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The Writings on the Stall

Wednesday, 2004-02-25

pixel person

Make sure to turn the volume up when you Create Your Own Pixel Person.

Saturday, 2004-02-14

i am [not] completely my own person

Below is a response to a question (in italics) posed in my American Government class. It's being posted here because of the energy thrown behind my response.

I am completely my own person, having learned about government and politics on my own, and fashioned my political beliefs and values without being influenced by others or outside forces.

Although I am completely my own person, I've learned quite a bit about government and politics from others. My political beliefs and values have been influenced by others and by outside forces.

My mom (a Democrat) once said that she and my dad (a Republican) never vote because their votes cancel each other out. Needless to say, that attitude hints that my parents weren't politically active.

Where then, did I get my politics, if I indeed have been influenced by my surroundings? The Chinquapin School in Highlands, Texas, outside of Houston. Looking back, it's easy to see the liberal-leaning stance of the place that I called home for six years — Chinquapin was a boarding school. The school focused on minority lower-income students. Being one of only three white kids, albeit poor and white, I found myself as a minority as well. Chinquapin was a firm testament to the successes of affirmative action. In order to graduate, one had to be accepted at either a college/university or enter the armed forces. 98% of alumni have attended college in the last 20 years. Surprising?

Not to me. We were all given a chance, something which cannot be said for all in public school systems today. 98%! And we were poor and/or black, Hispanic, Asian, and white. Yet color wasn't considered, once at Chinquapin. At times I felt I'd been persecuted for the color of my skin (and what an incredible opportunity to have roles reversed, to see race issues from another side). It hit me one day that this may be because I was simply different; in nearly any setting, difference will be singled out. So I don't look back on my peers with scorn, but with understanding.

I've realized (since graduation) that my American History and Government professor — small school so he taught myself and my classmates four years in a row — was/is undoubtedly liberal. His impact hit me, though, long before I was capable of realizing his political stance. His party affiliation has since never been revealed to me, which I've found to be a respectful policy for teachers of an impressionable young mind.

Around the time I started becoming aware of my own politics here, in college, I became very close friends with a conservative. If it hasn't already been stated, I identify myself as a liberal, and a liberal one at that. This friend and I clashed. But in a great way, as his intention was to help me solidify my beliefs instead of squashing them (as others could easily have). He opened my eyes to new viewpoints and I imagine I opened his.

This friend has since moved on, leaving me stronger and better equipped to defend what I stand for. As I politically socialized I found myself looking for alternative viewpoints. All viewpoints, in order to gain a full negotiated grasp of where I stand on the issues.

These are only a few moldings of my ideologies, yet there are countless other instances available for the telling. People are (at the least) indirectly affected by what surrounds them. If not for others, than definitely this is true in my life.

Right now, I find myself in an open space. Everywhere I turn, my ears and eyes are positioned to find something new to be learned.

Wednesday, 2004-02-11

is google cleaning up its act?

Just searched Google and noticed subtle changes to the site's design. Is Google in the process of a face-lift?

But sadly, no validation yet. And come on folks, go with a sitewide stylesheet; you'd be able to make updates immediately, and uh, sitewide.

Update: I was starting to think I was the only one who'd noticed the changes (or that I was a bit too tired and shouldn't have been posting as late as I had). Turns out I was right: Google screenshots at Minty.

Tuesday, 2004-02-10

and then there were five

Wesley Clark — whom I had grown fond of (largely due to his very respectable platform) — to end his presidential bid.

Clark to withdraw from presidential race
Mike Glover, Associated Press

Clark made the decision after consulting with family members, who had been urging him to stay in. But Clark, who won only one of 14 contests, was under intense pressure to drop out because of John Kerry's success and a desire by party leaders for a quick end to a nominating season he has come to dominate.

That leaves John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton to beat George Bush in November.

Monday, 2004-02-02

nobel peace (?) prize

Of all to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, I would never have even considered President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Come on. Bush launched a war (not peace!) primarily to oust family enemy Saddam Hussein. And Blair, evidently against the wishes of his populace, spinelessly offered Britain's support. The UK was, surprise surprise, capable of dissent against the United States.

More — of a less biased view — from ABC: Bush, Blair nominated for Nobel Peace Prize,

Sunday, 2004-02-01


MTV News: Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Show Promises 'Shocking Moments'. My expectations were definitely exceeded.

In shock — as were others at the TAG Superbowl event — I found myself saying, "did I just see Janet's right breast?"

Apparently, 100 million did. Janet, Justin, MTV Apologize For Super Bowl Flash.