I Cut My Cable

September 26, 2010

No DVR. No wireless. No modem. No telephone. Nothing, nada, zilch, donut.

Got tired of 999 channels, $145 bucks a month and still nothing to watch.

I never used my home phone. I decided to just use that cyber dude’s
unguarded wireless in my apartment complex. I never watch the game in the
abode. And I never really needed so much digital high definition that I
can see the make up mistakes in old movies, the pulsating acne in Saved By
the Bell re runs and that Real Housewives of anywhere have more lines on
their skin then a subway map.

My new quarter life visual arts technology philosophy is, if I need to see
it, I will just Hulu or wait for it to be posted in bits and pieces on You
Tube.

Down side. I do have to paint my wall though. The plasma sort of gave a
poltergeist burnt hue to the place. I can only imagine what the radiation
did to my brain and my sperm count.

Think about it. No more shows about hospitals, cops, courtroom drama. No
more television about people who chat with ghosts. No more network
sanctioned human auctioning like Bachelorette or Who Wants a Date with
this washed up rapper. No more vampires. No more Jersey-ANYTHING.

And you know what? I feel good.

My ¼ life carbon footprint is smaller and so is the ass print on the couch.
My bar bill will go up, but I am getting out of the house more.
My monthly household expenses will be less, but I might make that up with
movie downloads.
My Weii has not been touched in months, I have a girlfriend…so nothing
changed there.

And MY opportunity at seeing the face of my college freshman cousin’s eyes
light up when I brought my 72-incher as a dorm warming present…was worth
all the hours of potato-ing I have ever done.

Stop begging them to listen (the Republicans and the American people)

September 26, 2010

Barack Obama has a clear problem. It’s that he is not acting decisively.

Quick comparison, re: George W. Bush: “George had immense simplicity in how he saw the world. Right or wrong, it led to decisive leadership.” – Tony Blair, in his recent autobiography.

I am not surprised by Mr. Blair’s description. For a man who prided himself on ‘going with his gut’ – “simplicity,” seems to go hand in hand with former President Bush’s leadership style. Hence the quick starts to wars without thought out exit strategies or significant preparation and research into best operational practices (maybe diplomacy?! – woops, I’m sorry, that takes too much time and definitely too much of that deem der words n thinkin’)

Regardless, he got things done.

President Obama, however, wants to lecture, elaborate, explain, inform, educate, and professorate to the American people about why jobs haven’t come back yet (we avoided a depression, so this is wonderful in comparison), or why healthcare needed to get passed (morally reprehensible not to have access to healthcare for those who need it / healthcare costs are out of control and the biggest contributor to deficit spending), why we have to protect the constitution (and allow people to build community religious centers where they want), why financial regulation was such a good thing for them (avoid bubbles, protect consumers) etc.

Wow. That sounds like he’s doing a lot actually. And he’s about to involve consumer advocate and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren to help set up the consumer protection agency she helped champion into creation. Add another point to the working man’s score card.

So what’s Obama’s problem? Public perception. The President’s favorability numbers have crashed and burned as of late. That’s typical during tough economic times.

But, the President doesn’t have the luxury of being well-liked anymore. Especially because he’s not as folksy as previous presidents – where Clinton and Bush seemed to excel. The public’s perception that “they could have a beer with the President;” that he understands their predicaments, their values, and their lives.

Obama is a nerd in a nation full of unemployed construction and manufacturing workers. He is facing the brunt of the ramifications of a changing world – globalization, outsourcing, cheap off-shore labor, technology driven productivity advances, and the ultimate transformation of the US economy into one heavily based on information and services.

Barack Obama is dealing with an electorate that doesn’t understand the complex issues and dynamic involved in our greater economy. Or how we fix it. Or that it takes time to fix.

They connect to simple people and simple ideas (see: Tea Party movement). People just like them and ideas they “plum understand.” Barack Obama, as a highly educated, well spoken Black man, doesn’t vibe with most people’s identification. Especially because he’s an undercover terrorist, Muslim, Hitler-isc, socialist-elitist.

People do not want to be told that the jobs are coming back when they’ve been unemployed for 6 months or a year. When they’re upside down on their house, they don’t want it explained to them that it’s going to take time to get the glut of supply off the housing market. When they’re managing a small company, they don’t want to be told their taxes are going up.

They need solutions. Not talk.

What are the problems facing our economy? There’s a serious gap between workers’ skills and the jobs available. These people may NEVER get their old jobs back. So we need to train the available work-force for the jobs that are offered. Banks aren’t lending – that’s hurting small businesses. We need to get them to lend again. And now! Companies have tons of money on the side-lines because they’re scared- there’s too much uncertainty out there. So they’re not investing in research and development, not in employees, not in investment spending. And they will -only once there’s demand for their goods and services again.

Where will the demand come from? Consumers aren’t spending the way they used to and may never spend that way again. (Remember credit cards and living beyond our means?) With that said, the only way to increase demand, is to increase the number of people working so they can spend money again. That will get the businesses excited and spending money and hiring more workers. And then the dominoes will begin to fall.

Capitalism needs confidence to succeed. And confidence will only come with JOBS.

We need action. We need things to happen now. We need decisive leadership. Bold, strong, from the gut leadership. Creative solutions that have gigantic impacts.

So I say to President Obama: Stop talking. Stop being on TV. Stop showing people that you’re doing something. The sound-bites aren’t working. I hear in your voice, a staining, a begging, a “please understand it takes time to repair 8 years of backwards policies – of neglect, of irresponsibility, of short-term thinking,” a weakness that was not there when you spoke of hope and change. It is time to deliver. We can no longer talk about “the previous administration.”

We live in a different age now, where information is spread rapidly and media is omnipresent. You’re operating under the microscope, but that’s why we elected you. Because only you could do the job. Only you could fight for us.

But people are out there – literally being kicked out of their homes. When wall street was on the precipice of collapse, the government came in and acted decisively, and saved us from tremendous turmoil and pain.

Well—saved some. Others are out there drowning in debt, just barely getting by, trying to find work, trying to live, trying to just survive.

We can blame Republican blockades all we want. But, the problem, of this President, is decisive clear simple straightforward leadership. What we need now is the doing. The action. No more talking.

Mr. President, the campaign is over, we need you to lead now.

It Gets Better

September 23, 2010

Dan Savage is my personal hero. He may be “just” a sex columnist, but I love him. He constantly gives straightforward advice that people often don’t want to hear. He’s also incredibly connected to the gay community and efforts for equality.

Recently, he focused on a few gay teenagers who had committed suicide. Being a teenager sucks. As hard as being a Quarterlifer is, remember what it was like in high school. Between finding yourself, going to school, and all the pressures in between we had a hard enough time getting through. For those of us bullied for any reason, but specifically for being gay, teen survival is incredibly difficult.

Dan Savage wanted to tell those kids who think that death is easier than high school that life gets better. Once you leave high school and find a community that cares about you, life gets better. Once you’re away from the daily torment, life gets better. He’s started a YouTube channel where he and his husband Terry started by talking about their life and how things got better for them. Sure, we’ve experienced tough times as QLers, but if you’d like to send a message to our GLBT teen counterparts, visit the site and make a video.
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Hustle and Flow, baby

September 18, 2010

You can tell your mom and dad to stop worrying—it’s not just you—it’s our whole generation. And not only in America. Joblessness around the world is affecting Quarterlifers

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that more than a quarter of China’s graduating class of 2010 has yet to find work. According to the Education Ministry, that’s about 6.3 million new Chinese college graduates who are unemployed.

In Great Britain, 18 to 24 year olds are suffering with 20 percent unemployment. And In America, our rate hovers around the same.

Yet, millions of students are going to college, hoping that their advanced degrees will help them get into the job of their dreams. The reality of it is they should just hope they get a job.

In America, the recession has wiped out about 8.2 million jobs during 2008 and 2009.

Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, calculates job increases would have to average 400,000 a month to return to a 6% unemployment rate by the end of 2013.

Suffice to say that those numbers are a far reach from where we are today. There was a net jobs LOSS in August of 54,000 jobs. We have a steep way up to climb to return job numbers to pre-recession levels.

What does that mean for quarterlifers? Hustle and flow baby. Hustle and flow.

No seriously, what it means is prepare to get underpaid, in a job you probably don’t love, for a while. But instead of getting down in the dumps about lack of opportunities, use this time to build work experience. This is the biggest thing that employers look for in prospective new employees. Do your job and do it to the best of your ability, and your sure to get someone to notice.

The biggest thing the recession has done has increased the supply of workers, while demand for workers has been low. In the competitive market of finding a job—you have to stand out—be someone who brings immediate value from the skills you’ve developed. For many employers, they want to see real world performance from actual work experience.

Also, in the interlude, Quaterlifers should take advantage of this time to work on personal projects that are meaningful to them. Whether it’s your music career, your great American novel, your stamp collecting, or whatever it is that you love.

The job of the Quarterlifer is to be resilient. College allowed us to put on various hats, try new things, be challenged, and tested. Now, practice is over and we must apply those tangible skills in the real world.

The refrain, “but I have a college degree…” no longer carries with it the promise of a the well-paying job. But, it does open doors and give you the opportunity to show your stuff.

Seize it.

A quarterlifer turns 30

September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Adelaide!

Adelaide Mankato is the first of our staff to turn 30. For many people this sparks unknown fear into their hearts. She has dealt with this passage beautifully over at her blog

Beer and cake for everyone!!

Quarter Life %$#!-it List

September 15, 2010

Get it? Bucket list?

Well, since even list making has become so blogger defined with the
bucket, I Hate, Top Ten, WTFs and Fails…I thought to make up my own
category.

This is not what I wanted to do before I “kicked the bucket” or moved on
from this quarter life list. Just a 7-Day thing. In order to work out of
my weekly quarter life crisis I decided on a fudge-it list. I might not
achieve it all, but it is really about the journey…right?

This week I will…

Get a washboard stomach? Again it is all about the try.

Pitch an idea to Bravo television where I open a restaurant that only
sells grilled cheese.

Get a Tosh.O Web Redemption.

Research, explore, discover and befriend Bigfoot. Shoot him, have him
stuffed, get front page in the National Enquirer and National
Geographic…and then hit the state fair circuit charging two bit’s a gander
to view the 8th wonder of the world!

Find peace with my ex’s credit score and identity theft.

Eat and exercise right. See my first list item.

Perfect the art of the cinnamon roll. Probably not going to help me on
number one either.

Crash a college party or tail-gater and be “that” guy at the keg. (I
graduated like a million years ago)

Do my Halloween shopping early. I want to be that crazy guy on the block
that always has the coolest haunted house in his garage. Course that will
probably land me on some law enforcement list.

Come to peace with a funny little man I like to call “me”

That’s it…all doable…all attainable…all mine. No matter the outcome, I am
able to say $%#-it! I tried!

“What did you do this week?”

Christine O’Donnell needs to get laid

September 15, 2010

I remember in the late 1990s watching Politically Incorrect with my minister father after my mom went to bed. It was a bonding moment for us and we had some pretty great discussions. One of our favorite reoccurring guests was Christine O’Donnell. She was noted, then, as being the founder of the “Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth” aka S.A.L.T. which from what my dad and I could figure out was some religious scare tactic to keep teenagers uneducated about sex. When you saw that she was going to be on the show, you knew it was bound to be a good show.

Three weeks ago, my dad called me and said- “What was that show we used to watch with Christine O’Donnell?” I’ll admit, I wasn’t paying attention to the primary elections in Delaware so the name didn’t ring a current bell to me. However, the memory of evenings watching her argue virginity, heterosexual relationships, and extreme right-wing conservative idiocy came rushing back to me. “Bill Maher!” I told him, after which he informed me she was facing a senate primary in Delaware. Thanks to Rachel Maddow, we had both been reintroduced to Ms. O’Donnell and her wacky antics.

Today, she won her race. While it terrifies me that there are people out there who would believe that this woman could make sane legislation, it looks like a good sign for her Democratic challenger. As fun as it has been to relive those evenings in 1998 watching TV with my dad, and as fun as it has been to see her say wacky things in interviews again, I hope she crashes and burns. At least until the next election cycle.
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THIS is why we love Lady Gaga

September 13, 2010

Four gay and lesbian soldiers chaperoned Lady Gaga into the MTV Video Music Awards earlier tonight in Los Angeles.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network identified the four soldiers as former U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Hall; former U.S. Air Force Major Mike Almy; former U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Stacy Vasquez, all of whom the military discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; and former West Point cadet Katie Miller, who resigned last month to protest DADT. Lady Gaga met with Hall, Vasquez, Miller and former Marine Lance Corporal Danny Hernandez before she performed at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

“Lady Gaga’s recognition of these fine patriots casts a spotlight on the unjust burden that ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ imposes upon the brave men and women who defend our country every day, and further underscores why the Senate must swiftly act to get rid of this despicable law for good,” said SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis in a statement.

Lady Gaga’s action comes less than a week after a federal judge in California ruled the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers is unconstitutional. The U.S. Senate is expected to debate the possible repeal of DADT later this month.

Via The Edge Boston

You lie!

September 7, 2010

“Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded,” Arizona governor Jan Brewer said earlier this summer.

If it sounds unbelievable, well, it is. There have been no beheadings in Arizona. What the governor said was a flat-out lie. What’s problematic here (beyond destroying local tourism) is that the governor refused for months to retract the statement—even after it was proven to be false.

Why would she say such a thing? To defend her administration’s passing of a scary immigration bill that looks like it will lead to discriminatory practices. “Show me your papers,” will become a harassing refrain for folks who are merely walking out without their wallet. Land of the free, home of the brave- well – as long as you have identification.

After her most recent gubernatorial debate, she was asked repeatedly by reporters why she would not recant her previous false remarks. She stood there like a deer in headlights, pretending as if their questions were not being asked, following in the footsteps of Nevada Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle.

Well- if they aren’t going to ask any substantive questions…Brewer declared the press conference over and exited abruptly. If her poor performance during the debate (you can watch the precious moments here) wasn’t enough to make her run; having to face her own lies seemed to seal the deal.

The problem here though isn’t only with Jan Brewer, it’s with most if not all of our politicians. I am not talking about hyperbole here—making exaggerated claims is commonplace in American politics. But, what is truly frightening now, are the outright LIES being spread.

Like Barack Obama being a Muslim, or death panels for the elderly; these are not mere distortions but often purposeful deceits to confuse, distract, or scare people into voting a certain way. This tactic of false information is being used by much of the ideologues leading our political conversation.

As quaterlifers, we have the challenge -as the future of the world – to stand up to the lies, the dishonesty, the out-right corruption in our political world. Although Jan Brewer finally said that she misspoke, the greater problem is that she exists in a world where she’s able to make such statements.

It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican, Democrat, or Mike Bloomberg—we all have an interest in keeping the debate realistic and honest. We can no longer allow politicians (or anyone who would classify themselves as a leader – BP executives, I’m looking your way) say things that just are not founded in truth.

If you’re a liar, we will call you out. And the place we will do it will be the voting booth.