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Archive for December, 2012

Applying for a Master’s

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Some time ago, someone put into my head the idea that I should try for a Master’s in international studies.

Precisely how this happened is unimportant and probably a mystery. It’s probably best left this way, given I cannot even quite remember when this happened. Logically, this happened sometime after I graduated with a Bachelor’s in December 2010, and sometime before now. One would think, anyways. Given how paradoxically my memory works, though, I wouldn’t be so sure. I genuinely think that my memory actually conspires with the time-space continuum to alter reality and ensure nothing I remember is actually when they logically seemed. If this theory holds water, then it wouldn’t be surprising if someone put the idea that I should try for a Master’s in international studies in a timeframe outside the time-space continuum, because it isn’t as if time-space can flip me a larger finger than “I chose not to exist during a pivotal event of your life”. (At some point in my head, I expect hear an old man inexplicably shout, “Ysi, you can’t do that, you’ll create a time paradox~”)

But, yes, someone put into my head the idea that I should try for a Master’s in international studies. Some time after this, my contract with the county government ended alongside October 2012, freeing me of obligations and allowing me to focus on an application process for a university located in a region of the world that speaks a language I’m not actually entirely fluent in. Read more…

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Categories: Slice of Life, Writing

Benjamin Franklin: The True Hero of the American Revolution

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed III lately, and while I have fairly complicated feelings about choosing colonial/Revolutionary America as a setting, it’s been a fairly wonderful game so far, with my happy hours devoted to wandering an absolutely beautiful recreation of colonial Boston. Hunting on the American frontier is also a very delightful experience, save the part where you can be mauled by a bear eight times in a row and live, but a wolf jumping on your back takes away a third of your health.

But the entire thing has put a bit of my attention on the American Revolution again, something that I really kind of left behind me since studying about in middle school (save the points where I have to deal with this conservative American idol-worship of their Founding Fathers). And since this is still fresh on my mind, let’s talk about the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers for a bit. Now, the issue I kind of want to address specifically (although wary readers will wonder when I’ve even only specifically addressed a single issue) is in the form of a question: “If there was a true American hero amongst the Founding Fathers, who would it be?”

Popular picks are George Washington, the leader of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States; Thomas Jefferson, polymath and the author of the Declaration of Independence (incidentally, I do like Jefferson very much); and James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights and the American Constitution.

I, however, disagree (and it pains me to do so, as I honestly would’ve liked to say that Jefferson was the greatest of the Founding Fathers). I believe that this title goes to someone else entirely.

I believe Benjamin Franklin is the greatest American Founding Father.

And I believe he did it by sleeping with lots of women in France. Read more…

Sarcasm and Social Justice

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment

This entry is probably going to be a little divisive, and I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to regret writing this, but the feeling’s still recent and strong, and – if nothing else – it’ll provide me with a retrospective analysis on yesteryear’s logic.

Over the past two or three days, a friend and I had a fairly protracted and somewhat heated discussion concerning social justice (which honestly could’ve been handled a lot better, but we’re fine now because we’re cuddly like that). In the middle of our discussion, my friend linked a blog post called Intent! It’s F__king Magic! from “Genderbitch“. My lack of fondness for the blog’s name aside, I noticed that the article starts off with a warning in bold text about it being highly sarcastic, a tone which – frankly – isn’t precisely alien or uncommon to the social justice community. I told my friend that I honestly had very little patience for people who feel they cannot make a serious point without having to resort to sarcasm or being a sanctimonious jerk. This then led to another topic in our discussion, one of “tone argument”, which I’ll get more into further into this post.

Yes, disclaimer: I was raised in a culture and upbringing where tranquility, courtesy, and respect were expected. I am horrible at humor and have a rough time at discerning when people are being sarcastic, which undoubtedly factors into why I don’t like sarcasm very much (at least, in terms of when trying to make a serious point). These undoubtedly influence why I’m trying to say. But in spite of these influences, I also feel that my point has a degree of objective merit, and I believe this also reflects upon a broader issue that the mainstream social justice community needs to look at. So here we go.

Reader’s discretion advisory: This post is not going to make many people happy, by virtue of not completely agreeing with any particular group. So please read at your discretion, and please refrain from lynching me. Read more…

Categories: Politics and Society