Friday, July 09, 2004

Summer Reading, II

Yesterday I finished Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. An enjoyable book, though some times the visions of my imaginations where influenced by flashes from the educational show Wishbone (isn't it a pity how most of the educational shows I used to watch and love aren't on anymore? Actually, a lot of kids watched Wishbone. It was a good show.). My boyfriend said Mark Twain is hilarious. While I wouldn't use hilarious to describe Tom Sawyer (perhaps that is because of my personal definition of hilarious. To say it is hilaroius is to say that the reader should be cracking up once or twice every chapter), there are still very funny parts. The afterword said, though, that often The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is praised more then Tom Sawyer, so one day I might perhaps read Huck Finn. However, now it is on to Dune Messiah, if I can get to the library before Sunday.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Time v. Talk Radio!

Michael Moore gets his first doubtful approval from me with the quote in this article, saying “I don’t like this film being reduced to Bush vs. Kerry.” However, that's not what this post is about.

From TIME:

"Today people get their news and, just as important, their attitudes from more rambunctious sources: from the polarized polemicists on talk radio and cable news channels, from comedians and webmasters. That’s poli-tainment, and as practiced by Rush Limbaugh and a host of right-wing radio hosts, and by Matt Drudge on the internet, it hounded Bill Clinton’s presidency while spicing and coarsening the standards of political discourse, Corliss writes."

Ouch. Play nice, kids! Notice, of course, that it's only the "right-wing radio hosts" that are slandered as "poli-tainment" and Matt Drudge, who, if you notice, posts links to articles (does he write anything on his website himself? Hmm, pretty hard to pull of poli-tainment if you're not doing any writing EDIT]: I may be wrong there. I think Drudge does write short articles, but a lot of his stuff is just links to other articles). The sources cited here do have their opinions, and they speak up about them. Oh, my! They don't claim to be indifferent, but they aren't in the entertainment industry. To these right-wingers, the facts are the most important part of what they do. I'm sure it's the same with many left-wingers out there too.

Just a question, sirs. What is Michael Moore's movie? An unbiased documentary? I find that highly doubtful. I'm sure it crosses that "poli-tainment" line.,8599,660927,00.html via


Congratulations to the new government in Iraq. If anyone didn't notice (and I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't), power was handed over to the Iraqis -

two days before the deadline.

Hate Speech and Voting Responsibly

Ah, Campaign 2004. The joy, the insanity. The hate speech.

I walked into Barnes and Nobles today, and in a prominent display they had dozens of political books. All well and good. Here are a few of the titles: "The Bush Hater's Handguide," "The I Hate George W. Bush Reader (Apparently, there's a whole series of these, from attacking the President's cabinet to attacking the whole GOP)." These books might very well make good points. But the titles just turn me off right away. To proclaim such extreme hate is to show that you blind partiality. If you hate something, nothing will change your mind about it, nothing will quench your raging rhetoric, and everything is available for you to twist and use in your hate reign.

The hate campaign is a terrible thing, a terrible thing for Democrats, a terrible thing for Republicans, for homosexuals or heterosexuals, for pro-life or pro-choice. It's just not right.

Vote for Kerry. Vote for Nader. Vote for Bush. By all means, vote for who you think is right. But don't you dare cast a hate vote. Don't you dare ruin democracy that way. You step back and think about this rationally, think about who you're voting for and why. "Anybody but Bush" is a sick mantra. How can we sink to such mindless, degrading hate speech? And degrading is what it is. Can we not put enough effort into this year's election to know why we're voting for who we're voting for? Are the inflammatory words of a few impassioned people going to shift our foundations, our beliefs and our convictions? Are we going to forsake our honor?

It shames the country when we cast hate votes. It shames America because that is not the way our republic democracy is supposed to work. We insult the election when we do that, we insult the candidates, and we insult our fellow countrymen, because we try to steal their votes because of our senseless hate.

Take the hate out of this year's election. Put intelligence and honor back in.

Summer Reading, I

Summer is when I finally get some time to read what I want to read, and I started off this summer with Dune by Frank Herbert, a sci-fi book that practically started a cult following. Let me tell you, it wasn't the easiest book to get into. It's long, and I don't have the best reading habits when it comes to long books, but I managed to get all the way through (I was so determined not to quit). At first, I had a very hard time understand why it has such a following. It was interesting, yes, but to me, it wasn't engaging enough for such a fan base. However, between watching the Sci-fi channel's miniseries Children of Dune and finishing the book, I came to understand the attachment more. It truly is a great story, an epic, and a tragic family history. I think that's what I really came to connect with, the fate of the Atriedes family, how despite their best efforts, they ended up plunged in betrayl and death and tragedy. Now the whole Dune series has been slotted into my summer reading. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a sci-fi/fantasy epic.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Save the Whales and Kill the Babies

I went to Aquire the Fire over this weekend, an awesome Christian teen conference down in Balitmore, and one of the speakers there spoke about sex. She told us that if we took all the American deaths in all the wars in the last hundred years, World War I through the Iraq operation now, it would not equal the number of babies killed every year by abortion.

How can we do this? How can we be silent and let this happen? How can we be accomplices to murder? It's time I commit myself to taking a stand against this crime, and I challenge all to do the same. This is not a choice of a woman - this is the life of a child. The phrase "It's a child not a choice" may seem over used, but it's so true. How can we claim the power to decide whether or not a baby lives or dies? What gives us that so called "right?" And how can we take away the baby's right - the right to live? It's a shame that we have so degraded human life.

For those of you who are unconvinced that life begins at conception, I challenge you to read "ProLife Answers to ProChoice Agruments" by Randy Alcorn. If you are so sure that an unborn baby is not a life, then it is no threat to you. But what if you're wrong? Can we stand to err on the side of murder? Will you refuse to take this book and read it? Are you afraid of being wrong?

If there was one issue that I could choose to mark the grave importance of this year's election, I think it would be abortion. The President has always been in support of life. How can Mrs. Heinz Kerry say that she believes abortion is "stopping the process of life" and yet be pro-choice (see article below)? Isn't "stopping the process of life" also known as killing, murder? How dare Senator Kerry say "...the goverment should stay out of the bedrooms of Americans"? This is not about the privacy of Americans. This is about the sanctitiy of the lives of Americans. As much as you value the lives of the soldiers in Iraq, Mr. Kerry, so value the lives of the babies here. This is not an issue about the lifestyles Americans choose, about their sexual lifestyles. This is about the murder of millions. How dare you twist the issue! The Kerry's are trying to walk both sides of a decisive line. You cannot have "rare but... safe and legal" abortion. How would you propose to do this, Senator Kerry? And if you make it rare, why is that? Is it because you believe it is the killing of a child? Is it because you believe it is wrong? And if it is morally wrong, how can we make it legal? If it is murder, how can we legislate that? If you are not against abortion, Senator Kerry, you are for it. You cannot walk this rope without falling.

The decision you make this coming November about the President of the United States is crucial. Our nation is in a moral crisis that we must all pull together and work to rectify. It's time to stand up and do something about this. If we don't, how many more babies will die? Who could I save if I just worked a little, talked to a few people, prayed a little harder? What could her name be? What might his children look like?

Are we really this cruel and heartless? Are we really this morally deluded?

How many more thousands of babies are we ready to sacrifice?

Here are some other thoughts on abortion and the "March for Women's Lives:"

After Abortion

Cor ad cor loquens

"ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments

A survey of Aborted Women

Abortion Statistics - What You Didn't Know

Monday, April 12, 2004

Spiderman 2

This trailer is incredible. I could definitely see Spiderman 2 surpassing the first one, if only by a margin (I'd have to say X-2 was better than X-Men. I have high hopes for the third movie, even if they are dimmed a little by realistic pessimism that movies go down in quality as the number following the title gets higher). The Spiderman movies present such a great internal conflict for Peter Parker. Where does he draw the line between his life and the consuming life of Spiderman? "With great power comes great responsibility." Amen to that. Something we can all apply to our own lives.

But doesn't Mary Jane ever get tired of playing the damsel in distress? First she was dangled over the edge of a bridge, now she's carried off by the Doc Oc guy. Poor girl needs some superpowers of her own.

Why I Love Tony Blair

Tony Blair on Iraq and Our Complacency

One thing I really like about this speech is how Mr. Blair points out how the minority is causing trouble in Iraq. He says, "The current upsurge in violence has not spread throughout Iraq. Much of Iraq is unaffected and most Iraqis reject it. The insurgents are former Saddam sympathisers, angry that their status as 'boss' has been removed, terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda and, most recently, followers of the Shia cleric, Muqtada-al-Sadr."

It is very hard for Americans to make judgements on the mindset of an entire country. What do we know about what is going on over there besides what we are told by our media? What do we know of all the advancements being made that Mr. Blair mentioned, the banks, the growing economy, the growing equality, the possibility of advancement in education? We see the extremists, the terrorists, running around, ambushing our troops, abducting our citizens, but what does the average citizen say? What of those who lost family members to Sadaam's regime, those women who are just now realizing their rights? What of those who long for unity and peace?

Mr. Blair says the terrorists realize what these attacks in Iraq do to our mindset:

"They know it is a historic struggle. They know their victory would do far more than defeat America or Britain. It would defeat civilisation and democracy everywhere. They know it, but do we? The truth is, faced with this struggle, on which our own fate hangs, a significant part of Western opinion is sitting back, if not half-hoping we fail, certainly replete with schadenfreude at the difficulty we find."

If we pull out of Iraq now, what then? Will we watch as a nation crumbles in on itself, so close to freedom and democracy, eaten alive by extremism and terrorism? What will the world think of us then, as we turn our back on what is our responsibility? Regardless of what we may have thought going into the war, the truth is that the rebuilding of Iraq is our responsibility now, and we must see it done. Peace will not come to Iraq if we abandon it now.

"...Have we the stomach to see it through?"

via Drudge Report

Sunday, March 14, 2004

In Memory

Madrid, Spain. March 11, 2004.

Saturday, March 06, 2004


He says the President, I'm thinking maybe it's him. Okay, first of all, I don't really listen to talk radio, so I don't know anything about Stern. But from reading the article I was struck by a flaw in his purpose. He says, "I'm about to be served up my head on a platter because all I wanted to do was make people laugh." You want to make people laugh about politics? Sure, there's a time for that, but it also sounds like he wants people to take him very seriously. So which is more important, making people laugh or dedicating yourself to the truth (or what he thinks is truth) behind politics. And if it's the former, how much will he twist the latter to get his precious laughs?

People whose goal in life are to make others laugh are not bad people, but you'd better know them well, or they might become careless with topics, issues, and the truth just to make you laugh.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Through the Wardrobe

It's nice to see the Chorincles of Narnia getting a movie break; if other fantasy movies made in the last few years are any precedent, it should be good. I do wish Peter Jackson and Weta were working on it, but can we always have our way? Let's keep our fingers crossed for The Hobbit.

Lord of the Oscars

I had to ask, on Sunday, why the Oscar Orchestra bothered to learn any other music besides the Gondor theme?

Kudos, Peter Jackson, cast and crew. You deserved every little golden man you won.

Finally, someone following the laws

It's refreshing to see someone who follows the laws, what with the disaster in San Francisco. Plan and simple, people, regardless of how you feel on the subject, law is law. If I don't agree that I should have a license for my gun, that doesn't mean I can keep one without registration. That's not civil disobedience. Nor is this. I may not agree with Spitzer's personal views, but I admire him for upholding the law in the face of the public loud mouths.

I was slighted by Sen. Russell Feingold's (D) comment about this being a divisionary tactic. If so, than it's of the Democrat's devise, no? If I recall correctly, the President only took a stand after the wave of illegal activity began. Here's the thing that my dad's been pointing out: this issue is becoming increasingly demanding of the American people. You are going to have to make a decision whether or not you support this behavior. If you don't, you agree with the President, and I hope you will live out your beliefs in the vote. If you do, then you're more inclined toward the Democratic platform. If you don't do anything, then you're voting pro-gay marriage. It's not just that Republicans are pro-heterosexuality. It's that Demoracts are pro-homosexuality.

I encourage you, before you push that button or pull that lever, to think hard about where your convinctions are on this issue, and to vote according, because it's one or the other. There is no inbetween.

Proof that the guys in my class will never grow up...

I thought it might stop after college... But then again, you just want to giggle when you read this.


Thursday, February 12, 2004

Mayor Takes Illegal Action

Reaction against gay marriage ban. The issue itself aside (that's for another, uber long post that I have no time for), I found the behavior of the mayor of San Fransisco shocking. Mayor Gavin Newsom disregards the law in the name of "civil disobedience." What an example he shows to the people who elected him. If he can disregard the law, why not the average citizen? Is it not the mayor's job to uphold the law? I do not have respect for this man. Maybe it is because we disagree on the issues, or maybe it is because I think of civil disobedience as the refusal to take complying action, not the snapping action of seizing opposite action.

Monday, February 09, 2004

A song about me, really...

My new favorite song is "She's So High" by Tal Bachman. Request it on your local radio station now!

Job Market

When it comes to the economy, I'm not an expert. I know that when the stock market is up, that's good, and when it's down, that's bad. I know that when I get money I usually spend it. I know that tax cuts are cool because they mean I get money to spend. I know that soon I will have no money because of college.

I also know that I can easily find a job, and this is what puzzles me. I've heard that the economy is bad, it's hard to find a job, look at the unemployment rate. I say, look at all those "Now Hiring!" signs. I'd bet you that if I went out today and put my mind to it, I could find a job within a week. I held one temporarily during December because a family member had connections to a place that needed an extra hand during the holidays. I made good money, which I promptly put back into the economy through Christmas present shopping. In a few weeks, I'm going to be back on the hunt again (not like I really hunted before), and I'm confident I'll find a place with ease and haste. Now, I'm not going to be working at the most prestigious places. Nope, cashiers and hostesses aren't glitzy jobs, but they're jobs. Toy's R Us was hiring previously, Pizzeria Uno said they'd hire me in January, I'm pretty sure I saw a sign for jobs in the Coconuts window. And these are things I've just seen when driving by. Are these the best jobs, the highest paying? No. Will they necessarily give you enough to live off of? That depends on your family, your rent, your eating habits, if you really need that gym membership or that satelitte dish. I honestly can't say if all the jobs that are out there will pay for your standard of living. But I'm puzzled when someone screams, "Look at unemployment!" because I look, and what I see is a crowd of eager employers.

Moon Walking

Polls on NASA plans via Rasmussen Reports. I'd love to see Americans on the moon again. I think it's a great way to expand scientifically. Besides, why not explore? There is no falling off the edge of the solar system or galaxy.

Blushing at the Grammy's

I turned on the Grammy's for about half a minute the other night, and, of course, I saw Justin Timberlake. First of all, the dude was wearing a pink shirt. What happened to his stylists? Second of all, from the clips we heard, I thought he was the worst singer (though the last guy in the series of clips wasn't too smashing either). Third of all, there was no way that the Superbowl stunt was unintentional. What happened, Justin? Did your hand spaz? What a poor choice of words. On one hand, it's nice that he apologized, but "unintentional?" What's intentional then?

Your Friendly Neighborhood New Yorkers

Who said people in New York aren't friendly? I was in East Harlem on Sunday, and I stopped by McDonald's for breakfast. The guy sitting next to me started talking about Bush and Saddam and on and on and I made the mistake of wondering if he was talking to me and made eye contact with him. He talked to me about fifteen minutes straight, ranging from politics to how I should go into biology to make lots of money and how he was going to get millions in a little while. I hardly had to say anything, just smile and nod. Eventually I had to interrupt, I had to leave, and he was very polite and said it was nice talking to me, and I said the same, and vowed never to stay and eat at that McDonald's again. Friendly, yes. A little scary, that's true too.

Friday, February 06, 2004

"Hello, my name is Amy..."

Hi, my name is Amy, and I'm... a blogger. Careful, it's catching. There's little to say about me, more to say about my new blog. Scriva is Italian for "write," an apt title considering what a blog is, simply a collection of writings. A collection on a myriad of different topics to. I'm prepared to write about anything and everything. Movies, music, travel, what little I know of politics, current events, stories I'm working on, what guys need to know about girls to stop frustrating us, etc. This blog may be a small voice, but a voice it will be. It comes fully equipped with plenty of opinions, and I'd like to hear any responses back (considering I can figure out how this thing works.).

I hope you enjoy your time here. Cheers!

The Reveal

"The Reveal"

Sounds charming and seductive, doesn't it? Absolutely opposite of the shameful display that was Janet Jackson's performance at the Superbowl Half-time show. Thankfully, I didn't see it, didn't even know about it until the next day. On Tuesday, I was sucked into the public debate.

I don't normally listen to morning talk shows. I think they're boring and silly, and I'd much rather listen to music when I'm half asleep and trying to wake up. The Tuesday after the Superbowl, though, I had 95.5 on, WPLJ for all you Tri-Staters, and they were going on and on about Janet Jackson, none of them upset by it. One of the hosts said it was a generation thing (more on this later) that was causing the debate. I continued listening, and the hosts started putting people's phone calls on the air. There was a succession of about four or five callers, most of them saying they had no problem with what Janet Jackson did, most of them - sorry to say this - men. Then one host said, "Where are all the women?" That's when I grabbed my phone. It took me a while to get through, but when I did, I was adamant about what I had to say.

"Hi," I blurted out to the female call screener. By this time I was shaking with nervousness. "My name's Amy, and I just wanted to say that I think this Janet Jackson thing's horrible, and it's not a generational gap because I'm 18 and I think it was disgusting."

Or something along those lines. It was early, I was nervous. The caller took down my name, my opinion (I have a lot of those), where I was from, and told me to turn down my radio and wait. Woohoo, I was going to be on the radio (I had been snubbed once by Z-100, but that's another story)!

One of the previous callers had said that it was no big deal, that people go around topless all the time in Europe. The host laughed and said that maybe American needed to loosen up. Bwaha, another opinion to hit them with!

When I finally heard them announce my name and welcome me to the show, I jumped right into my arguments. No, this was not a generational thing. No, just because people in Europe go around half naked does not mean it should be allowed on TV here in America (I went off on something about how even though people do drugs doesn't mean we should make marijuana legal. I should have thought of a better argument than that, but that's what I said then, so I'm sticking to it.). And if this was what happened this year at the Superbowl, what's going to happen next year, and the year after that, and the year after that?

The hosts were very polite and made some acknowledging comments, thanked me, and then I was off the air. That long story for this opinion.

What Janet Jackson did was disgraceful (and illegal), and we should not tolerate it. There were kids watching the Superbowl with their parents, people who would prefer not to see that kind of indecency. Not just your grandparents, either. I would have been mortified if I had been watching that with my guy friends. Let's just make pop singers, women in general!, more of a sex icon than they already are. And to think this was shown on national TV w/o warning or advisory. There are other channels for this shame, you know. And just because people in Europe go around topless doesn't mean that America's uptight. We have topless/nude beaches here to, but we still have some shred of propriety left. Cover up, Janet Jackson! If Eve can realize that she needs clothes, than I think you can too. I get very frustrated, because I know that what she did just isn't right, but many Americans are just too callous to see it. It wasn't funny. It wasn't cool. It was disgusting.

Come on, America, where has your sense of decency gone?

My parents said that my call sparked a few others in protest. I just heard the guy who IMed in to say that I needed to shut up, in not so few words. That's okay, though. I still like his comment the best.


Bobby Knight once said, "All of us learn to write in second grade. Most of us go on to greater things." As much as I am humored by this quote, I have to disagree with Bobby. I'm here to prove that some of us do go to write, and it is a greater thing.