Saturday, April 02, 2005

Boourns for Politics

::start rant::

I am tired of the following:

1.) Political blogs.

About 80% of the blogs that I surf are based upon some political platform. Conservative, Liberal, the Right, the Left. blah blah blah.
99% are American. Same shit, different blog. NONE of these blogs have anything original to say, it's all the same prejudice and bias and ignorance in subtly different forms. A few may be faintly amusing, but I use 'faintly' and 'amusing' in a very cautious way. Just more thoughtless sheep forcing their blindly accepted hegemony down the collective blogosphere's throat.

Not to mention the uproar over Terri Schiavo. For the life of me I can't conceive of how this has blown to these proportions. Mentions of her and the controversy surrounding her case are EVERYWHERE. It's inescapable, especially on blogs. Yes, there are some moral and ethical issues at stake here - NONE of which are new. These cases occur so often, in such similar forms, and have been politically existent for many years. Why all this hoopla now?

Furtheremore, how come Schiavo's case has received this excess of media attention whereas the Minnesota School Shooting where 9 people were killed has received close to nothing?! Is this old news? Are school shootings now passé? Or is this less important because it took place in a non-white native reserve community?

I'm tired of the fact that these questions are even somewhat relevant. It's sad, it's frustrating, and it's so damn pervasive.

2.) Academic Politics.

So my Thesis Poster Conference (clicky) was on Thursday. It involves making a 40" by 56" inch poster that summarizes your thesis, and as the above pic shows, all the thesis students have their posters on display in the courtyard of the Science Building for faculty and students to peruse for a few hours. I had to stand by my poster for this time and answer any questions from people while also having to give a 10-15 minute presentation of my thesis to two faculty evaluators.

I had found out the day before that my two evaluators were notoriously hard markers. Wonderful, but that's not all: one of the evaluators, let's call him Dr. X, thoroughly dislikes my thesis supervisor and has even attacked her personal life during a meeting. So I basically knew I was going to get a hard time from him. Oh was I mistaken. I got a really hard time from him. He basically reamed me out for 35 minutes, telling me my results were weak, and my conclusions were faulty based on the statistics. He teaches stats, so he spent a good amount of time telling me how bad my stats were. heh. Such a nice fellow!

It was rude, mean-spirited, and completely unnecessary. I'm an undergraduate for fucks sake! Of course I didn't do an analysis of covariance - I don't fucking KNOW how to do one! Yes, it was far from a perfect experiment, but the fact that we managed to pull off some significant results definitely speaks to the relevancy of the manipulation. I was attacked for purely political reasons, and I'm tired of it.

3. (last one, I promise) Relationship Politics.

In friendships and other relationships there can exist those certain unwritten rules - they differ from relationship to relationship, but they're always there. The best relationships involve either very few of these rules, or rules that are explicitly discussed. When there are too many of these rules, the workings of the friendship or other relationships can become far too confusing and frustrating. There are things you want to say or talk about, but you can't because it violates one of those stupid damn rules.

Most of the time I can deal with these minor frustrations, but lately it just seems like it's all piling on top of eachother and driving me up the proverbial wall in the process.


::end rant::

Listening to: Bohemian Like You - Dandy Warholls


At 10:58 PM , Blogger rabsteen said...

seriously you need to syndicate. i finally find a blog i like and there's no feed?! you can turn on the atom feed in blogger options or use a service like feedburner

lemme know when you do, so i can stay current on your updates.

unless of course this weirds you out. no pressure.

At 4:08 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

I have to say....

You are my new hero!

No joke!

You just put into words everything I've been thinking for the last year with regard to blogging, school and people in general.

Thank you!

And if ya want, gimme the name of that dude and I'll go and do something rude to him on your behalf. HA! That'll teach him! (kidding btw, but I agree, he was totally out of line)

Be well.

At 6:51 PM , Blogger Dan said...

I wrote a post similar to yours. I as well am painfully aware of the bias and overall ignorance of political blogs. I usually want to comment, but just feel it would be useless. People will believe what they want to believe.

At 9:40 PM , Blogger Ian Edwards said...

Hey Joanna! :)

It's good to have a rant sometimes, and I agree with what you've said. The whole political blogs thing also annoys me, and the fact that everyone needs to tell me their view on Terri Schiavo aswell.

At 10:04 PM , Blogger Joanna said...

thank you for the comments, rabsteen and shannon. It's always nice to hear :) Shannon: I appreciate the offer, but I think some plans are already underway. heh. Rabsteen: I have no idea what a feed means, I'm quite computer illiterate. I wouldn't know how to use a serveice or anything.

Dan: you're absolutely right. People will definitely believe what they want, it's useless trying to convince them otherwise.

Hi Ian :) Thanks for commenting, and yes, ranting can be quite therapeutic!

At 5:18 AM , Blogger Chorna said...

Oh my goodness. I can't thank you enough for posting your rant! I remember when I started writing my blog I was tempted to talk about what I had seen in the news, but I'd been in enough forums and chat rooms to see where this can lead. I'm not saying what I do end up putting in there isn't a tad bit political (I admit I use my own morals and principles to monitor my own comments). However I did try hard not to go down the route of "omg I can't believe what - - - said in - - - today" but it seems it's not such an effort anymore. :D

I agree with the discrepancies over news content and as a media/culture student it really struck me how aware people are of how this is done day after day... and so frustrating that so little seems to be done/can be done to prevent it. The real question I find that keeps cropping up in my mind is the idea of a 'global coverage' of media, when physically, do you really think that's possible? I'm slowly becoming quite critical of the ideology of globalisation via corporations and centralised governments, or political movements... but I'm so new to this, I'm still looking to develop my views and ideas before I ever set them down in detailed papers. :)

Well done once again on a really great post!

At 11:01 AM , Blogger Richard said...

You seriously haven't been taught how to analyse co-variance?


Now, what *I* think about Terri Schaivo...

I think all blogger blogs have an atom feed at

If it isn't there, then Jo needs to spend a couple minutes looking through the blogger options until she finds the enable atom feed checkbox. Seriously, it's as easy as checking a box.

At 11:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I also hate is people who don't think Blog are anything but people writing about their cat dying, or how many times they had a cup of coffee. A friend wrote a great rant which I think sums it all up.

Great post and I happen to agree with you.

At 6:55 PM , Blogger Mike said...

unfortunately the experience of academic politics is neither new nor fading. if anything (as far as i can remember of my college days through the beer and fag smoke) it's growing stronger as the world is polarized into more and more numerous academic sects. they are each convinced that they are right and that all others are wrong. sound familiar at all? (coughreligioncough) and the students are unfairly and unjustly used as fodder between professor battles, like a sick and twisted version of chess. i was fortunate enough in my stay at U not to be subjected to the malaise of a large and fractured faculty. with 3 professors and 1 assistant prof, it's hard to hold a grudge for very long.

political blogs are starting to wear thin. i can appreciate them accosionally, but on the whole, i don't think i've visited Daily K-os in about 6 weeks now. i prefer what i call "real-people blogs", like WWdN and bruce sterling @ wired. granted, this has come from over two years worth of blogging and trying out a lot of different blogs and setteling a rare few who i have syndicated. sorry for the plugs, but why not link to it when i mention it?

terri shiavo was uninteresting and over-exposed. the red lake school killings were downplayed to discourage copy-cats and to limit the amount of carnage that's seen on television, esp. in the US.

anyhoo, just some thoughts.

hail ants!

At 2:08 AM , Blogger frankysbride said...

What *were* the mnemonic effects of a uridine monophosphate diet on enriched and impoverished rats...?

At 2:33 AM , Blogger Winston said...

And cats...What's up with all the pictures of cats? I know what a cat looks like! show me a pic of your frying pan or something new...No more cats!

At 1:58 PM , Blogger Joanna said...

Thank you, Chorna! And yes, I have also been quite wary of the globalization movement in recent years. It's something that we have to be continually aware of in order to be critical about what we consume.

Blog feed is now linked beneath the blogexplosion icon, btw :)

Hi Mike! I know full well that academic politics is something I will have to continually negotiate. It's unfortunate, as you said, but that's the reality of my chosen field. At least for the next 4 years I'm getting paid to deal with it!

frankybride: I'm glad you asked! Impoverished environmental conditions have been shown to induce memory deficits that mimic those due to aging. We therefore found that long term dietary supplementation with UMP prevented memory loss that is typically seen in impoverished animals. UMP may serve as a new therapeutic tool for conditions of memory loss, such as Alzheimer's Disease.

At 11:13 PM , Blogger supine said...

Joanna, did you happen to see the South Park episode last week? (Maybe shows are on a different schedule in other countries...?)

Anyway, Kenny was in a coma and Cartman went to the Supreme Court and said that he was his BFF and therefore should be allowed to pull Kenny's plug. There was a huge national scandal with TV crews all over the town and the hospital room. At the end the kids all found Kenny's living will and all it said was that he never wanted to be shown in a coma on live TV.

It blows me away that they can do shows that are in such "bad taste" and yet they are so hilarious. Anyway, great post! :)

At 11:57 AM , Blogger Marinade Dave said...

My blog isn't political at all.

At 8:26 PM , Blogger dom said...

I see the Headline of the up n coming blog marked "Politics" I go find something to do for 30 seconds lol
We get enough sad news and politics on TV ,why oh why have to read it again ?
Nice blog btw :-)

At 1:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I sit here thinking about things and how fortunate we are I think of family. Work is hard sure but it's all for an end. I pay too much tax but it is to support those less fortunate I hope. (Otherwise I'll go crazy...) So here we are thanking our stars that we have good food, good friends and good family around to keep us content. We miss you and are proud of you.

We are very well established here now but feel quite blessed to have family around.

Hope all is well with you Jo-Bird

Keep up the good work!

At 1:08 PM , Blogger Joanna said...

got to love drunken blog comments left by family members ;)

Thanks Uncle-Bob - I definitely have to get out to Calgary to see you all sometime soon!


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