Apr. 25th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Antidrug)
Guillermo del Toro Will Direct "The Hobbit".

Really, there's not a whole lot I can add to that headline.
Of the Tolkien books I've read I remember liking The Hobbit the most, and
del Toro won me as a fan with Pan's Labyrinth. If he can do to the Hobbit
what he did there, I envision Very Good Things(tm).
jackofallgeeks: (Gendo)
If I were able to access my archives here, I'd link back a month or so to
the story of a kid who was punished for wearing a t-shirt depicting a gun
at school. There was a nice bit of discussion in the comments, particularly
from [livejournal.com profile] photoholic62 (hopefully I didn't butcher your username,

Today's article is similar, if perhaps a bit more controversial, and with
the completely opposite resolution. Some kid in Chicago sued his school
because they wouldn't let him wear an
anti-gay t-shirt
in school. Now in this case I can definitely
understand a bit of outrage, because unlike (I'd argue) the 'patriotic',
pro-military gun t-shirt previously discussed, a shirt saying "Be Happy, Not
Gay" is pretty directly offensive. The school banned the kid from wearing
the shirt, he sued, and he lost the original case -- but that decision has
been over turned by an appeals court, on the basis of free speech.

I'd like to discuss the t-shirt bit in particular (especially thoughts
on the fact that a gun was banned but anti-gay sentiment was not), and
anything else that might come up in the comments, but I'd also like to talk
about free speech. It's kind of an important thing, I think. It's what
separates us from the animals. Well, OK, that might be a bit of a stretch
(I know some rather out-spoken guinea pigs), but the fact remains that it's

There's a quote I'm a big fan of, attributed to Voltaire but apparently never said by him,
that goes, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death
your right to say it." That kind of sums up my opinion here. On the one
hand, there's the argument of the slipper slope, where if we censor ourselves
from expressing anything that might offend someone else, eventually we'll be
unable to express anything at all. I don't think that's a real and present
danger, but it's definite a concern in so much as nearly anything you say
could offense SOMEONE.

If we devote ourselves slavishly to freedom of speech then, yes, lots of
things people say will be things we'd like to not hear. But I think that
(1) sometimes we need to hear what we don't want to hear and, (2) I don't
think forcing people to not-say it helps anything at all; I think it hurts
everything. When someone says something offensive or ignorant, we have an
opportunity to confront them and argue to point in reasonable discourse. If
we allow and encourage people to say exactly what they think, then we're
given the opportunity to educate them and confront them directly. If
they're censored in public, they'll still THINK the same things, but it will
quietly fester inside of them and they will spread it privately, sharing it
insularly with like-minded people and spreading it to those who don't know
any better. If it's never said it's never talked about, it's never
confronted, and it's never changed.
jackofallgeeks: (Goofy)
The only thing interesting about This
article is that they're calling the new networlk "I AM A NET".
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
So, I've been wearing glasses since 5th grade: we had one of those in-school
sight-and-hearing tests and it was determined that my vision was pretty
crummy. In retrospect I can't imagine how I got by, but you don't know what
you don't know, you know? I still remember how incredible it was to
actually be able to see the blackboard.

I got contacts in 8th grade (just AFTER yearbook pictures, which kinda irked
me), but I haven't been wearing them regularly for at least four years; I
just got lazy. I got new frames for my glasses a few years ago (which makes
ALL the difference) so I kinda like 'the look' these days.

Still, I think that, eventually, I'll want to get eye surgery to correct my
vision. I might still keep my glasses (with plain glass lenses) just
because I like how they look so much, but the lure of not groping for my
glasses in the morning and being able to *really* enjoy time at the beach or
a pool is kind of tempting. I know a few people who say they've had the
surgery and don't have complaints, but it seems that the FDA is investigating
the risks of Lasik
, and articles like that get my worries fired up.

So, have any of YOU had vision correction? Any good or bad comments?
Anyone out there with poor vision who definitively DOES NOT want it
surgically corrected?

(As an aside, I'm struck sometimes by the number of people I know who wear
glasses. Not exactly sure why, but it's got that "hey, me too!" feeling to
jackofallgeeks: (Wrath)
So it seems that Republicans are putting in a
to get a vote on a bill which includes retroactive immunity for
actions they may or may not have done regarding illegal wiretaps in recent

I can't speak coherently on the subject because it enrages me so. If they
did nothing wrong, they should not need immunity. If they DID do something
wrong, they should not GET immunity. We should not allow a prescedent of,
"it's OK to break the law as long as it serves those in power." We should
clearly state that no one is above the law, and you can't get away with
questionable activities just because The Administration told you to. "I was
just following orders" is not a valid defense.

I'm writing to my congressmen, and I highly suggest you write to yours.


jackofallgeeks: (Default)
John Noble

August 2012

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