[ ] I remember when the only anime show you could watch was Robotech.
[x] I remember when there was no such thing as a computer in schools.
Link{Give Me Hell}

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