As you can see, I've decided to post Chairman Mao up on my site. Some of you will know where this came from, other's (like my family) will have no clue. For those of you that don't know, this is #97 in Mao paintings that Andy Warhol did. Some of my favorite paintings are Warhol's Mao's.
Over this past summer, Los Angeles was really lucky to have a retrospective of Warhol's work at the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA). At the exhibit I found myself amazed at the body of work that they had compiled together: Campbells Soup Cans, Daisy's, Superman (which is the most expensive Warhol painting.)
The one picture that struck me more than others was the one Mao painting that they had there, Mao 1973. This painting was incredible, and the first time that I had ever seen a painting so commanding, so ominous and beautiful. It was amazing.
Maybe you could say that it was love at first sight, Mao and myself. When I entered the museum, and then turned right, our eyes met for the first time, and he smiled at me. (Obviously he was looking and smiling at everyone, but at that moment, it was me and the Chairman.) I blushed.
Other paintings that were on display were great, but there's something about a man that killed millions of people, whose head hangs ominously over the entrance to a cultural center, that makes you smile. Too bad he didn't do a Stalin!
I think I'm going to make that one of my goals in life: to own a Mao and hang it in my house. Obviously not for very long, but I've always wanted a Mao hanging on my wall. I think I'd just stare at it. Maybe I'd stop working altogether, and just stare at him. No, seriously, I'm contemplating this. It's going to take me until I reach the age of retirement, but damn it, Mao will be mine.
Yes, I have a new goal in life. Eternal Salvation - for chumps; First Million - for people with nothing better to do in their lives. For me, it's Mao! Mao! Mao!
Here is how the story goes:
Last Thursday, I was preparing to go to a conference called OpenGov02, hosted by the California First Amendment Coalition on the San Jose State University campus. This conference was concerning transperancy in government, access to government, and the problems facing our society by having a government that does not allow its people to have proper availability to the reasons to its decisions.
I prepared well. I researched new programs the government has set up concerning surveillance and accountability for invading more and more of the privacy of its citizens. Some of these are: CAPPS II, Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System; the "Total Information Awareness" system that is being created by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, established to keep a massive database of citizens and their movements by collecting information derived from Internet activity, credit reports, FBI files, Social Security information, etc (a really evil database as far as I am concerned, and maybe I'll go into that another time); and the FBI anti-terrorism database that will preform pretty much the same service to the intelligence community. Most of these systems and their information are being collected without court warrant and thru subpeona from businesses who are not protected under the 4th amendment to withhold information from government agencies. Like I said, evil stuff.
So, the night before, I downed four shots of espresso at, mmmm, 10 p.m. I went for a run at about, mmmm, 11 p.m. And, well, I didn't get to bed until about 3 a.m. I had to be up at 7 a.m. and be in San Jose by 9:30 a.m.
This was my first major assignment for my Newswritting course. Oh. This was big. This was a reporting assingment: researching, going to a conference, taking quotes and major points and creating an article out of what information you collected. Major. And I, well, I could barely move. I hurt so bad the next morning, that I started to fall asleep during the assignment, and only got partial quotes. Oh. This article was going to be terrible. I knew it.
Well, I didn't write the article until Saturday night, hoping that if I put it off long enough, I could get really drunk and give myself an excuse for the terrible writting that I would turn in. I didn't get drunk, but I fretted over the thing until I finished. It was crap, it was the worst thing I thought had ever come out of me, and to me, this was the deciding factor if I was going to keep up with this thing called journalism.
Today, in class, Johnson (that is my professor) handed back every paper except for two. One, being mine. As sweat poured down my forehead, I knew that this was my decision to stay or not: if it was a "this is what not to do" example, I was going to walk out of the class right there and then.
"I picked these two articles as examples of good writing in this class" is what he said more or less. Mine as an example of good writing! I couldn't believe it! And he handed me and the other student his "Golden Notepad Award" for a job well done! Ha! The only problems he had with it was that I had a lot of AP style problems with it. That's stuff that I knew was wrong with it, but because I thought it was such crap, I decided to just leave them in. Instead, those brought the paper down! Holy Crap!
Well, lessoned learned.
As you can see, there is a new picture up on the site. That's a picture my friend Andrew took of me when we went to London and Dublin this past December. Just Andrew and myself. That was a lonely Christmas. All we had were each other, and some warm alcohol. (Nothing like that you sick-o!)
The pub was only open for a few hours, and because we didn't have any company except for that pub, we decided to go down and hang out with the families that had congregated. I thought that was amazing, a family actually goes down to have a drink together. Not just Mom, dad and the other adults, I mean all relatives go down for a drink, including the children! Obviously the kids don't drink though.
There are some other pictures of Andrew and myself in London and Dublin. I'm hoping that I can get my hands on a few of them so I can post them. Hopefully soon I'll have a digital camera and be able to post new pictures up on the website of me here at school. As time goes on though, I will be posting different pictures, off and on.
Recently, I received some comments about this site from some unsavory characters. Writing as Paddy m and ger doyle and Chris, these three slandered me for comments that I had made concerning the Irish and the Irish language in a previous post. How cute! So in rebuttal to these comments, I have this to say:
1. Tiocfaidh Ar Lia was how it was spelt for me by an Irish man at the bar. Yes, misspelled by an Irish man that was obviously drunk off his f@#$ing rocker. According to Paddy m (which is a slanderous name to begin with), this is actually spelt: Tiocfaidh Ar La. I missing an 'i'. Wow, what a little, vindictive people.
2. If you want to verbally assault me for misspelling some words from a language which I have only ever heard at bars here in the states, as well as in Dublin, try speaking my language correctly if you want to get your point across. Threatening to put me in a box and send me to "Polland" (which is spelt Poland - one l you dumbass!) will get you nowhere, ger doyle; but threatening me without using the proper structure for a sentence, as well as just words that do not go together in a sentence, makes you look even dumber than you really are.
3. I happen to be the great-great-grandson of an Irish man that come to the U.S. during the potato famine. I happen to have Irish blood coarsing threw me. Would I ever disrespect him. No? Have I here? Not at all, and I never will.
4. Is the Irish language older than English? Maybe, but that has no relevance on this website because I was telling a f@#king joke. Tell me Paddy, ger, and Chris, when did the Irish lose their sence of humor? Dipshits.
After finishing homework last night, Jon, Jason and myself decided that we'd have a few drinks and play a little black jack for money. Not a bad idea, its been a couple of hard days for the three of us: Jason almost got jumped at the BART station in Pleasanton; Jon has gotten his car broken into three times now; and I've had just heard some news about a good friend of mine that makes me really sad.
So BEER AND POKER it is! Ha! I was winning, naturally! I'd never win in Vegas, but in San Francisco, I AM KING! It was fun. I had a good time. But... something wasn't right...
"Does anyone wanna go and get In-n-Out?" I asked. Jason got this look on his face that I can only describe as "predator."
"What time does it close?" Jason responded. And before I could get 2:00 a.m. out of my big mouth, Jason and Jon were rushing for their shoes. We knew that we'd need to run to the car if we were going to make it.
Problem is, the car is about a mile away! Jason and I sprint: down stairs - across the patio - across the parking structure - down more stairs - through the bungalos - up a flight of stairs - across the street - to my car in the back of the parking lot. Jon, well, we lost him around the parking structure. We told him we'd be back for him. Hopefully.
By the time we hit the car, Jason and I were about to throw up. We'd lost all desire to eat and we'd both decided that we'd quit smoking about the flight of stairs. One thing that surprised me though, is Jason works out, and I kick his butt! "Uh huh, its my birthday."
We ended up not going to In-n-out (tragedy), and I don't think Jon made it home last night...
and I'm one of them. What is this amount of people you might ask? Well, this is the amount of people that are without health insurance in the United States. Yep. Almost 50 million people in the U.S. do not have health insurance. I am one of these people. This number rose to 14.6 percent of the population in 2001 according to the New York Times, which reported this on Sept. 30th.
Why? Why are this many people without health insurance? Well, for me it is the result of not being able to pay for it. I'm on federal help already so that I can get through school. And I still have to pay this back when I'm finished.
I also have another question: If $100 billion to $200 billion will be used to oust Saddam, where are the politicians that actually care what is happening to their own people, and not some person that 'might' have weapons of mass destruction? What if my arm blows off in some freak accident with a faulty gas line in the city? Or, what if I get some weird illness, like scarlet fever, and I need medicine, and I can't afford it... and they want to oust some a-hole because he might have weapons of mass destruction?
I'm not even someone that has it bad. What about the people that needed to take an ambulance the last couple weeks and now owe a hospital thousands of dollars that they can't afford!?
Yeah, lets bomb Iraq! What a great idea! Oh and then lets give those Enron guys, and WorldCom guys, and Tyco guys, and how many other countless a-hole executives more cash because SURPRISE! they're not going to jail! None of them! I think anyone that can screw that many people and the government lets them get away with it deserve cash prizes! "Thanks Ken Lay, I'll spend this million on a shower curtain I've always wanted!"
Isn't anyone else really pissed off!