Tuesday, January 14, 2003


The mom walks into her small child's room, "I'm so proud of your reading Johnny." "Thanks mom," the son replies through a smile. "Well son, put your book away. It is time for you to sleep," said the mom while kissing her son goodnight. The child growled and screamed, "No! You can't take my book away! I don't want to stop reading, and everyone else is doing it anyway." With a tear and a sigh, the mother resigns, letting the child continue on with its self-destructive reading habits.

The events described above plague millions of parents everynight. Sure, expensive ad campaigns make it seem nice, but is your child being hooked on phonics really a blessing? To many, it is a curse. "We've tried everything from cold turkey to 12 step Phonitrol patches," confessed a mother who wishes to remain anonymous, "but nothing works. My daughter is in college and we just caught her pawning her text books for more Reading Skill Development Products."

Selma Kellis, senior research analyst at the Center for Reading Control, says there is nothing to worry about, "There is absolutely no concrete evidence that RSDPs have any adverse effects on people. We've been testing them on lab mice for years; no addiction was observed." Leonard McPhygus, chairperson of Parents Against Reading Aids, responded, "Dude, rats can't even read. Their research is pointless; it's insanedonculous." Kellis rebutted, "The last time that I checked, insanedonculous isn't a word. Don't listen to a word PARA says; it's all lies. Besides, the exposure to RSDPs isn't all of the experiment. Sometimes we shock or throw things at the mice, and sometimes we let the janitor play with them. He can't read either."

Although RSDPs may or may not be addictive, or even bad for you, it is important to understand the social pressures surrounding and causing children to use these products. "I do it for acceptance. I wasn't really peer pressured, per se, so much as people just didn't talk to me when they found out I couldn't read. I got left out of a lot of activities, such as reading things," explained one high school student, "Now, I go through a Super-Reader pack every day." This requirement for acceptance has even infiltrated public school functions; certain book clubs completely excluded children who choose not to learn how to read. A certain book club sponsor denied this accusation, "That's absurd. We don't tell anyone they can't be in our club. It just happens that kids who don't like reading don't want to be in our book clubs. It's not like we're elitist or anything like that."

Fortunately, stricter rules are making it easier for children who don't want to read just to remain fashionable. The president of one high school's anti-reading protest group was expelled from the group after a scandal revealing that he read some of the works of Thoreau. "I only read for inspiration sometimes. I'm not hooked I swear. I can quit anytime I want," said the former president in his defense. Hopefully he learned his lesson. Reading is clearly becoming a problem in this nation, and it needs to stop.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

OOPS I FORGOT TO BLOG I wasn't able to updatde my blog last week; I guess it just got too busy. Any time that I wasn't listening to a speaker, testifying for my caucus's amendment, or traversing the nation's capitol, I was playing foosball (or sleeping). However, I met lots of cool people and left with new knowledge. For example, California is exactly the same as Florida, except it's on another coast and it's different. Also, being humorous is apparently the key to improving your life. Being from the northeast is key for saying "wicked" in front of everything without sounding stupid.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

KICKIN' BACK AT THE NYLC I just checked into the national 4H Center in Washington for my week long National Young Leaders Conference. The Center has some nice internet access, so perhaps I'll be able to update my blog throughout the week.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

IN A SWIMMER'S DREAMS. Everyone picks on Hollywood for one reason or another. Some condemn Hollywood for inundating children with images that glorify violence, sex, and drugs. I condemn it for misleading people to believe that, if they become a competitive swimmer, there's a chance they'd have one or more fans for it. I was recently floored when a teammate of mine suggested that the whole swim team watch the movie Swimfan as a group. I was baffled, too; how could any swimmer not realize that the movie would be horrible without needing to see it? Any movie running on the premise that a swimmer had a fan other than his mom or dad is doomed to be just as lame as its premise. Maybe I'm only reacting as a result of my environment. Sure, swimming isn't very popular where I live, and perhaps I'm a poor sport about it. However, I doubt that the movie's plot happening in real life in any way is plausible, no matter what part of the world you live in. It's not like anyone's ever been hospitalized as a result of attending a post-swimmeet party unless it was because they fell into a coma from sheer boredom, and I'm not sure as to whether a post-swimmeet party has ever occured. None of this is what ultimately matters, and that is that there's someone out there that likes swimming and has enough money to waste on a movie that can't help but be lame. If I can find that person, perhaps I can come up with a scheme to get him or her to give me lots of money. If that doesn't work, I can just write a movie with that as the plot; it's more plausible than Swimfan.

Saturday, August 03, 2002

PSYCHIC SECURITY. For years I have dreamed about getting the chance to turn the whole world upside down, and now I finally get my chance. It turns out that you don't have to spend money to be defrauded and lied to by psychics. Just remember you read it here and not in some silly over-rated newspaper or magazine. A group of people and I just had a splendid chat with our neighborhood security guard. Luckily for our safety, this highly-skilled defense warrior also happens to be the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter of an Indian. As a result, she can detect and read auras and vibrations, and is told certain things about the future by spirits. We can also rest assured that she's not fake, because a fake would try to do something to help those in need or worse, try to exploit her power. This guard won't exploit any of her powers, because her Native American heritage forbids her from interfering with the spirits. Fortunately for us, she could afford to use her powers to read our futures. I, for one, will go into a service occupation, get married, have two children (one boy and one girl), and be happy for my entire life. At this point I have a natural skill with computers that no one else in the group had, especially not my computer programming brother who scored better than me on the AP Computer Science test. My brother might not go to the college he's enrolled in due to financial issues. I wish those damn scholarship people would stop lying about the full-tuition scholarship my brother's getting, because I know this lady's right on the money (or lack of it). However, a full clairvoyent service, a warlock-in-the-graveyard story and two wannabe cop stories later we decided to leave. I feel safer despite what you might be thinking. Someone who can BS that much and still keep a straight face can see straight through any thief or murderer's relatively pathetic attempt at pretending to be a benign citizen. And if she does have powers and senses someone about to do wrong, she's still a war-god-like security guard that can do battle with any intruders. I'm sorry for wasting your time. I don't have anything profoundly witty to say about this, and I blame that on the fact that I just spent the better part of an hour listening to a security guard talk about dead people and superpowers. At least her uniform isn't made of brightly colored spandex and a cape, or maybe that would help.
WHAT A WASTE OF TIME...TRAVEL. I was just thinking about the book/movie Time Machine. There's no reason at all that Hartdegen couldn't have gotten his girl back, at least according to the recent movie. The storyline runs on the basic premise that Hartdegen can't save his girlfriend from dying with his time machine because her death is the reason he built it. However, this could be circumvented. All Hartdegen would have to do is write a suicide letter for his girlfriend, go back in time, drop it off, kidnap her, and take her to the future. His past self would assume she died and in mourning still build the time machine to save her, but she wouldn't have really died. Instead the two would appear back in the future and live happily ever after. Silly mathematicians.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

GO CRUISE IN THE SHAGUAR. I just got back from seeing Austin Powers in Goldmember. Critics have denounced the movie as a pathetic exploitation of low-brow humor and not-so-subtle allusions to pop-culture. Fortunately for all of us, it's exactly that (minus the pathetic part). I haven't laughed this hard in quite a while. Myers brings our favorite characters to an unimmaginable level in this third installment, not to mention the wonderfully placed cameos. Instead of writing anything more about it, I'll just say this: Go watch the movie. Now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

IRONICALLY IRONICAL, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. You know, when I listen to the Alanis Morissette song "Isn't it Ironic", I don't hear one single example of irony. It irritated me in a small way for a while. Then I just recently realized that the lack of irony was the irony. The song claimed to be about irony yet lacked it, making the song itself a perfect example of verbal irony. Pretty ironic, huh? Wait, no it's not. The song says it is ironic and is in away. So I guess that means it's not really ironic at all, in a wierd, over-thought third level interpretation sort of way. However, if that's true, the situation reverts back to the second level of ironic interpretation, a song about irony lacking irony, thus making it ironic again. It keeps on going in circles! Well, this is great. Now a song that used to mildly irritate me has now driven me to lunacy. It just goes to show that time spent contemplating the meaning of music is probably better spent listening to it.