Archive for March, 2005

I’m off for the next three weeks.

Keeping with tradition (one that I invented myself for no reason), I will not post on this site while I am away.

You can read about my trip here:

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Whatcha hidin’ behind your back there little Jason??? Some quarters to put in that coin operated TV???

Oh yeah….tell your parents they might want to consider mowing the living room carpet….

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I am not bashful about the fact that I was a cute kid. I mean, come on….Macaulay Culkin ain’t got shit on that. I should’ve been Home Alone or something….Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, anything. I feel cheated. Why couldn’t I have had the psycho parents that turned me into a child star? Why couldn’t I have been a pre-teen alcoholic?

At least then I could have a career making fun of everything on VH1’s “I Love the 80s”. I wonder how much that pays? I am good at making fun of everthing. I bet I would be at the top of the pay scale. I might be able to get a gig on the Surreal Life too. I think that show is hilarious.

People think Macaulay Culkin grew up ugly. If you’ve seen him lately…maybe on Celebrity Poker since he certainly isn’t acting….he isn’t ugly. He turned out to be a fairly average looking adult….which is a far cry from the “cutest kid on the planet” mantle he bore in childhood. Macaulay Culkin maxed out his looks at around 12 years old. That sucks for him.

Maybe it is best that I wasn’t a child star? I would hate to think I peaked at 12….or maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. He is a gazillionare.

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I remember in High School, and especially College, I didn’t really like Spring Break. Why?

I didn’t do shit for weeks after I got back. In High School I guess it didn’t make much of a difference since I didn’t do shit anyway, but in college it would end up hurting my grades right in the middle of the semester…then I’d have to study for my exams so I could bring my grades up to something respectable.

In fact, most vacations simply leave me wanting more. When I come back, after a week or so, or a long weekend, I am simply reminded how much my regular life sucks.

Vacations themselves might be fun, but most of them are not so relaxing since you try to cram as much as you can into your time-off….which isn’t really time-off at all if you are trying to cram everything you can into each day. I don’t need a vacation to feel hurried….I achieve that everyday regardless.

After you finish your vacation….that is the part that gets me. Let’s say you do achieve some trivial level of relaxation. You go back to work to find that relaxation does not serve you very well at the office.

You feel more rushed and stressed than usual since you have become unaccustomed to it. You notice how quickly people walk through the halls, and how tired everyone looks. Too much is always happenning at the same time.

You take a vacation to refresh your energy, to reprepare yourself for your life….but when you come back work seems worse, not better.

Go figure??

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I did not write the following piece but I certainly have expressed these same sentiments many times. It is a clever way to put it though. I admit that.

What would the game of basketball look like if it followed the same rules as the “real world”?

First, I would charge an admission fee not only to watch the game but to play in it. And the more one pays, the longer one gets to stay in the game.

Second, there should be a price paid for each shot taken, and the easier the shot, the more it should cost.

Third, as for fouls, one should be able to pay the referees, so that they never call any fouls on you (or walking or double dribble violations for that matter).

Fourth – and maybe most important – there is no good reason that the baskets should be the same height for both teams. It should be possible for the team that pays more to have its basket lowered, and for double that amount to have the basket the other team is going for raised.

Under present rules, those players who are taller and better coordinated and can run faster and jump higher have all the advantages. My rules would exchange the advantages enjoyed by these people for other advantages that would benefit a different group, one that has been poorly served by basketball as now played. That group is the rich. With my rules, the rich would possess all the “talent” (what it takes to win) and – more in keeping with what occurs in the rest of society – never lose a game.

This illustrates pretty well the environment we’ve created in the US.

On the court in the real game of basketball, beside the fame and pay, the best TEAM wins. The best players are the ones that make the players around them better. That is why we love basketball. We are rewarded for what we know is the best in us.

We live in a world that rewards power and money, all the while preaching that the meek shall inherit the earth, that a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle before a rich man enters the kingdom of heaven, and what is done to the least of us is done to all of us.

Those values are in direct contradication.

That is my single biggest issue with Capitalism, the “profit motive”, and the “its just business” mentality. It somehow expects us to abandon our most dearly held values….so that we can buy and make more stuff.

For a lot of people that “stuff” is food….I understand that decision. There is no morality for a starving man. However, for alot of us…it isn’t food. We’re held hostage to a cycle that created the very spiritual bankruptcy we’re trying to escape.

Have you ever heard the term “business decision”? Why would a business decision be any different than any other decision? Does it need its own naming convention? Are “business decisions” some sort of justification for what would be considered immoral in private life??

It is unrealistic to expect people to be able to follow one set of values in private life and another in business. People are not so pluralistic. They break or become numb if there is no consistency between there values and their actions.

My point, and one that I have been thinking about for years, is that Capitalism is a value system….not an economic model.

Life looks like the game of Basketball described above, but we preach a game of Basketball much like the one we play, one that rewards teamwork and people who take care of each other…which is why it appeals to us so much.

If we leave the “free market” to do what it likes, we will continue to resemble the game of basketball described above. We must make it behave using laws and government….or it will make us immoral.

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