Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TMI Tuesday #149

I know it's a day few days late, but I'm doing it anyway.

1. What is the one thing you would change about your body?

I wouldn't like to have as much body hair. =\ I actually have another answer I'd like to write, but it's going to be really long so I'll save it for another time.

2. What is the one personality trait you would change?

I'd like to be more focused. I'd like to be able to start something and finish it. I don't like how I try to justify my procrastination.

3. What is the one thing about your job you would change?

I would like to have a job. Period.

4. What is the one thing about your home you would change?

I'd like to have my own place if I could afford it. The floor in my parents' kitchen could use replacing though. Some of the mouldings could use replacing too.

5. What is the one thing about your Significant Other you would change?

Just having an S/O would be nice right now. Messing with the details can come later.

6. Who is the one person you would poof out of your life and why?

This one is really hard. I don't think there's anyone I'd really like to get rid of. Even in a joking sense. My family and friends add a depth to my life I wouldn't have without them.

7. Who is the one person you would poof back in and why?

This is almost the same as #6. I wouldn't really want to change anything. I have a 'let it be' philosophy. However, I would probably ask for my uncle back. He died too young.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Confusion of Language

Returning to my entry from August sixth, I'd like to discuss two specific examples of 'the disconnect between what people say and what they mean.' Perhaps a better way to put it would be the double-interpretation of words or phrases.

On a recent outing a friend of mine brought one of these such phrases to my attention. That phrase being 'slept with.' As in, "I slept with him/her." This could be interpreted in one of two ways. First, that the individual literally and platonically slept with the person in question, or second, that the individual had sex with the person in question. Today, most people would assume the latter meaning over the former. The problem with this is that there is no way to be sure how the message will be interpreted without being explicit in the details. "I slept with him/her" is far more subtle than "I had sex with him/her."

Consider the following scenario: Person A tells Person B that they 'slept with' Person C. Person B misunderstands Person A's meaning and tells Person D that Person A and Person C had sex. Person D tells Person E, who tells Person F, and so on. Eventually Person C comes to Person A angry, because the rumour made its way to their partner and their relationship is now standing on shards of broken glass. This is of course, a worst-case scenario, but it demonstrates the potential fallout from the misinterpretation of language. The message is clear: say what you intend to say plainly, and make sure the other person knows what you mean. (Really, it would help all us unperceptive folks.)

My second example is more specific, and involves the use of the word 'girlfriend.' When a man uses the word 'girlfriend' the meaning is usually clear: it's his romantic interest. When a woman uses the term, it's simply a friend. But what if that woman is a lesbian? Does she mean a romantic interest or a platonic friend?

There is also a double standard here. If a man where to use the term 'boyfriend' he may be accused of being gay, even if he only meant it in a platonic sense. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay; it is simply that in some social circles being gay is considered undesirable and some people may wish to avoid that association.

I think there is definitely a muddying of the waters and a 'communication breakdown' occurring in the modern vernacular. Political correctness may have something to do with this, but that is a topic for another time. (Sorry segue fans.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TMI Tuesday #148

Ugh. It's been a week and I haven't done a proper post since last week's TMI Tuesday. Oh well.

1. Are you truly politically correct? Be honest.

I try to be, but I'm honestly not. I do not think facts should be subject to political correctness.

2. Will you ever streak in public during rush hour?

Hahahahahaha! No.

3. Would you ever do something sexual in public (more than 20 people around)?

It's highly, highly, unlikely.

4. Do you ever not have good table manners?

Probably. I do my best to be polite, but I'm not anal about it. I don't bother with switching my knife and fork from hand to hand depending on what I'm doing.

5. Do you ever fantasize about a public sexual act? Describe.

No, I don't. (But I probably will now...)

Bonus: Have you ever gone through a true sexual fantasy? Describe.

No, I haven't. But I would like to. (Doesn't everyone want their fantasies to come true?)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TMI Tuesday #147

1. What is your favorite song to have sex to?

I haven't actually had the opportunity to try this out. I think "Crimson & Clover" would be a good choice, as well as "Kashmir." "Wolf Moon" has some erotic symbolism. A lot of people talk about "Closer" but I just don't get what they see in it. Classical is probably another good choice.

2. What is your vision of hell?

I don't believe in Hell, but if I did I would picture it something like this. Mostly because I like the idea of Hell being ironic. Although Dante's depiction of Hell in The Divine Comedy is classic.

3. In the film made of your life, who will play you?

I do all my own stunts.

4. What is the one thing you most urgently need to tell your mom?

I honestly can't think of anything that urgently needs to be said.

5. What will be carved onto your tombstone?

"I was as you are; I am what you will be. Remember your mortality. Seize the day." Preferably in Latin.

Bonus: What is your drag name (which would be, first name: the name of your first pet; last name: the name of the street you grew up on)?

Piper Seven. (It sounds more like a callsign than a drag name.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

An Update

An entry posted on the Pharyngula blog is discussing some of the themes addressed in one of my previous posts, TMI Tuesday on Marriage. The entry and comment thread can be found here.

I've also decided to add Pharyngula to the sidebar.

Here's hoping there's a good TMI Tuesday tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Brave New Philosophy

Sorry, it's not really about Aldous Huxley or his works.

One thing I've been noticing more and more lately about modern language is that there is often a disconnect between what people say and what they actually mean. I think that peoples' grasp of the English language is degrading. Not to say that its devolving, there's no such thing. The English language is evolving, but not in what I would consider a progressive way. You need only watch Fox News for a short period of time before a pundit uses 'liberal' in a context that is far more suited to perhaps 'socialist' or 'communist.' This is at best the result of ignorance. At worst, it is willful misrepresentation. People are letting connotations carry more weight than actual denotation.

I've also noticed another trend. To put it in a phrase: "You cannot be X because you are Y." People are defining other people not just by who or what they are, but who or what they aren't. More and more an 'Us' and 'Them' mentality is developing. This is frightening. This type of mentality often, and perhaps inevitably, results in conflict. A divided population less attuned to the subtleties of the English language, combined with powerful rhetoric can be dangerous. We have see the results of this combination before. Revolutionary Russia. Israel and Palestine. South Africa during Apartheid. The United States during the civil rights movement. Quebec during the FLQ crisis. There are many other factors involved in each of these scenarios of course, but I believe that these two are common to all of them.

This lack of education and social division are issues that must be addressed by our societies if we wish to progress in a manner that is beneficial to all. (Here come the pundits, calling me a communist.)

I want to make a point. I want to prove that I am not merely 'X.' I can also be 'Y.' Schools of thought are not mutually exclusive. There are merits and drawbacks to every system of thought, and to limit oneself to a single philosophy is foolhardy.

I am a liberal. (But I could also be called a conservative or socialist as far as economic matters are concerned.)

I am an agnostic, and an atheist.

I am a feminist, and an environmentalist.

I am a metaphysical naturalist, an existentialist, a nihilist, a humanist, a rationalist, a neo-objectivist, a materialist and physicalist, a stoic and a skeptic, a hedonist and an epicurean.

P.S. Storyteller, I'm happy that that conversation went as well as it did and I'm glad my honesty is appreciated.