Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trying AdSense

to see if it makes sense.

I'm not selling out,
just trying to see
if I can make money
by you reading me.

If not, o well;
if so, what the hell?
It's not like my message
is one of mess-age
and massacre;
I just want to write
the truth ruth
to be a poet
and not know it
and maybe amass(an)acre
or maybe a mule.

As Randy Newman once said,
"It's money that I love."
He was being sardonic or ironic; I'm
just being a smart dick and aleck -
if you click
than this dick
can keep on typing
and hypin'
and sayin' what he wants...

peace out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The NRA doesn't understand punctuation

Despite their love of semi-automatics, card-carrying NRA members have no idea how to use a semi-colon. Their slogan, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" fucks up fundamental punctuation in a deliberate attempt to manipulate the meaning beneath the sentence. The sentence appears to be absolutely sound until you realize that the two thoughts are actually two complete sentences. When one wants to combine two complete sentences into one phrase, one uses a semi-colon as in, "I haven't been feeling myself lately; my stomach has been bothering me." This is the proper use of a semi-colon and the proper way to combine these two complete sentences into one complete juxtapositional phrase - the second half of which adds to the meaning or enhances the meaning of the first. I learned this in College from a very strict (and brilliant) poetry professor. So, let's break down the slogan. The two thoughts expressed are in fact two complete sentences:

1. Guns don't kill people.
2. People kill people.

Both are true in and of themselves. Guns can't kill people - they have no ability to make decisions or take action on their own - they are machines and require an operator to operate them. Even calling guns "them" reveals a limitation in our language that I don't know how to overcome without being overly wordy. Guns are not "them"s, just objects which require subjects (human subjects) to operate "them."

People kill people all the time. In fact, they require no machine to kill people but the machine which they inhabit, and that machine is the human body.

So. Both thoughts are complete sentences and both are absolutely true in and of themselves. It's when you try to combine these two thoughts that you end up with what is, in essence, a lie - a manipulation.

The meaning that gun advocates would like you to take away from the phrase "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" is that guns require an operator to kill. This is true without the second half of the phrase. In fact, the second half becomes irrelevant if this is truly what they want to tell us. It is inherent in the first thought.

Now, let's give these people the benefit of the doubt and let's say that they actually do understand that a semi-colon is required to make this a grammatically correct phrase. Let's examine the meaning of "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

What is the rule about semi-colons from above? A semi-colon divides two complete sentences to create one complete sentence in such a way that the two sentences are juxtaposed, thereby adding to the meaning of each. This is simply untrue of this phrase, even if one does use a semi-colon instead of the usual comma we see when this phrase is in print. These phrases juxtaposed add nothing to each other. They have actually no relationship except for the repetition of the two words "people" and "kill."

What gun advocates hope is that the additional phrase will act as an emphasis for the inherent meaning of the first sentence - emphasizing the fact that guns, in and of themselves, do not kill people. Has anyone ever argued that they do? Are there any rational people out there who say we should not have guns in the world because one day the machines may decide to rise up and revolt?

"So," I imagine hearing you ask, "how would one make a coherent sentence by using a semi-colon to juxtapose these two thoughts and add to the meaning of each thought on each side of the semi-colon?"

Well, I respond self-assuredly, I will show you how and then you can write me and tell me what you think.

Here are two complete sentences that when juxtaposed via a semi-colon create new meaning in each:

Guns don't kill people; people who use guns to kill people kill people.

Each thought is a complete sentence with a truth value all its own. Juxtaposing these two sentences creates new meaning for each sentence. Some of the new meanings we might derive from this juxtaposition are as follows:

1. When people kill people with guns, they should go to jail.

2. People who have a tendency to kill people with guns should not be allowed to own guns.

3. Guns whose only purpose is to kill people should not be available for sale to the general public.

4. If you own a gun and someone takes it from you and you didn't have it secure, you're just as liable for any death or property damage that person does as you would be had you given them the gun, unless you attempted to mitigate the damage that might be caused by attempting to keep them from taking the gun from you. You don't have to die to keep them from taking it but you have to make every reasonable effort.

I don't have time to list all the conclusions cause I have to go... but please feel free to add your own in comments. My last conclusion is this:

5. When people shoot people in the face, they should be held accountable.

6. Supreme court justices who hunt with vice presidential candidates should recuse themselves from deciding whether that vice president's presidential running mate will win a contested presidential election.

7. As Stephen Colbert might say, the headline to this story should be "What the fuck? Are you serious? Are people really this fucking stupid?":
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080813/ap_on_re_us/democratic_party_shooting

Saturday, August 02, 2008

YOU ARE NOT SPAM

A message from blogger.com that I got today:

You Are Not Spam

August 2, 2008permalink
You knew that already, and now we do too. We have now restored all accounts that were mistakenly marked as spam yesterday. (See: Spam Fridays)

We want to offer our sincerest apologies to affected bloggers and their readers. We’ve tracked down the problem to a bug in our data processing code that locked blogs even when our algorithms concluded they were not spam. We are adding additional monitoring and process checks to ensure that bugs of this magnitude are caught before they can affect your data.

At Blogger, we strongly believe that you own and should control your posts and other data. We understand that you trust us to store and serve your blog, and incidents like this one are a betrayal of that trust. In the spirit of ensuring that you always have access to your data, we have been working on importing and exporting tools to make it easier to back up your posts. If you'd like a sneak peak at the Import / Export tool, you can try it out on Blogger in Draft.

Our restoration today was of all blogs that were mistakenly marked as spam due to Friday's bug. Because spam fighting inherently runs the risk of false positives, your blog may have been mis-classified as spam for other reasons. If you are still unable to post to your blog today you can request a review by clicking Request Unlock Review on your Dashboard.
— Siobhan

Very weird. II

I opened up my dashboard to blog today and had a message from blogspot that was titled: "YOU ARE NOT SPAM"

And I was like, how do they know? And then I was like, thank god, cause I don't want to be spam. And then I was like, what the hell are they talking about? And then I was like, "Like, shut up dumbhead!"