Hansen

Why “To Catch a Predator” Revolutionized Entertainment

Chris Hansen: Dateline NBC

You may recall a post I made a little while back regarding the awesomeness of MSNBC weekend programming.

Besides having since learned that I’m basically the only person on the internet who has anything nice to say about what MSNBC plays on their weekends, I have also done quite a bit of thinking about Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator. Mostly while watching the program high as shit.

Maybe it’s just the way marijuana makes my mind work, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how revolutionary the concept of exploiting the certainty of societal human behavior (in To Catch a Predator‘s case, exploiting the certainty that every community contains men who will show up to a house in which they think there is a child they can get away with fucking) as a form of entertainment.

Think about that.

The strategy of Dateline in To Catch a Predator differs immensely from the ways people usually try to entertain us. Think of it this way, what other television show totally dicks over the very people who make the show what it is?

(If you answered Two and a Half Men, get the fuck off my blog, Charlie.)

Alright I admit that’s kind of a weird way to look at To Catch a Predator, mainly because the whole point of the show is that those guys are getting dicked over. That’s the entertaining part. It’s why people watch.

So what makes To Catch a Predator so revolutionary is that it proves how entertaining it is to watch people who deserve to have their lives ruined, have their lives ruined. Which totally makes sense when you think about it; if you’re ever feeling depressed, simply turn on To Catch a Predator and your depression will quickly subside. It’s simply impossible to feel sorry for yourself after watching an hour’s worth of horny predatory men have their worst nightmare come true.

And at the hands of Chris Hansen, of all people. Not only do these pedos get caught, they also have to be interviewed by that douche-nozzle about their pedophilia before going out to face 50,000 volts of concentrated electricity to their dick (and/or get tackled by the local precinct’s token giant minority linebacker).

I could totally produce my own version of To Catch a Predator. That would be awesome as fuck.

Hansen indicated recently that To Catch a Predator isn’t necessarily gone for good, and that they might return to it upon the completion of some other stories. Which makes sense, as the reason they canceled it in the first place was because of how the intense popularity of the show became an obstacle in effectively luring the predators to be caught. Hopefully they’re just laying back until the predators become more brazen again.

Maybe they’ve already began filming a new season.

Watch out, predators!

Humorous Social Encounter with Security Guard

I walk outside my building at around 4:30am to smoke a cigarette. Soon after, a young lady approaches to enter the door.

Ewwwww!!!!

She exclaims, drawing attention to the condom that had been slid over the door handle by an unknown fuckass. It catches me off guard,

Awww, that’s just naasty,

I agree.

Why would someone even do that?,

She ponders.

Short awkward silence. I attempt to break it,

It… doesn’t look like there’s any cum in it… for what it’s worth…

She looks at me weird and walks away to the other door.

I continue to enjoy my smooth yet bold yet smooth again Marlboro Light until a female security guard approaches from afar. I greet her kindly as she walks up to the door. And suddenly stops.

….What’s that?

She asks begrudgingly.

Uh, looks like a condom to me,

I suggest.

Awkward silence. I attempt to break it,

I didn’t put it there… I just didn’t, you know, move it when I saw it.

She looks at me weird and walks away to the other door.

I finish my cigarette and easily manage to open the door without even getting close to touching the unused condom.

Winning.

Theme Change

Some of you may have noticed that for like two days this blog’s theme just randomly changed to something else and then changed back. That was because I thought I liked the other theme better than this one at first but then after a few days I realized that I actually like this one better so I changed it back. I can be quite indecisive at times.

But anyways I still feel like I want a different theme, not that this current one – Steira – isn’t a great theme, I just get tired of looking at the same one all the time. Having said that I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up switching back to Steira, as that’s kinda what I keep doing.

So over the next few days, don’t be surprised if you get here and everything looks different.

Oh, and I realize there’s a few days where I haven’t posted anything, my work load has been rough, but I’m gonna try to post twice a day for a week or so to make up for it.

So, that’s that. Too-da-loo, bitches!

(I mean bitches in a good way, it’s basically a compliment).

Cigarette Price Decline

I’ve happily noticed a decline in the amount of money I’m shelling out for my cigarettes lately.

A pack of Marlboro Lights was at a pretty steady $5.00-5.50 for the past few months, however, as of late they’ve been just a dime or two over $4.00.

I’m certainly not complaining, but what could be responsible for this trend in cigarette prices?

Methinks gas prices have gone up so much, cigarette manufacturers know their customers won’t have much left over for cigs?

I’m far from an economist, though. So that’s actually more than likely not it.

That’s Soooo Gay!

The commercial tries hard to make its point, the website it advertises tries even harder. The argument being made is noble, when you use the term “gay” to describe an adverse situation, or a foolish action or person, it is offensive to the LGBT community. Unless you have succeeded in avoiding contact with my entire generation, you have probably heard the phrase “that’s so gay” used.

When we were younger, we were chastised for using this term for a whole different reason: because the thought of young children knowing the concept of homosexuality scared adults at the time. Well, times have changed, and now it’s because using the term to describe derogatory situations is offensive to homosexuals.

The commercial has been aired a lot lately and although fortunately it does not seem to have reached the prominence of those anti-tobacco and marijuana commercials that worked so well, it’s no less gay.

I’m a socially liberal person; I’m in support of the LBGT political agenda, especially when it comes to gay marriage and DADT.

I believe that no government which provides benefits to heterosexual marriages – and legally recognizes them as such – has the right to deny those same benefits, and the corresponding legal recognition, to homosexual couples. It shouldn’t be a partisan matter, it’s simply one of empathetic rationality.

However, I refuse to ever stop using the word “gay” the way I have always used it, and I find it rather arrogant of the GLSEN organization to demand otherwise.

If you have been lucky enough to avoid this commercial, allow me to give a brief synopsis: Two evil obnoxious straight girls, Emma and Julia, are at work; Julia asks Emma if she is doing anything tonight, and Emma says she can’t because her parents told her she has to come home after work, to which Julia replies, “that’s so gay.” Luckily one of the wise customers is conveniently ready to teach these young ladies the error of their politically incorrect vernacular; she approaches and says, “That’s so Emma and Julia.” When Julia understandably inquires as to what the hell she’s getting at, she explains – in a display of superb comedic wit, I might add – that their names have become – somehow, unbeknownst to Emma and Julia – adjectives for dumb and stupid.

LOLZ!!!! GET IT?!?!

Well you shouldn’t. I didn’t. Probably had to do with the lack of sense that was made in this scripted social encounter. The producers must have been aware of the commercial’s analogous nonsense because they had to get a narrator to clarify it at the end by stating: “Imagine if who you are was used as an insult. When you say, “That’s so gay” do you realize what you say? Knock it off.”

First of all, I do not appreciate it when those below my level of intellect tell me what to do (which is why I hated high school so much), so the last bit of the commercial that orders me to “knock it off” is annoying at best. But had they at least come up with a better argument, perhaps one that made sense, it would have been more tolerable.

Their argument is so gay because it does’t make sense analogously. Emma and Julia are names, “gay” is a word. While words are versatile, and change meaning all the time, names are not; in fact, names do not even have real meaning in the same sense that words have meaning. Names do not describe – they identify.

Furthermore, while words have the ability to be used in many different lexical forms, names can only identify words from one lexical category (nouns). Therefore the commercial fails to convey its point because of the moronic nature of its analogy.

I realize that analyzing the syntax of the commercial’s language may seem like a desperate attempt to justify my usage of the word, but it is important that it be analyzed. When a person sets out to make an argument for or against something, a good indication of whether or not their argument has merit is how well they can convey the point that they are trying to make by using logic, as arguments rely on logic to be effective.

Obviously if your argument has no merit, it will be impossible to justify logically.

However, that won’t likely stop the person from trying anyway, and when they do they often attempt to formulate an analogy, in this instance, comparing the way in which one uses the word “gay” to describe a stupid or dumb situation with using the names of the girls to describe a stupid or dumb situation (which does not work because names cannot describe).

Analogies are, however, tools with which one strengthens an argument. An analogy that attempts to strengthen a logicless argument will always fail, just as this one did.

As was stated earlier, words have the ability to both change meaning and hold multiple meanings. This is why I will continue to use the word “gay” the way I always have and maintain a clean conscience. I doubt the “n-word” would be used so prolifically by the black community today if it still held the same meaning to them as it did to white slave owners in the 1700’s; the point being that even the most hurtful words have the ability to change meaning over time.

But what makes GLSEN’s demand even more preposterous is the fact that the word “gay” itself is a perfect example of the metamorphic tendencies of words’ meanings. I don’t even need to use any analogous or metaphoric examples to make my point.

But I will anyway.

For example, the statement “let’s go be gay together!” would have had a totally different implied meaning in the 1920’s than today. Even today the dictionary lists descriptions such as “happy,” “lively,” and “colorful” before “homosexual.” It’s not my fault that the gay community has chosen to align itself with these adjectives as well. Someone who is happy, lively, and colorful in character is not necessarily attracted to the same sex – but they are gay, at least according to the dictionary definition. But if I were to describe a personplace, or thing that is happy, lively, and colorful as gay (and I would) I’m sure GLSEN would have a problem with me.

When I use the term “gay” to describe something I perceive to be stupid or dumb (like this commercial), I’m not implying those things to be homosexual. At that point, the word has taken on a whole new meaning, and if you choose to be offended by the way I’m using it, you should probably stop being so gay. GLSEN’s inability to perceive the alternate slang meaning is a result of their desire to be offended by it.

If my friend buys a new bright pink and purple sweater, I will inevitably describe that sweater, and my friend, as gay. Does this mean that I’m accusing him of being attracted to male genitalia? No. Does it mean that I’m accusing his sweater of being attracted to other sweaters? No. It means that I don’t care for the sweater, and I know that his and my understanding of the word “gay” in the context of the situation will clearly convey my feelings towards it. Just because the word has evolved to mean stupid or dumb does not mean that I think homosexual people are inherently stupid or dumb, in the same way that I don’t think stupid or dumb things are inherently homosexual.

To answer the question posed at the end of the commercial: Yes, I do know what I’m saying when I say “that’s so gay”; just because you don’t doesn’t mean I need to stop using it.

We Need a New Estate Philosophy

© Gage Skidmore

Our nation’s attitude towards the legal concept of estate needs some serious adjustment.

In simpler terms, we need to re-think our entire philosophy regarding how life, property rights, and the state should operate in relation to each other.

To help frame this discussion, allow me to pose a question: What should happen to an individual’s wealth when they die?

Block out everything else. Block out history. Block out current policy. Block out your own current opinion.

Pretend we somehow made it all the way to 2011 without ever thinking about it, and all of a sudden someone asked that question. Everything else in the world is the same, except no one ever conceived of the concept of an estate, and when a person died, every ounce of their wealth was just buried with them. It doesn’t make any sense, but you get the point.

And all of a sudden, that question is posed to you.

Really though, under the assumption of the theoretical circumstances described above, consider that question and comment if you want to share your answer.

I certainly know what my answer is. It might shock/piss off certain people, but if it does, at least go on and read my reasoning.

But when a person dies, I believe that money should go to the state a.k.a. be acquisitioned by the United States government.

Oh my God! Never! That, sir, is wrong, injust, and immoral!

(Is what a conservative Republican would say).

They’re very good at calling something the opposite of what it is until everyone around them believes it just so they’ll shut the fuck up. (That’s been their strategy ever since their last one stopped working).

Of course, they wouldn’t elaborate on why it is any of those things. They would simply yell stuff like that every time I try to explain it until I give up and no one learns anything.

It’s an effective strategy, really. I’ve always been very forward with my belief that Republicans are masterful politicians.

(I just happen to believe that the U.S. needs masterful leaders, but I digress)

While conservatives will never be able to explain why the idea of an estate tax, let alone the acquisition of one’s estate by the state, is wrong or injust or immoral, I can explain right now why the absence of one is all three.

One of the problems with us as a nation at this juncture of our destiny is our inability to be grateful for our ability, granted to us by the state, to live the lives we please. We, the people, don’t see taxes the same way a tenant thinks about the rent they pay; although they are basically the same thing in practice.

A landlord is responsible for completing a number of tasks the tenant can’t bother with, such as obtaining property so the tenant can live there without owning it, and maintaining that property for the tenant. In return the tenant pays a monthly fee to the landlord.

If the landlord comes to the conclusion that his property is worth more than he’s been charging, or that he needs to charge more to make a profit, the tenant might be perturbed, but generally they aren’t going to think the landlord is “taking” money from them.

But when the government does the same thing on a greater level (obtain territory, maintain territory, defend territory, provide property, ensure public health, draft legislation, enact legislation, enforce legislation, judge real-life applications of legislation, etc…) for the people, and just happens to need some compensation from those whose behalf all these expensive tasks are being performed on, the same message reverberates from the people: Fuck you; raise my taxes, lose my vote.

Basically we’re all a bunch of spoiled fucks.

It isn’t entirely our fault, though. However, the only other culprit to blame is “society“, which never gets anyone anywhere. So, if you’re like my mom for instance, and you perceive my critical observations of the nation and government I owe my life to as a malicious personal insult… just don’t do that. It’s stupid, I don’t bitch about politics and shit in China or Russia or Germany because it’s not my job to bitch about them, it’s my job to bitch about my own nation’s politics and shit, and if you think that by me doing so I’m less patriotic than the overwhelming percentage of other people who don’t say or think shit, then you’re a fuckass – but it’s okay because I love you anyway because you’re actually reading my shit and hopefully the fact that I just called you a fuckass won’t impede your willingness to continue doing so.

Our current policy regarding what happens to a person’s wealth when they die is inspired by archaic logic which is a remnant of class systems from the past. Those unfortunate enough to be born into a family with no money occupy a class in society below those born into wealthy families.

Laws should facilitate the cultivation of a society where those with the most potential in any given respect, regardless of their socio-economic standings, are provided with what’s necessary to live up to that potential. That way, the society is limited only to the potential of the collection of it’s smartest members.

A society in which the rich and powerful grant favors for their children, and their friends’ children, and their children’s friends, and so forth, is a society which limits itself to the intellectual capacity of whomever was lucky enough to be born a leech on a cow. (I just made that up.)

So, going back to what I was talking about earlier, let’s think about estates from a pragmatic standpoint.

It is 2011. Currently, a person born in this country’s ability to live out their potential is dependent upon which socio-economic class their family is. That’s just a fact.

The money those lucky enough to be “entitled” to a large inheritance get wouldn’t even exist had the United States of America not provided an economy for their dead relative to participate in.

So why is a person’s child, or anyone else, entitled to the money they were only able to make because of the great nation in which they live? Why do we think it’s right that the child of a person who utilized the tools provided for them by the state to amass wealth is entitled to use that money any way they please? Conservatives, you’re telling me, considering the fact that without it no one could have an estate in the first place, that the state isn’t entitled to any of a dead person’s wealth?

Pragmatically, I’m not saying that a 100% estate tax is ever favorable, but if conservatives argue it should be abolished, the other extreme warrants a defense, as well. That’s how good policy is made.

I believe that when you’re born in this country, you’re given a gift that transcends worth; freedom. Remember that thing, conservatives? That thing that pretending to care about gets so many votes?

Freedom is something that only lasts from birth until death, and considering the United States of America is the entity that bestowed upon all of us this gift, it’s wholly un-American, un-patriotic, and just plain wrong to cling to your daddy’s inheritance like a bratty screaming child clinging to a box of cookies when told to share.

And those very bratty screaming [fat-fuck] children are the ones who end up with all the economic power. Because yeah, if you’re like me and you’re born into a middle-class family and you have all the means to obtain an education and whatnot, if you work very hard you can become extremely successful, but I’m still going to be in debt before I start my career.

Someone from a lower-class family must work even harder.

Those toward the higher end of the socio-economic spectrum still don’t have it super easy, but they’re pretty much set as long as they don’t totally fuck up and get like three DUI’s or something.

Someone from an incredibly wealthy family, on the other hand, doesn’t even have to do well in high school. They can literally get DUI’s on the first Thursday of every month just for fun. It doesn’t matter, because even if they totally fail in life, they can still get a position at their family’s company or whatever, and they still have that huge trust fund, and they still probably get lots of money from their parents when they die, unless they totally piss them off.

And then that idiot ends up running daddy’s company. But daddy’s company deals with a large sector of the United State’s financial economy. So with the guidance of those his father appointed to be around him, he manages to do alright running the company.

But then he dies, and his son starts running the company.

By now, the company has been run to the ground, the U.S. economy slides into a second great depression, and now everyone’s poor. Except, of course, for the people who caused it; gotta love them trust funds!

That is, of course, a dramatization. However, it’s also one of the factors I attribute to the 2008 global economic collapse. And it’s only going to happen over and over again, each time more severely than the last, until we realize that the way we’re doing things isn’t necessarily the right way.

All I’m saying is that in a political culture where cutting benefits for people in need is way easier to accomplish politically than raising taxes on dead people, I feel I need to say something.

Because I believe that’s wrong.

I believe it’s the result of centuries of political manipulation, and if we were truly doing things the American way to get out of this recession, we would be raising taxes on those making over $500,000 a year and substantially raise the estate tax before even thinking about depriving citizens of benefits they’re relying on to make it through the very recession that necessitated their use of them in the first place.

Unfortunately, Fox News has a slightly larger audience than I.