Category Archives: videos

Personal Responsibility and Collective Power

A quote from former President Clinton’s appearance on the The Daily Show from Monday night (September 18, 2006):

If ever there comes a time when everyone you vote for wins and they do everything you think they should do, there will still be a gap between what is and what ought to be, at home and around the world. It’s just inevitable… And so people like you and me– private citizens– have more power to do public good than ever before and we should step into the gap. And unlike previous times, it’s great if you’re rich– Bill Gates and Warren Buffet deserve the world’s thanks and gratitude– it’s amazing what they’re doing, but you don’t have to be rich. In the tsunami, Americans gave 1.3, 1.2 billion dollars. Thirty percent of our households gave over half of them over the Internet. That’s stunning. So, that means if like everybody that’s watching The Daily Show decides tomorrow that they think the biggest thing in the world is to make America free of foreign oil and they want us to go into biofuels and there’s a fund that promotes that and everybody that sees this show gives ten or fifteen or twenty dollars– not big money– they all do it, you could change the world.

Watch it at Comedy Central– Part 1 and Part 2— and check out the the Clinton Global Initiative.

Video: God Is Dead (Kids in the Hall)

More media clip madness: from Katrina to Rita, many out there are wondering if God has forsaken us. Has God decided to punish the US? I doubt it– the wealth and good fortune the US and the American people have been blessed with far outways even the horrible destruction of these natural disasters.

But it does remind me of this clip from Kids in the Hall:

Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut on "The Daily Show"

I love Kurt Vonnegut and here’s another example of why I love him.

The best part of this? Vonnegut’s commentary on how good America is at democracy– after 100 years, you have to let your slaves go. After 150 years, you have to let your women vote, etc.

Just as Jon Stewart says about his own life, Vonnegut’s book helped make adolescence just that much more bearable. I’d rather forget the person who introduced me to Vonnegut, but I’ll never forget Vonnegut and his books. I absorbed his books throughout high school and have probably read almost everything he’s ever published. He introduced me to satire and black humor and that you could somehow find a balance between science and religion and that you could find fault with man to the point of utter disappointment and pessimism and yet still be a humanist.

I just picked up his newest book A Man without a Country. More hilarious insight ensues.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Kurt Vonnegut
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Indecision Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

Lame cop-outs

The Daily Show - Gay Watch - 04.26.2006 (Screenshot)

I wasn’t going to comment on this, but this Daily Show clip is just too funny to pass up: Quicktime, Windows Media.

When I first heard about this, I was really surprised– I thought Microsoft’s change in stance on HB 1515 was very strange. Say what you will about Microsoft as a technology source or even as a corporate power, but from what I’ve heard, they have had a pretty good track record on supporting charitable causes. They have a sizable matching program for their employees’ charitable donations and everyone has heard of Bill Gates’s personal philanthropic efforts. Moreover, in terms of queer rights, Microsoft has a sizeable queer community (GLEAM, Gay and Lesbian Employees at Microsoft. And as Steve Ballmer says in his email to Microsoft employees, they were one of the first companies to provide domestic partner benefits and to include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination policies.

However, the peculiar thing is that Ballmer (and Gates, by extension) says that they are wondering if a corporation should become involved in broader social issues, that if they take an active stance for or against legislation, what kind of message does it send to employees and shareholders who might hold an opposing view?

Well, with the increasing corporatization of America, I would think that its obvious that corporations have an enormous influence on social and political issues and if they want to continue to exert that influence in some areas, shouldn’t they also feel some moral responsibility to, put bluntly, not be a bunch of wusses when it comes to broader social issues? Perhaps the case would be different if Microsoft did not have a history of becoming involved in social and political issues, but to back down when things get a little interesting seems cowardly. By instituting domestic partner benefits and including sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination efforts, Microsoft’s internal policy was already making a broader social statement and while Ballmer says he does not want to promote a law that goes against the personal beliefs of many of its employees is really a lame-ass copout. By supporting HB1515, Microsoft wouldn’t be saying that gay marriage should be legalized or that employees have to embrace homosexuality. What they would be saying is that no matter how you feel about homosexuality personally, a lifestyle choice that is in no way illegal, you should not disciminate against homosexuals in the workplace. You may not like black people, Asian people, white people, Jewish people, Muslim people, red fish, blue fish, but it’s illegal to discriminate against them in the workplace. Obviously, Microsoft agrees with this idea since they have an internal policy against discinination based on sexual orientation and have recognized domestic partners in providing benefits. If they think it’s good enough for Microsoft, why isn’t it good enough for the workplace in general?

The Water Ionizer

Clearly, not only do I have too much time on my hands, but my parents do as well. They just had this ionizing system installed in their kitchen– it’s a Japanese product although my parents got it through some Korean reseller here complete with Korean language manual. You turn on the tap, flip the switch to direct the water through the system, and then select the desired pH level of the water. Smack in the middle is, of course, purified water for drinking, acidic is to the left, and alkaline is to the right. There’s little pictures corresponding to for what use each level is appropriate– water for the cat, water for brushing your teeth, water for taking medication, water for cooking, etc. Presumably, the purpose of this system is for health benefits and for maximum value, there’s a soothing female voice that lets you know what’s going on (“Acidic water selected…”) and then it plays a little song while it works. You can’t really appreciate it until you’ve seen it, which is why I recorded a little video of the water ionizer in action. This the first time I’ve actually used the video capability of my digital camera and let me tell you, it was well worth it.