Sunday, January 23, 2005

This has been too long to stay away from a blog.

Here's stuff I wrote earlier:

"I was young, I was arrogant. I suppose I'm still young, and I'm still arrogant. But, blogging is a drug, and I do feel a wondrous rush when I slip on my Leticia McKenzie identity and return to my fountain of youth, where everything isn't going to hell around me and I can pretend that I'm not an adult, about to pick a university and a career and all those crazy adult things.

Do you know what I hate about adults? Do you know what I particularly loathe about them? They do not have fun. On principle. There's a contract that you sign with God upon turning 26 that says, 'Starting on this day, I shall be bitter, cyncial, and say everything was best in 1936 before we invented all this high-tech mumbo jumbo. I will be mean to my coworkers. I will support TV shows with names like Crossfire and Hardball. I will invade foreign countries. I will be a real person by killing other people. I will read books about how to be snide to those around you. I will foster a culture of inhumanity. I will not be a part of the problem, but never a part of the solution. I will be a brick in the wall.'

No, that's not what I hate about adults. Do you want to know what I really hate about adults? Smacktalk! We, somewhere in the deepest recesses of Jane Goodall's lost Darwinian experiment called high school, invented the culture of bonding, where a group of people with something in common share it for the good of all. You talk. You are open. YOU ARE NICE. This doesn't happen anymore. It doesn't happen much in high school, mind you. But it never happens in college. It doesn't happen in the Real World, the cutthroat society where one bad business move and you're finished. There, you slime. You sneer. You insult. You tear down. You be mean! Kill or be killed, it's the American Way. It's the Bush Doctrine. We apply it every day of our lives here in the fifty states, and I imagine, it extends even beyond the borders of the Greatest Nation that Ever Existed. It happens every day. Just watch it. It's coming to consume us all.

Now, really, I can't imagine that the adult world is this bad. I mean, the shining examples of adulthood that are presented before me (say, for instance, the PRESIDENT OF THE FREAKING UNITED STATES) make a philosophy of shooting first and asking questions later, and, I mean, every film hero I ever saw focused on shooting people and letting God sort them out, but, I mean, there must be some vestige, some place for me where people aren't primarily occupied with finding their next victim to allow themselves to move up in life.

Maybe, now that I'm leaving high school, I'm being let out of the tiny Darwinian experiment and let into the huge one. The first one was training. Now I get to see the bright big world, with all its greed and corruption, all its mayhem and slaughter, all its ill will and meanness and... and... just the simple idea that you are more important than everyone else, period. I mean, I know we all follow that rule given our human failings and the fact that we're looking out from inside our own heads, but... but... we don't have to make a way of life out of it...

I'm freaking way the hell out because I tried to start picking a college recently. I really, really did. I'm like, "Okay, Ms. Leticia McKenzie, you're going to start picking a college. You're not going to be behind, no sir-ee, you're going to Grade A Liberal Arts College with good programs in X, X, and X." I talk to the entire college counseling center and not only am I universally treated like a dimwit, but nobody likes my idea of picking a college high-school style, based on, you know, what I'm looking for in a college. (That is, good programs in X, X, and X.) I need to pick a major, they all say. A career. A direction in life. Where am I going? Hell if I know, my proudest accomplishment is a blog about my sexual fantasies. So I have to do some reflection exercises. Find out what kind of a person I am, besides the kind of person who wants to blow up the counseling department and then dance on its ashes. I need to know, because the cutthroat adult world is waiting.

I do something sad. Hear me out. When I've had a bad day, I run into my room and leap under my covers and don't come out for hours at a time. It's easy to while away the time under my covers, which may as well be weighed down by a boulder for all the ease I have in lifting them. Well, that's how I'm feeling right now. I come back to the blog that I thought I'd never return to, because I'm more mature than that.

I've died without this space. I don't have any friends as good as the ones I met here. I wanna cry about this. There's nobody who honestly want to hear what I have to say than some of the people I've met here. I... I don't know how to thank you for all this. Especially since, with the big adult world upon me, I feel increasingly pressured to leave all this behind and never come back to Leticia McKenzie."

Friday, November 05, 2004

I'm saved!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Yeah, yeah, so you all know by now that Kerry conceeded the election to Bush. I suppose I should wait until I can give a reason analysis instead of a knee-jerk response, but too bad.


Well, somebody sent me an E-mail a while ago asking me why on Earth anybody would vote for this guy. Well, reason one is that people who vote for Bush tend to be grossly misinformed on his stances; a majority answer "yes" when asked (individually) if he supports the comprehensive nuclear testing, land mine, and Kyoto treaties, as well as believing that the majority of the world is in favor of the Iraq war. Unfortunately, I could not tell my dear reader this, because in a moment of true blue American ness I sent my response, not to him, but somebody whose name sounded vaguely French. C'est la vie.

(And, vaguely-French-sounding guy, I know you're from Canada. I'm just jealous of your healthcare. And because we have a President who says our healthcare system is the "envy of the world," and because I assume your PM, whatever his name is, isn't completely blind to what's going on around him. In other words: at least your guy reads newspapers...)

But the main reason that people are voting for Bush, I imagine, in my completely biased, lib'rul opinion, is that people really do believe in the "Bush doctrine," the idea that America should rule the world. Fuck what Britain thinks! Fuck what France thinks! Fuck what Germany thinks! Let's ignore our most trusted allies, the ones we could always count on in times of trouble (well, not Germany, but we've buried that hatchet), and go from the most respected country in the world to the most consistently peed on. But what I think people hear most when Bush talks, besides "bla bla bla healthcare bla bla taxes," is "get the terrorists before they get us."

Lest you think that is ridiculous (and I tend to find it hard to believe that any terrorist would dare attack the world's most affluent nation)... remember that it happened, one day in September of 2001. The problem is, the world didn't change that day; it didn't change at all. Bill Clinton had been... okay, I was going to unload my rant on how Bill Clinton's staff told George Bush's staff that terrorism is America's primary concern, and bin Laden our greatest enemy, and George Bush's staff promptly sat on their report and do nothing... but instead, I'm going to focus more broadly.

We're angry. We've been attacked. And it doesn't matter who we hit back. I'm sure Osama bin Laden knew we would fight with every ounce of our vigor and strength, but I doubt even he predicted we would unload it on Iraq instead of him. We have to fight the terrorists, wherever they are, even if they're not the terrorists that attack us. Terrorists don't listen to reason, they only listen to violence. We must give them more violence than they can handle.

This is, of course, not realizing that terrorists feed on violence and hatred, spawn where there is chaos, and jump on any military disaster of Iraq preportions like ants to a T-bone steak (and before you say "hey! we got them all in one place!" I'd like to remind you that we don't, like, have a giant cage to drop on them), and because of our blind disregard for patience or for military strategy, we've said "Bomb's away" and completely destroyed a nation that never attacked us. We have two nations in tatters and we never even caught the guy we were originally looking for. A disgrace.

(Yes, Saddam Hussein is in jail. Yes, Saddam Hussein was a miserable son of a bitch, as Molly Ivins once put it. But Saddam posed no threat to us; and we should not have tried to get rid of him without having a way out first.)

Returning to my original point (...where was I?), there is a real belief in America that it is our birthright to rule the world, whether Old Europe likes it or not. It never dawns on people that America has the largest stockpile of WMDs in the world, or that it has killed more people in cold blood than any of these terrorists (and believe me, that's a high bar to pass). 49% of Americans believe that God has granted the US special protection throughout history, and it shows in our grand displays of patriotism that proudly proclaim us as the greatest country in the universe.

Moreover, our healthcare system is a mess, our social mobility is vanished, the rich and the poor are miles apart and we're losing jobs by the truckload... and none of it matters, because there's a war on against the people who would hurt us.

Something did happen on 9.11, and it's that, as Richard Clarke put it, our government failed us (except he said "you," in a rare and wonderful moment of political humility). Our security system failed us. Our military failed us and our leadership failed us. The proper steps to take for a leader of stature would be to create a commission to find out what went wrong, and take steps to make sure it never happens again; exactly the opposite of what Stonewall Bush was doing, fighting the 9.11 commission's creation and then fighting the commission itself every step of the way until finally he agreed to be interviewed for one hour, with Dick Cheney at his side, with no oath, and no transcript. Instead, it was preparing for war; with the wrong damn country, as within days the administration was telling its staff to try and connect this to Iraq. No wonder; Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld had been planning an invasion of Iraq since Bush I. Wolfowitz, in fact, had created the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" among his neo-conservative friends that the United States should attempt peace through uniformity in the Middle East through a country-by-country takeover. Of course, they wouldn't be able to do this, they knew, without a commander-in-chief either voraciously conservative or dumber than a sack of hammers. I'll leave it up to you to decide which one they got in the form of Bush II.

And that's what terrifies me the most about this election, that is basically put a public rubber-stamp on the idea that the United States ought to rule the world. Not from a secret underground lair, but from the highest towers and the biggest flags and the most pompous diplomats, telling Old Europe to screw off, that whatever happens, happens and that the U.S. has an infinite supply of bright young men to die for the cause. It's the America that Mark Twain feared; one that saw itself in the center of the world.

And I'm not sure that's the America I want to live in.

I've spoken to a high-ranking Poseidontown official who was impressed enough with me (gosh!) that he may give me an internship with the county. This, of course, would be my first foray into politics, but also what's keeping me here in America. My parents have been talking about moving to a foreign country that I will not name, but I will tell you that it's not on this continent and has a press-freedom ranking (from Reporters Without Borders) lower than Saddam Hussein's underwear drawer. My brother's already in college, and I'm nearly eighteen, leaving me all by my lonesome in the world. It's my choice where I want to go.

Hmmm... I've always wanted to go to Ireland. Or Switzerland! Someplace that does not give a damn about how it looks to the world. (Well, I suppose the U.S. doesn't, but in a completely opposite way; they just want to have the world's biggest penis. Oh my god! I just referred to the U.S., collectively, as "they." Creepy...) So! Since I seem to have quite the international readership, I want you to tell me why I should move to your country of choice. Tell me! Are the summers warm? Are the winters pleasant? Are the towns navigable? Are the biscuits tasty? Are the women beautiful? Are the men handsome? Do fairies play at midnight? Go! Consider this your Second Leticia Challenge.

Besides that... In Skies of Arcadia, the main plot is (highlight to read; don't worry, I only discuss like the game's first five hours) that the great Valuan Empire is after the Gigas, the world's most powerful weapons that have been sealed away after destroying the Old World, generations ago. You, as a spunky young hero, must ensure that Valua never gets their hands on the Gigas.

Many of the Valuan Empire's upper echelons are incompetent or greedy, but the one who stands out the most, Belleza, honestly believes that Valua, as the world's most powerful empire, needs to control all of the Gigas exclusively. That is the only way to ensure world peace, as the Gigas can be trusted in no other hands. However, the reason the heroes don't just say "Okay, we give up" and discontinue their quest to keep Valua from obtaining the Gigas is because of the example Valua has set by its actions; as part of its belief that it is their birthright to control the Gigas as their own, they have been destroying countries one by one in their desire to maintain world peace. Valua, the heroes decide, cannot be trusted with weapons of mass destruction.

The Capitol City of Valua is a desolate place, where the Upper City lives in luxury while the Lower City struggles to get by. The Lower City are considered to be rubbish and beneath contempt, whereas the Upper City Valuans concern themselves with all the imagined hardships of upper-class life. If you don't know where I'm going with this, than I cannot help you.

And here's where the obvious analogy to America comes in; most Americans honestly believe that only the U.S. should have weapons of mass destruction, and that the most important battle the U.S. can fight is to make sure no one else has them. What this philosophy fails to recognize is even cruel totalitarian states like Iraq have the right to defend their homeland, and that the Iraqi revolutionaries are fighting with the same hopeless vigor that we would if our country and our brothers and sisters were taking over. It wouldn't matter how many times we say that we only intend to fix Iraq up a bit before we leave; as long as our troops are in their country, the stench of imperialism is all they will smell. If we ever do win the war in Iraq, we will have a hollow shell of a country left, stripped of its national pride. It's sons and daughters and warriors will be dead and its flag will be in tatters. It will be a nation humiliated and dependent on the U.S. for its social and economic needs, long after they've left the headlines.

And that's the heart of the Bush doctrine; if a nation doesn't cooperate, we need to take it over; and even if it's in the name of "returning sovereignty to the American people," the nation will effectively become apart of the new American empire. Only America shall possess the Gigas. And America must be stopped, according to the methodology of Skies of Arcadia.

Of course I'm not suggesting that you all strap on your hero boots and fight a one-man war against the new American empire, I'm saying that the only way we can stop it is here... and now... through the democratic process...

I suppose I just can't win.

But I'll try.

Vyse would expect as much.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

By the way, I am now taking submissions on Le Grande Plan (le NEW grande plan, since Kathryn's didn't work out so well) on How I Can Have HIV Testing Man All To Myself, Short of Turning Him Into a Batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies and Eating Him, Slowly, and then Licking My Fingers and Oohing. So think of your BEST plan. How might you woo the HIV Testing Man? What will lure him into a fancy restaurant faster than you can say "whipped cream?" Does Leticia look better in the blue dress, or the green dress? Fire away!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

I rented Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, and I want somebody to tell me... is there any particular reason why my character wobbles around like he has boots made of Teflon? It's seriously enough to ruin a game. It literally gives me a headache. I cannot identify with a character who is compelled to do the pee-pee dance every five seconds while I try to get him to walk across town. Is there any remedy for this, like, buying him some boots that aren't meant to kill him? Because I just have no idea.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Ha! Ha! So you've gotta hear this story.

So my mentor gives me cookies that she got for me. I really love my mentor, so I really want to eat them once I get home. My mom reaches in, STEALS ONE OF THE ONLY TWO CHOCOLATE CHIP ONES, and eats it, without asking. (Well, she DID ask, but she also didn't wait for a response.)

So I get really mad. I mean furious. Problem is, I can't bottle it all up because then I'll have to explain to my mom why I trashed the house over a cookie. And I can't really explain why just one cookie made me so angry, beyond the simple smugness that came from stealing a cookie that my loveliest mentor gave me. I had about a thousand sugar cookies, ginger cookies, etc. in my bag but NOOOO, she has to take a CHOCOLATE CHIP one.

After she raises her voice and makes it very clear that she had the right to take it from me because it was rude of ME not to give one to her in the first place (you know, if you had waited three seconds...), and that I'm not going to win this conversation (yes, don't get into a power struggle with your mom) I walk away, in bitter defeat, and whine to my diary.

And then, I get an idea...

So I take my bag of cookies and tell her, you know, I can't eat all these by myself. I want you to have one. But first, what do you say?

Now she begins to lose it. She pinches her eyeballs together and paces around, saying she wants a cookie but won't do it under my insidious, role-playing circumstances, saying it would be better if I would just say, "gee, Mom, would you like a cookie?"

Right ahead of her, I tell her, "gee, Mom, would you like a cookie?" and she is tongue-tied. "Given the circumstances," she responds, "I wouldn't care if you--" she resists the temptation to say something vulgar, "--flushed them down the toilet."

So I take the cookie away. "Well, no, I just thought you might want one. Now, what do we say."

She sighs. "May I have a cookie?"

"Yes, you may," I tell her, handing her a sugar cookie.

She looks at it. "...Why have I lost my appetite?"

I grin. "Because I just got the best of you?"

She laughs and buries her face in a magazine, embarrassed to admit the truth.

I win!

And that's how Leticia got the best of her mom. Ha! Ha!

(Yes, you may regard it as a character flaw that I have a stake in "winning" these situations... but you never know, maybe I could be President some day!)

(Except, Bush is just no good at social engineering. I'm a pro! Hey, if you're ever looking for somebody to replace Karl Rove...)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

"We women have, if I am not to lie,
In this love matter, a quaint fantasy;
Look out a thing we may not lightly have,
And after that we'll cry all day and crave.
Forbid a thing, and that thing covet we;
Press hard upon us, then we turn and flee.
Sparingly offer we our goods, when fair;
Great crowds at market for dearer ware,
And what's too common brings but little price;
All this knows every woman who is wise."

(From the Canterbury Tales, as translated on Librarius)

Wife of Bath, let's go to lunch sometime. I'll buy.

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