Friday, June 13, 2003

Top Gun

Apparently, Segway isn't as fool-proof as the company claims. I want to see a bunch of secret service suits zooming around on these!

You would think that with the Israelis and the Palestinians killing each other with renewed vigor, the leader of the free world would be more concerned, since he himself just persuaded (or is bullied a more accurate term?) both sides into compliance with the Roadmap for Peace. Nope. Not at all. He will be spending the weekend in Maine playing golf and riding scooters with 41. CNN: "The stay in Kennebunkport was only the most recent long weekend of relaxation Bush has taken since the Iraq war. He has had three long weekends at his Crawford, Texas, ranch since mid-April."

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Greed In Disguise

Looks like they are planning to make a live-action Transformers movie, which makes me very very happy, if it is done properly of course. Everyone knows money is the ultimate motive behind the decision. This is capitalism we are talking about! But still, I find it hard to stomache the amount of crass commercialism exhibited in the story:

Added DeSanto: "Transformers is one of the properties I have been infatuated with for a long time. Like 'X-Men,' Transformers offers an amazing mythology with all the elements to create a successful ongoing franchise, iconic characters, global themes and a world that has never been seen before onscreen."

"We loved the creative take that Tom and Don presented to us," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group. "And for Hasbro, the center of our corporate strategy is extending our core brands in a variety of entertainment forms ... This is a franchise where the next story arc and the next destination is on the big screen."

"Properties"? "Franchise"? "Corporate strategy"? "Core brands"? We are talking about the coolest robots ever imagined!! They can transform into cars, planes, and other cool shit. I don't think "franchise" was in my vocabulary when I got hooked on "Transformers." This story just makes me more cynical and disillusioned. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Thank You

Today I began to feel sick again. I guess the nonstop apartment hunting during lunch and after work for the past 3 weeks has taken its toll on me. On my way to the subway from work, I went into a drug store to buy some cough drops and Dayquil. I took everything to the counter and paid using my credit card. I was coughing pretty badly at this point so I ripped open the cough drop bag and popped in one. The lady behind the counter gave me the sales slip to sign and said with a smile, "I hope you feel better soon." For the six months I have been living in this city, no stranger has ever been so nice to me. I smiled back at her and said, "Thank you."

I don't have anything against Rosie O'Donnell, the woman took on K-Mart for selling guns for God's sake, so I'm not trying to bitch at her just because I hold some kind of grudge.What I'm wondering is why is she selling crap? I don't think pencils on a messy background or shiny, colorful balls flashed across my mind as I woke up to images of planes crashing into buildings on that fateful morning. There is a very low correlation between fame and talent these days. Just because someone is famous doesn't mean she can paint like Michelangelo. Even if I were to become a big celebrity some day, I can guarantee you won't see me trying to peddle a Taebo video.

Monday, June 09, 2003

A Creation Myth

On Sunday after my apartment-hunting expedition in Manhattan, I went to check out the Puerto Rico Day parade despite my future roommate's recommendation to get out of Manhattan since the crowds can get pretty rowdy and even dangerous sometimes: two or three years ago several women were sexually assaulted in Central Park. Actually, I didn't really check out the parade intentionally. I was just wandering around and somehow came upon it, which took place mainly on Fifth Ave.

I thought I had died and gone to hoochie heaven.

Never in my life have I seen so many eyeballs glued to so many skin-tight, bulging white shirts hiding such dangerous weapons of mass distraction, or so many camcorders zoomed in on so many shapely, bouncing behinds. It was quite a sight. Speaking of shapely behinds, sometimes I can't help but wonder if once upon a time....

There was a Garden of Booty somewhere in the Heavens. In the Garden, there were row after row after row of booties of all sizes, shapes and colors. The exhausted migrant workers who toiled in the fields cultivated these amorphous balls of flesh lovingly. They made sure each one received the proper amount of sunlight, water and nutrients. In a sense, they were the Guardian Angels of Glutes, the Fairy Godmothers of Asses. They treated each individual buttocks like their own offspring, with such tender loving care that they wept for 3 days whenever they were forced to sacrifice one to the mythical Ass Gobbler that roamed in the Jungle of Boobies.

All was happy and sunshine until one day when the Lord of All Lords, the Mightiest Immortal of Them All, the Most Powerful Whatchamacallit in the Universe, aka Buff Daddy, undertook an endeavor to create a race of squabbling, selfish, devious, murderous poopyheads modeled after Himself, to whom He bestowed the name "Humans." Now, Buff Daddy, or B. Diddy as He was affectionately known throughout the Heavens and Nether regions, was one hell of a party animal (don't think I've ever seen "party animal" mentioned in any fairy tales, but this is not your grandpa's folk tale). During the first few eons of His monumental project, He was higher than a sub-orbital satellite and more inebriated than a monkey tossed into a pool of Jack Daniels. Instead of adhering to His original, meticulously drafted blueprints, He just dug up some mud and molded them into little stick figures haphazardly. Then He fell asleep.

While Diddy was pissing His pants in His sleep, the Guardians stumbled upon His creations. They felt so sorry for these abominable little turds that they decided to make the ultimate sacrifice: they gingerly harvested their most precious assets and made them the assets of the little people. For reasons unknown to this day, they assigned to the Hispanics and the blacks the healthiest, bounciest and most beautiful romps in the Garden. By the time they finished implanting the 89-octane fannies to the whites, they were tired and ceased to care about the quality of their craftsmanship. Therefore, the Asians were shafted for the first of many times to come with the left-over, dying, diseased, and hence flattest asses.

And there you have it boys and girls.
Smoking Gun My Ass

Sigh, I really really liked Tony Blair. He is intelligent, eloquent, sincere, charming and seems to have a firm handle on global politics and world geography. In other words, the man is an anti-Bush. Too bad he won't last much longer in office. Not after this:

The dossier -- titled "Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation" -- sparked outrage after it was discovered that parts of it were copied from a 12-year-old thesis by an American student.

I had no idea how desperately they wanted to wage war.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

The Price Of Life

A couple of nights ago on Law and Order there was a murder committed for the purpose of getting the victim's life insurance money. It reminded me of the quarter-million-dollar insurance policy that I'm getting from my company. My parents and relatives could really put that money to good use, I thought. Then I chuckled as I realized how stupid it was to think this way. I remember how shocked my grandpa was when he came to the States to visit and heard on the news that some guy's family was awarded tens of millions of dollars as a part of a wrongful death lawsuit. He said, "If my children could receive that much money, I would die too." What really saddened me was that he was only half joking.

When I was growing up in China, I read countless stories and watched myriad movies constantly reinforcing the notion that one should always be altruistic and not be afraid of sacrificing one's life. Chinese history is replete with accounts of people willing to sacrifice themselves for country, family, friends, lovers, honor, principle. There are legends that praise noble court scholars and advisors who were put to death because they dared to question and denounce ruthless tyrants. I've read vivid tales of warriors who fought and died valiantly while trying to defend their kingdoms against invading armies that outnumbered them 10,000 to 1. In one of my elementary school textbooks, I read about the martydom of Dong Cunrui, a soldier in the People's Liberation Army who gave his life to blow up an enemy stronghold. The countless selfless acts of Lei Feng, another PLA soldier, were also documented in my textbooks.

In one of the most ludicrous Chinese movies I have ever seen, two female bank employees were fatally stabbed while trying to fight off a bank robber. Although I saw this movie when I was around 8 or 9 years old, I can still remember watching them crawling on the ground drenched in blood and one of the women clutching in her hands her own severed ear, all in the name of protecting the People's money stored in the state-owned bank. When my family first arrived in the States, we were surprised to see movies depicting people hitting the floor as soon as a bank robber waves a gun in the air. Even the armed security guards!! That is absurd, we said. How could so many people be frightened by one lone gun man? They could totally overpower him! Looking back now, the only thing that was absurd was our reaction. These cowardly Americans have their priorities straight. How much money could a robber steal that would justify risking even ONE person's life? The money can be recovered, the robber will be caught, and justice will be served, but no one can be resurrected.

Just as we initially could not comprehend why no one would try to subdue a bank robber, most Americans do not understand how anyone could strap on an explosive belt and be willing to kill himself as well as other innocent people. I am not at all surprised that there are so many suicide bombers: growing up as a kid in China, the most trying hardship that I had to endure was the paucity of meat at dinner every day, and yet I was idealistic enough or brainwashed to such an extent (it's all a matter of interpretation) that I would not have ruled out sacrificing my life for the "Party" as Dong Cunrui had. I wasn't told that 72 beautiful virgins would be waiting for me in Heaven after my martyrdom. I wasn't told where I could and could not go by what I perceive to be invaders who have feuded with my people for centuries. I didn't have a five-year-old kid brother who was killed in a crossfire or a home that was bulldozed. I never felt as powerless as someone who has only rocks to fight tanks. And yet I had so little concern for my own life that I could have thrown it away just like that. Of course I would never condone or justify something as horrific and inhumane as suicide bombing. I just don't think suicide bombers should simply be dismissed as crazy zealots (most of them are not even terribly religious, according to an Israeli expert on terrorism who was interviewed on "60 Minutes"), or Islam attacked as a "wicked" religion.

Ok, one random question before I finally post the longest blog entry I have ever written: Do the female suicide bombers get 72 virgins too? How would she know if these guys are virgins since no guy will ever admit to being a virgin?