Thursday, July 17, 2008

Odds and Ends

Hello everyone!

Well, I'm officially half way done with my summer classes. Today I took my final for my "History of Latin America" class, and I think it went well. This is the first time I've taken summer classes, and I actually like it. Instead of ten week long classes, I'm taking two classes in consecutive four week long blocks, one of which I just finished: the aforementioned Latin American one, and the other I'll start next week: "History of the Iraq War," which will be interesting because it's a history class about something that's ongoing. Or maybe it's a statement on the fact that the war has been going on for too long--that it started so long ago that it can now be classified as "historical."

In addition, I'm also taking two weekend seminar classes: Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, which happened last weekend, and The New Al Qaeda Threat, which will happen in a little over a week from now. Both the weekend seminars are taught by my insane Causes and Prevention of War professor from last fall. But each of these only require a 6-10 page paper, which is totally reasonable. I don't have to worry about any "pop-quizzes" that we had last fall. They were essentially midterms in which we had to write what amounted to an essay on the spot within 15 minutes.

Last week's seminar was interesting. After I first walked in and sat down, 6-8 football players sat down right next to me, all the while talking smack to each other. Now, I'm not certain they were football players, but they were very large men, they clearly knew each other well, and most of them were African-American.

I hate to say it, but the University of Oregon is so white that the odds are fairly high that any male black student is an athlete. Black women are pretty rare, or at least that's been my experience in my political science and history classes. However, this "whiteness" is pretty much the case throughout all of Eugene and Oregon in general, so much to the point that a guy in nearby Corvallis set up a booth at Farmer's Market with a sign that read, "Meet a Black Guy." If that's not bad enough, someone commented to the reporter that she and and friend "said they have black friends, and would be voting for Barack Obama for president." I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Anyway, once these guys sat down, it was clear by the way they were talking to each other that they weren't very interested in being there, and my student/nerd instinct told me that they were going to keep talking to each other throughout the lecture, and I wouldn't be able to hear a thing. So I had to move. There was just one problem, though: if 6-8 black guys sit down next to one white guy, and the white guy gets up and walks away, what are the black guys going to think?

Maybe I was totally over-analyzing the situation, but I did come up with a "solution." I noticed one guy off by himself with a laptop plugged in and remembered that I had mine with me. So I walked over and asked, loudly enough for the football players to hear, if there was a place to plug in a laptop (I knew there was). The guy predictably said there was, and so I immediately sat down and plugged in my laptop. Success!

I was right about the football players talking, though, but some of them also decided to catch up on some sleep during the lecture. I don't know--I guess they have someone lined up to write their papers for them. But there was one other thing that I didn't expect: right after the lecture started, some woman sat down next to the other laptop guy, and the two proceeded to talk to each other (flirt) right in front of me during the course of the whole lecture. I guess I'm just expecting too much if I expect to be able to hear what the professor is saying. What an unreasonable jerk I am!

***
The other day, I heard one of the funniest stories I've heard in a long time. Amy, the produce lady at Market of Choice, apparently has a sister who waits tables at some snooty French restaurant. One day, she had an irate customer actually say this to her: "I've been to Paris, and I've had Soup-du-Jour, and this soup tastes nothing like it!"

I think it was this lady:


***

Hey look, it's the fashion police. Literally!

And here's a handy-dandy chart to help keep troublemakers like you from breaking the law!

Yes, you now can get arrested and sent to jail for not wearing your pants "properly." Apparently a wave of ill-fitting pants is terrorizing Flint, Michigan. I wonder what Michael Moore has to say about this?

Not only that, but if a cop doesn't like the way you're wearing your pants, that's reason enough to search you. Of course, that's the real purpose of all this. Remember that Fourth Amendment? You know, the one that protected us "against unreasonable searches and seizures"? Those were good times, but now they're gone. Of course, our old buddy Barack Obama didn't do us any favors on that one.

***

Since the right-wing knuckledraggers have nothing left but to blame Democrats for everything, some guy went above and beyond and bought himself a billboard:


Of course, he can't even claim to be original since God was apparently so angry he sent Democrats here to force your daughter to have gay sex and then have an abortion:


Anyway, the guy with the towers on fire billboard thinks he's some sort of a musician. If you go to his website, you can buy one of his CDs, featuring the cleverly-named song, "The Republican Song." Here are the lyrics taken directly from his website, complete with all the original typos and grammatical errors:
The Democrat secular progressive move,
political correctness is killing us too.
They want to take the money from the hard workin man,
and give it to the lazy folks that don't give a damn.

Chorus

Democrats and Liberals, shame on you,
don't punish us all just to please a few,
Your holdin people back while we're pickin up the slack,
and that's why we can't vote for a Democrat.
Oh no, a no, no, no, no, no, no...
Oh no, a no, no, no, no, no, nooo...
Yeah, your holding people back, while we're pickin up the tax,
Oh no, no please don't vote for a Democrat.

Now we're trying to win a war and wipe out the terrorists,
We're not fightin for oil we got plenty if we drill it.
But the liberals and the media are spreading their lies,
Get the hell out of our way and let our soldiers fight.

Chorus

Democrats and Liberals shame on you,
don't punish us all just to please a few.
No we can't afford to have another attack,
and that's why we can't vote for a Democrat.
Oh no, a no, no, no, no, no ,no...
Oh no, a no, no, no, no, no, no..
No we can't afford to have another attack,
Oh no, please don't vote for a Democrat.

Republicans, we're not perfect but we know the truth
We uphold the Constitution and the Golden Rule.
We believe a mans freedom is a God given right,
the USA is the beacon to the whole world in sight.

Chorus

Democrats and Liberals shame on you,
don't punish us all just to please a few.
our Constitution, Nation and God are under attack,
and that's why we can't vote for a Democrat.
Oh no, oh no, no, no, no, no, no...
oh no, oh no, no, no, no, no, no...
Our Constitution, Nation and God are under attack,
Oh no, please, oh no please, don't vote for a Democrat.

Our Constitution, Nation and God are under attack,
Oh no, please, oh no please, don't vote for a Democrat.
"Oh no, oh no, no, no, no, no, no" is right. I feel bad calling these lyrics because it's an insult to any lyric that's ever been written, even including ones written by Steve Perry. Seriously, that crap I took this morning could write a better song than this. The verdict:






Here's a much better song. Enjoy!



Rob

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