Hear Ye! Since 1998.

Archived Posts for May 1999

Please note: The posts on this page are at least 3 years old. Links may be broken, information may be out of date, and the views expressed in the posts may no longer be held.
30
May 99
Sun

I’m Legal :)

29
May 99
Sat

Work First

Still working to get this computing assignment in my Monday night (already written about 1500 lines of code), and I still haven’t started the second part of it. I promise I’ll do some updating next week!

18th

Finally… my 18th b’day is tomorrow! I must’ve got over 15 virtual cards over ICQ. They aren’t quite the same as the real thing, but that should go without saying. Mmm the magic 18 :)

The Matrix – Movie Script

Shish found me what must be a draft copy of the script for The Matrix. See here.

23
May 99
Sun

Responses to HTML Editors

I don’t have a really strong opinion about this one either way, but I just thought I would give you my own reasons for why I do things the way I do.  I decided to build a webpage 1 year ago (exactly, wow..cool, huh?) And anyway, when I started I had a page at angelfire.  I used their little generator thingy, and made an ok page.  But I wanted to have more control over it, so I read tutorials and what-have-you, and actually learned to code myself.   After I did, I found that for me it was much easier to just write what I wanted to see, than to try to figure out how an HTML editor wanted you to enter it.  I just recently started using notepad to write my pages.  Before I would write the code in the webshell at my angelfire account.  I honestly think that is the easiest way to do it, since you can easily see how it will look before saving it and all that jazz.   But anyway, I moved my page over to a different server, so I just can’t do that anymore.  My own opinion about HTMLeditors is that they are too much hassel to use for things that I can generate myself easily.  I have tried many things like Homesite3.0, Dreamweaver2.0, Front Page Express, all that…And still I would just rather spend the time doing it myself.  I also think it is easier to manipulate the contents when you code yourself, since you are writing in exactly the amounts and such that you want.  So blah. That is my two-cents worth.  Sorry about the babbling.  (If you would like to check out my page, it is at http://www.hereintown.net/~moira/index.htm )

Cheers!
spoon lady

——————-

I actively dislike using WYSIWYGs myself because I love having the satisfaction on knowing I typed ALL the code in and know it’s good. If something goes wrong, I know exactly where to look and can get there quick, instead of searching through endless pages of color-coded coding in an editor that, as you said, can sometimes screw up the code anyway. Thank you for your time. Sitekeeper

in response to the thing on your site about text vs frontpage editing… people think text is better because its a sad way of proving their skill i think… similar to linux users who hate windows for the same reason.
Phil

Seems two major reasons are control, and the “satisfaction of knowing I typed ALL the code.” The first of these reasons is reasonably valid, and the second is not (see the third post – this agrees with my reply to the latter reason). It’s synonymous with this situation: You have a document you want to copy. But no, you think using a photocopier is too easy. So, you demonstrate your skill by opening up a word processor, sitting down,  typing out that document word for word, and then printing it out just to show you know how to use Microsoft Word. This seems ridiculous, right? But that’s what’s happening when you want to type out HTML which could be generated in less than half the time using an HTML editor. If I created a page using notepad, I’d be typing for three times as long. Then I’d have to test out the page to make sure I hadn’t screwed up an angled bracket or something (edit in notepad, save, reload in browser, repeat… ad naseum). I’d have to type “>” instead of “>” (etc.) which can get annoying if you have to do it often.

Work Work Work

Stupid accounting practice set. Anyways the Matrix competition for Computing started (see earlier post). If you want to see my program getting whooped by other people’s programs, this address has the results that are updated with each nightly round (updated realtime). My student number is 2251550 if you want to see how I’m going.

  6:50pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Quick Grabs

• Ah, the teachers turn the tables on students : Teachers kill protesting students
• And the bizarre : Dead bodies in disused bank vault
Thanks to Fuzz!

More E/N

New site: Illegal Operation.

In hopes of expanding the already burgeoning number of E/N sites out there, I, Nerv, have opened a small but quasi-dedicated website affectionately called ‘Illegal Operation.’ In hopes varying the content, however, there will be an additive: the first website to feature online lesbian sex live stream video! Who would have thought of that, eh? Here’s the address: http://i-o.8m.com. In order to spread the message that ‘Lewd is Gewd (Good, heh)’ I’d really appreciate it if Hear Ye! could find it their hearts to link to us.  Plus, I can give you a free subscription to the ‘Fat Drunk Chicks’ section of our site reserved for VIP members!  Sweet, no? Thanks in advance, Inferno.

Regards,
Nerv<

That’s the best add request I’ve got for quite a while! Funny and not some mass carbon copied mail. However, can I have my free subscription without the “fat” bit, please? hehe :) Go visit.

Here’s another : You dissin’ me?

  6:50pm (GMT +10.00)  •  E/N  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

What’s an E/N Site?

A quasi-response to this post by Roosh. In Roosh’s post he regards personal stuff as not really part of E/N – but as something additional (maybe of interest, but most probably not). But how many of you can say that you read Shlongor’s car theft story without the slightest bit of interest? Without reaction? I’m sure you’d want to know if he managed to get it back, or what damage was done to it. Through that I found out about Lojack as well (which is unheard of in Aust). Or what about the infamous Geeklife burglery? Yeah, lotsa people skipped that post didn’t they. (Still waiting to hear about getting the perpetrators to turn up to court :)

The term “Everything/Nothing site” was coined by Geeklife. This was probably influenced by the number of EBG-like sites popping up with the words “everything” or “nothing” in their name. Since then, this new genre has been the umbrella term for the myriad of sites you now see on the sidebar. Some people don’t like it, some people don’t understand it, and some people are still wondering “what the hell does E/N stand for??”

As I see it, the term E/N does not detract anything from sites that have been labelled so. I think that some people dislike the term because it associates them with a specific group of sites – it seems to restrict their site’s scope when they want to make it appear different. Having the term “E/N” dumped on your site can lead people to look over your site as “just another one of those E/Ns”. The “nothing” part of E/N also seems to play a more prominent part in the brain than “everything”… something psychological? Obviously, people want to think what they are writing is of at least some significance – not “nothing”.

However, I believe E/N is quite an apt name for these sites, for they literally cover both Everything and Nothing. E/N sites cover basically everything – important world news, contemporary world issues (religion, morality, sex, race etc.), computer games, computer hardware, interesting web sites, the strange and the humourous, and yes, how could it be complete without a little bit on personal life. E/N sites are ultra-general news sites with the addition of bias (sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle), opinion and feedback. It seems that there is something for everyone. Postings made may be of great significance to the E/N site visitor, or of absolutely no significance – this is the nothing part. What some may regard as interesting will be “nothing” to others. Some people just don’t care about Kosovo. Some people just don’t care about Quake 3. But others will.

E/N sites are unrestricted. There’s always news, there’s always controversy. Once the news is no longer new, and the controversy has become repetitive and boring, E/N sites just move on. They can be serious, funny, dull, interesting, cynical and excited – all within the same site. And, sometimes, all within a single day. Being an E/N site means writing about whatever the hell you want. Whether each day, you tailor your posts to your readers, whether you decide to piss people off, whether you tell your most personal stories, whether you’ve got some juicy news you’d like to share, or whether you write “bite me” just cos you feel like it, it’s still all E and all N.

Do you agree? As always, mail me your opinion.

Firstly…

If you don’t get the joke, you’ve had a very, very deprived childhood:

*Gasp*

  6:50pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Humour  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
18
May 99
Tue

UserFriendly Perl Script

Use this perl script I generated to embed the current day’s userfriendly into your web page (via an SSI). I dunno if it violates any copyright or whatever (I’ll check) but it should be ok if you credit it. Mail me if there are probs, I haven’t tested it out much – quick 5 minute job.
• Grab Script | View Readme •

“The ppl at Hear Ye”

Contrary to popular opinion, I am not schizophrenic. There is only one of us. um… I mean me. Yes I meant me! Sorry, slip of the tongue! No! Don’t put me back in that cell!

As you can see

… I decided not to turn up to uni today :)

HTML Editors vs Text Editors

I use FrontPage. So flame me.

There seems to be a view held by some that’s against WYSIWYG HTML editors, and that using text editors like notepad (sidenote: I actually prefer edit.com which auto-indents and recognises unix linebreaks) is the “l33t” way to write web sites. That said, people comment on the nice design of this page. They ask, “What did you do it in?” I reply, “FrontPage.” More often than not, the reaction is a disappointed “oh” or even a disgruntled “ugh”, followed by, “but do you know any HTML code then?” to which I reply, “Well I’ve been writing HTML since 1992 and I don’t think Wysiwyg HTML editors existed then. So, yes, I guess you could say that.” This shuts them up pretty much.

Still, there’s a stigma against these HTML editors, as if the people who used them lacked skill. Sure, you get the people who use Netscape Composer / FrontPage templates to rig a personal web page up in an hour. But really, what is the difference between me generating a page with FrontPage, and doing it with notepad? Only about 10 minutes. I know the <table> tags. Why go to the trouble of typing it out when I can just bung it in with FrontPage? Unless you’ve got a valid reason, like “FrontPage messes up the code and I can’t find anything when I go to hand edit it,” what’s the problem? (BTW FrontPage 2000 has source code preseravtoin… so no more excuses ;). Can someone tell me? Please note I’m talking about those notepad users who actively dislike wysiwygs.

Lyrics.ch

Hey! www.lyrics.ch is back up! Sort of… no lyrics… just album listings.

Cricket

World Cup… www.cricket.org. To Colorless Green Void: Don’t diss cricket! :) It’s not even test, it’s one-day!

Colon.Parenthesis

Damn I’m slow. I just realised. The dollar signs ($) that KillKrazy used in a recent post are basically the equivalent of the smilies we use so often and sub-consciously. (Noting that Kill doesn’t normally use smilies.) It seems almost patronising when he uses “$”, but it’s not patronising if we use :). Interesting.

In an effort to avoid confusion, KillKrazy has added this symbol – $ – to this portion of the update to indicate jokes that you should laugh at, or things that are intended as amusing. Thank you, and please enjoy this update in comfort.

  10:33pm (GMT +10.00)  •  E/N  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Daily Dose o’ E/N

Sigh… so easy to get your site publicised nowadays :) Just shoot a mail off to all the E/N webmasters and it’s instant hits. Anyway the latest site is Broken Links (actually, the first site to just go ahead and totally rip off my comprehensive listing of e/n sites… sheesh :). Check it out. Fixed link to White Ty Affair (why didn’t anyone tell me about it?) More E/N sites (first one from BadAssMofo):

• Salty-dog.net
• Colorless Green Void
• Domain of Eimii

BTW, who are the illiterates who keep linking to me as “Here Ye!”? :Þ

  10:33pm (GMT +10.00)  •  E/N  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Desktops

Why is everyone posting a pic of their desktop now? Actually they are quite interesting for some weird reason… in a voyeuristic type of way. I was actually thinking of creating a gallery of people’s desktops from around the world at one point. Hmm… shouldn’t have used “voyeuristic” and “gallery” in the same paragraph. Now it sounds seedy.

Some time ago I managed to get a screenshot of a Russian Win95 desktop (don’t ask how) – very interesting.

VSU Action Day

Hmmm no Computing lecture tomorrow. Apparently the rally against Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) is “too disruptive” so the uni won’t be holding normal lectures. That leaves me with a maths tutorial run by a crazy Russian woman who can’t speak English, and a 1 hour maths lecture on Integration. Four hours travel to uni for a one hour lecture. Huh. Staying at home tomorrow is looking like a good prospect right now :).

  10:33pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Milestones

• SW:TPM opens in the US real soon now (actually, should be happening around about now). Damn you Yanks. I gotta wait till June 3.
• Netanyahu defeated by Barak in Israeli election.

  10:33pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Movies  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

HAH!

Picked up this African Name Generator link from GeekLife and promptly generated this:

Mah brothers... call me...

  10:33pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Humour  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
16
May 99
Sun

HAHAHA

I rig the polls and you people catch on :)… no one complains, everyone just follows suit hehehe. Hey, if you want to rig polls, do it covertly ;) none of these 15873015873015874.0 scores. And if you’re going to run a poll, make sure the form calling the script is from the same server (or restrict the highest possible score)!

Good god, but did Juseck ever mess up this thing! ::snicker:: I knew that putting 30 in on the button value was kinda asking for it.
– Ramblings

Everything and Nothing

New Sites :

• The SoapBox (no relation… source: Ramblings)
• Loopyweb (which is actually almost a year old)

Matrix Assignment

That post I made about the Matrix assignment… well they released Part two which involves constructing a CGI version of The Matrix. Basically you can do anything you want with the Maze/Matrix – you have to turn it into a game that can be run via the web. You know what that means… when I’m done in a couple weeks, I’ll be posting the link so you can all play it ;). I think I’ll make it an RPG style game… Now it won’t exactly be an Ultima Ascension, but it’ll be like those shareware text based RPGs harking back to the start of this decade. Anyone got any plot ideas?

15
May 99
Sat

Seti At Home

A few months ago I made a post on the Seti at Home program. Well, the Windows Platform version is out. What’s Seti at Home? Click Here.

E/N Vote

Politics… now there’s politics between the e/n community. Interesting to see the poll, how frustrated has the most votes, yet the vote lingers at around 6 point something. I can imagine half the people voting “1” and half voting “10”.

Anyways, here’s the e/n vote page. Or, for a quick favour, just click. Realise that this vote does not mean squat (so feel free to mark me down as a 1 if that makes you happy).

Eee-Nnn

Wowzerz. Wow! An e/n site by a chick! For a grand total of two! (Source: Atroxi/Ramblings/Wherever).

14
May 99
Fri

Matrix

Yeah, well… I saw it again. Got me psyched for the computing assignment (not :). You really pick up a lot more stuff on second viewing. You know the part where Neo gets picked up under the bridge (after he gets “bugged” and before he gets “debugged”?)… I think I pass under that bridge everyday on the way to uni! Just outside Central station… looks like the same bridge, graffiti and all. I don’t think there are any other bridges like that in Sydney.

  6:30pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Movies  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Web Stop

Might want to check out Glyph Designs. Features Y2K Survivalist bumper stickers, Rants and essays and a nice map of Britannia (UO, not UK) you can use as wallpaper. Also, check out Out of Service – home of the Star Wars quiz (source: GeekLife), among other things. The country & Western lyrics generator is a cack :). I managed to generate this with it:

I met her in a treehouse stoned on oatmeal;
I can still recall the neon sign she wore;
She was weighted down with Twinkies in her muu-muu,
and I knew they’d hate her guts in Baltimore;
I promised her I’d change my sex forever;
She said to me our love would never die;
But who’d have thought she’d make it with my best friend;
I never had the chance to say goodbye.

E/N News

• Ramblings is off Xoom at this new addy.
• WTF has now got a red cross next to it… you know what that means.
• New Red Dots.

  6:30pm (GMT +10.00)  •  E/N  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Boredom can sometimes be good…

I only wish I can say I was bored. I have so much work to do. And I thought the last year of high school would be as bad as it would ever get. Hahahaha. I thought wrong. Oh well… six or seven more weeks left in this session (it’s Week 10 now), then a nice one month holiday.

  6:30pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
10
May 99
Mon

How’s Your Eyesight?

Eh? Wot does it say?

Good thing to do with this… Send it to someone who’s working. They’ll have it stuck on their computer screen, and be squinting away at it. People walking by will look and laugh. Use it as wallpaper :). No idea what it says? Highlight —> Increase distance from screen until words are visible.

  10:40pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Humour  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Assignment 2, Stage 2

This is scary. As soon as I finish Stage 1 of the computing assignment they release Stage 2. Give us a break! But that’s not the scary bit. They based this assignment on The Matrix (?!). It’s all about having this Maze (called a “Matrix”), and programming AI for the bad guys (the agents) to chase the good guy (the “person”) who has to visit as many rooms of the Matrix as possible. Hehe I have a friend who’s a programming guru and he’s turned up in trenchcoat and sunnies a few days now. We started calling him “Neo” and “The One”. But now since the assignment specs came out today, if he wins the competition part of the assignment, I can justifiably call him that :) hah! If you’re bored, read through the assignment specs and mail me if you have any good strats for evading agents (or chasing “the person”) in a maze (no code, just strategies).

  10:40pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
9
May 99
Sun

Stress Week

Wow it’s been one whole week since I last posted. There’s an explanation for this (as always). If there’s one subject that’s time consuming, it’s computing. Had to finish a computing assignment, and had to study for the computing practical exam. Throw that in with an Algebra test you haven’t studied for, an accounting essay, and ICQ (absolutely bloody useless when you want to get work done ~200 messages in one hour is a lot of damn typing!) and you have a recipe for a busy and frustrating week. Well I got my Maze AI program out, think I got a 10 for the prac exam (sidenote – apparently UNIX crashed on someone while they did their prac exam… I hate to think of what would happen if they made us sit the exam on Windows boxes), did the accounting and guessed through the Vectors test. And I still managed to fit in something for Mum for today :).

  11:40pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Life  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Guy shoots person who had a crush on him

Hey, I mean, how would you feel if someone told national television they had a crush on you? And they were the same gender as you? (And you were straight, of course). Crazy stuff.

Kosovo – Nato Bombing Embassy

They bombed the Chinese Embassy? By mistake? Hah, bit coincidental if you ask me :). I can just imagine it, Nato HQ, after the embassy scored two direct hits… “That’ll teach those damn slanties to veto our vote.” Bloody Nato.

E/N Activity

EBG is still out. Roosh went down again. I got wind of this. KillKrazy shut his site down. Broke and still in bad health, hope he gets better soon :). But now he’s back. Admire his dedication. Archived gun posts to May archive.

  11:40pm (GMT +10.00)  •  E/N  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 
3
May 99
Mon

Guns Debate

If you check out Schlyer’s post “Silly liberals, personal attacks are for kids”. Just for the record, I don’t exactly endorse personal attacks (in cases like this), but I don’t censor mail either. Schlyer has a reply on his page, about it.

2
May 99
Sun

The Phantom Menace Soundtrack in MP3s!

Go and grab them before they get yanked off the net!

EBG Declares Closing

“Sorry we’re closed”. What does it mean? I really dunno. Link. Thanks to Theseus who alerted me over ICQ. Someone’s jacking with our minds…

E/N Site Update

These ones got posted to me:

• Simpleminded.org – run by Theseus
• The Heatsink – run by Arcilite

And these ones were found from various places.

• Propane
• Marlin’s Place
• The Abode of the Fallen Angel
• Fuzzy’s Logic
• Knightly News

Here I am, watching the load time for this page shoot up. And they said E/Ns were dying.

  9:46pm (GMT +10.00)  •  E/N  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Miscellaneous Links

• How to do a shit on a Japanese-style toilet (the squat down ones). Thanks to Kev (I think)
• Find the nine people in this picture. Dammit – I could only find eight.

eBay

The weird stuff that happens on eBay. This time it’s a “real live human” on auction for (only) $500. He’ll do anything that’s legal for you, for one whole year. As long as you feed him and give him shelter, and pay for his plane fare over to your place. Link here. You know what? This may seem strange in the West. But in Asia, many families hire a maids (like from the Philippines – spelling wrong, I know). They can’t benchpress 100+ kg, but they don’t eat that much either.

  9:46pm (GMT +10.00)  •  Internet  •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment  • 

Gun Debate Responses

Here’s an ultra-lengthy and ultra-comprehensive response. Thanks Jason! Lotta time went into this epic.

I know this may be a bit late, but I have to (yes, egotistically) vent some feelings about this little gun-control/high-school-massacre debate that seems to have been raging on all the E/N sites lately. Simplified, the question seems to be, “will gun control help curb the violence in American society?” One side gives their answer: “well, it seems to have helped in other countries such as Canada and Australia–granted, it may not be ‘The Answer,’ but it certainly couldn’t hurt to attempt to take those wacky killing machines out of people’s hands–after all, said machines make it tremendously easy to kill people, which, last time we checked, was kind of a bad thing. Oh yeah, and guns also tend to hurt the cute wittle defenseless animals wif their cute wittle big doe eyes and furry coats of fur that are all fluffy soft and fun to rub. So, yeah, banning guns could probably stop that, too– (Wait, omigod, what’s that, a cockroach? Disgusting creature! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it dead! stomp it NOW!!)” The other side then rebuts (cause and effect have not been working properly in my mind all evening–mere hours ago I finished reading _Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency_, and Douglas Adams tends to do strange things to me, so it could very well be that this second opinion is actually the first that has lately been put forth while the first opinion really is the rebuttal–but such technicalities, ultimately, don’t really matter, do they?): “No! If you take away our guns, if you take away our right to bare (oops, I’m sorry, bear) arms, then you might as well take away our right to urinate freely in the wind. Owning guns is a Gosh-given right that is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and taking that away would go against the law of this land. And if you start taking things like that away from us, you might eventually start taking away other efficient hurting-devices, such as my rather beautiful cutlery set filled with butcher and steak knives. Were that to happen, with what would I be expected to so carefully slice my tough little slab of venison on which I am dining tonight? Besides, I’ve grown accustomed to sleeping with little Joey beside me in bed at night. Joey? Oh, he’s m’ double barreled, sawed off shotgun.” Got it? Okay, so maybe I took a few liberties on the opinions. But, essentially, that’s how it’s been…And I have yet to really hear my opinion, this opinion–not in so many words. Here goes:

Gun control doesn’t matter. I won’t go too much into the philosophical/admittedly shaky pseudo-scientific reasoning (bear in mind the book I just finished reading, and essentially Douglas Adams’ entire body of  “cause-and-effect-deficient” work, and you get the general idea). Also read the book _Gravity’s Rainbow_ by Thomas Pynchon (if you can manage to decipher it) and you may get a better idea. Anyway, on to my opinion: I personally don’t think that gun control is terribly relevant, not in an effectual (or causal) sort of way. Yes, Australia and Canada (and other countries–sorry, I’m not up on my knowledge of various political/social climates in foreign nations) have lower crime-rates/mortality-rates-due-to-shootings. Yes, those countries have gun control. But–and I apologize to anyone from those countries who is particularly proud of their gun control legislation and is offended by my statement–but so what? Is there proof that such legislation has actually had any impact whatsoever on that society? Did gun control somehow shape the trend of nonviolence in said countries, or is gun control merely a result of the society–the society that (perhaps) already places less emphasis on violence/glorification of violence? I honestly and truly don’t know the answer, but I would be willing to bet that the latter is actually the case. If anybody has any legitimate statistics and/or proof that gun control has actually made some sort of noticeable difference in any nation’s violent crime rate, I would be interested.

Now, for a moment, think about American society. Frightening, isn’t it? We (yeah, I’m American) are unique in the world; we are unique in history–unique in almost every way, it seems. This, of course, includes our strange…preoccupation…with violence. Maybe we haven’t seen enough real violence in this country. (Hmm, nope–The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Vietnam–heck, the crime that we’re exposed to on the nightly news)…Okay, cause and effect, as I am so fond of stating, is infinitely complicated, and I won’t really attempt to precisely delineate *why* we are so fixated on violence–but let’s think about it for a moment. America is a large nation, with a federal government. The states that are represented in said federal government are extremely diverse–visit New York, then visit Dallas, then visit Nashville, then visit Omaha, Nebraska–with a rather large amount of ethnic diversity (and I’m not just talking about black/white/hispanic; even within the 13 original colonies, from the very beginning–we are a nation of immigrants–or emigrants, depending on how you look at it). And, for such a large nation, we’ve been remarkably free. We’ve accommodated vastly different ideas and great disparity in thinking over our life-span. Now, combine a number of different people from different countries with different ideas into a single nation (and even a single area) and stir it with a great big stick called Democracy. What happens? Hatred. Lynch mobs. Outright racism. The KKK. Heck, even Civil War. People respond violently toward each other when they are both threatened and free enough to respond with violence. Granted, I’m cynical–I don’t have a favorable view of human nature, and I believe that, if left to their own devices, people will be remarkably reactive to each other–and definitely violent. Still, shouldn’t America’s past teach us that violence is bad and that it only ends in bloodshed? Well…no. At some point came along this thing called “Hollywood,” and the entertainment industry soon followed (now don’t get your panties in a knot, I’m not blaming anything at all on the Media). They capitalized on our violent tendencies — tendencies that, for one reason or another (perhaps *because* of our freedom–our freedom to feel and to act out according to our nature?) are consistently not very far from our conscious mind. Somewhere along the line, they realized that violence attracts larger audiences–not to mention sex, the close cousin of violence. You follow all of these things to their logical end, and you reach 1999 when mindless action movies such as…well, any Schwarzeneggar flick, or Jean Claude Van-Damme flick, or whomever…are common place.

But does any of this “prove” anything? Does it prove why America is so violent? What about the French Revolution, what about Hitler, what about Napoleon, what about Communism? What about the Crusades? What about Ghengis Khan? Does not violence merely beget more violence? Europe has suffered, too. What of their crime rates? Why are their young people not shooting each other so much? And what about Jackie Chan, and all of those Asian Kung-Fu flicks? Why aren’t the Chinese all beating each other up all the time?

I don’t know. I *do* know that America is different–has always been different. And the fact remains–our society *is* violent. Not oppressively violent–we don’t have soldiers in the streets. But we glorify violence. No, we’re past gun control, way past gun control. Maybe if gun control had been put into effect in the early 19th century, or even earlier–maybe if the founding fathers had been less concerned with spreading freedom throughout the land (and with preventing tyranny), maybe if guns and militias were not necessary for survival in a fledgling nation such as theirs–who knows? Perhaps if the United States had not even been created, perhaps if the states had all gone their separate ways, or somehow stuck it out under the Articles of Confederation (with a mere modification to the Articles rather than a drafting of a whole new Constitution). But, as I stated earlier, I still feel that gun control is an effect rather than a solution. Gun control won’t work in our country. It will simply make owning a gun illegal. And what will that do? Smoking pot is illegal. Underage drinking is illegal. Prostitution is illegal. I need not spell it out any further, but I will. Gun control is not a solution–it *causes* nothing to happen.

However.

Gun control is hardly evil. It is absolutely not logical to say that taking away our right to carry guns is the first step to infringing on our other rights. You know, “freedom” (as defined by some–that is, freedom from governmental regulation) *really* isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What is the end result of this “freedom?” Anarchy. Therefore, Freedom=Anarchy. Anarchy=Freedom. Um, not last time I checked. Anarchy is about as far from true freedom as you can get. The problem of American government (well, I mean, the problem inherent to the “system”) is this: how do we balance regulations and restrictions with individual liberties to allow the majority of people to lead a prosperous life of their own choosing while upholding and protecting the rights of the minority? That is the question, that is the problem. Is any sort of satisfactory answer possible? I don’t know. It seems that some want more restrictions, and want fewer restrictions. To me it seems kind of arbitrary.

So, what is gun control, really? What is it to America, what is it to the American system? Basically, it’s politics. It’s just like any other issue. Abortion. Gay rights. Welfare. Gun control (again, here I am with my cynicism) is simply an excuse for some self righteous politician (i.e., Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, whomever) to get up and preach to you. It’s an excuse for them to look beautiful and to tell you that they’re doing something good for you, something good for the country, it’s their excuse for holding their office, for holding their power. It’s the reason for their eloquent speeches that make you love them, that make you worship them. As is just about everything else these days, it seems. No–gun control is, in reality, arbitrary. It’s an emotional issue, and it helps to get votes. And, in American politics, that’s what matters.

But we still face Colorado, don’t we? There are still real lives involved, aren’t there? Enforcing stricter laws won’t “bring healing” to the parents, the grandparents, the siblings, and the friends of the dead. Arguing an ultimately moot point on an E/N site seen by relatively few people won’t bring anybody back to life; it won’t reverse the trends in our society–it won’t heal what is wrong with the human race. I’m about to wax religious, but I’ll save you from that. Since Littleton, everybody has been obsessed with arguing about causes: what caused the shooting? How can we prevent it? Was it the guns? Was it the movies and the video games? Was it the society? Was it the parents? Was it the taunting and teasing from peers? But…I don’t know. Why did it have to be anything? Couldn’t this just be some sort of bizarre coincidence? Maybe this sort of thing just isn’t preventable. Maybe there are no causes, or the causes are way too complex for our puny brains to comprehend. Our country has taken its course; we are what we’ve become–a product of our past. Is there any way to stop it? Maybe some people are fated to snap. Maybe some people are just going to do that, and they come from good homes with good parents, and they’re smart and well adjusted and Christian (or Buddhist or Jewish), but they just…can’t take it. Maybe nothing causes it, maybe it’s nobody’s fault. Maybe it’s everybody’s fault. Who knows?

Of this I am certain: politics in America is/are (I’m not sure if “politics” is plural or singular) BS. What’s important is safety. Protecting people from others, protecting people from themselves–to a point, of course–is important; protecting your loved ones is important. It’s important, it really is. But if we become so caught up in protection and safety and getting our own way that we forget what it is we are trying to protect (that is, our fellow human beings), then we entirely forget what it’s all about–not safety and not protection, but love. If it were somehow possible for us to put aside our political affiliation, our political stance, for just one measly second, if we were actually to sit down and, out of pure love for our fellow man, attempt to determine a solution–mind you, not an “easy” solution or a solution that makes everybody happy and giddy, but, instead, a working solution–then, could any good come of it? Or is this just idealistic nonsense that says that people are really capable of putting aside their own selfish motives (deep inside, I’m an idealist, really I am)? Again, and everybody say it with me now, I don’t know. Simply because of my religious affiliation, I would have to say…well, no. But who am I? And what do I know?

Well, I’ll stop. You can tell I’m really bored–writing about this stuff at 3:15 on Saturday morning in the computer lab at school. You’re right, I have no life. I apologize for the length of this thing, but it’s all been bugging me a lot lately. Anyway, I like your site and everything–it’s one of the few that I try to check every day, so keep it up. And thanks for listening.

Jason

——————–

>It is part of being American. Its part of being free.
> Its called the 2nd Ammendment to our Constitution.
> “…shall have the right to keep and bear arms.”

GO TO HELL. If you think “being free” is somethign that has been put into clauses in a 200yr old document you are wrong. The men who wrote that OWNED SLAVES. Guns in their time took 90 seconds to reload and were incapable of solo massmurder. The document is their opinion of what being free is. Not the be-all-and end-all definition!! In my opinion “being american” means believing the Constitution is INFALLIBLE… well just go to hell alright, it isnt! Other constitutions around the world condemn owning guns, are you saying your founding fathers were right and mine were wrong???

>These kids were going to blow up their school and kill
>plenty of kids whether they had guns or not.

BUT A FEW LESS WILL DIE IF THE MURDERER DIDNT MURDER WITH HIS DADS SHOTGUN, IF THERE WERE GUN LAWS IN PLACE.

>You can’t stop crazy people from doing crazy things
>without limiting the actions of everybody.

IMPORTANT BIT:
true. unless you think owning a gun is a freedom worth having. fireworks have been banned for safety reasons. people accepted that. there was no huge outcry for freedom over this, so why cant guns be controlled for safety reasons??????????

>And I’m not willing to sacrifice my daughter’s freedom for
>her safety.  Especially when banning guns will not make
>her any more safe from freaks like the kids in Colorado.

Go to hell! You are an idiot ok! I’m sorry I don’t like getting personal, but when you talk of your daughters life so flippantly I just get mad! Are you saying you’d rather she had the ‘freedom’ to own a fun than was sage from being shot at school????? What if there is a “freak” in your state, at your daughter’s school who finds his dad’s shotgun and kills your daughter. How will you feel about her “freedom” then?????? If you saw a kid with his dad’s fun blow away your daughter would you truly say, “Oh well at least we live in a land of freedom???” Fricking Hell!!!ELL!!!
Phil

[Mail edited to erase all caps – Indents are referring to Schyler’s mails]

Whoa getting a bit crazy here. I think we can close up the matter here and move on… at least, until the next shooting occurs.



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