Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tiger Attack!

I was out of town and happily out of touch with everything when the tiger attack happened at the zoo on Christmas day. When I got back into town it was all anyone was talking about. Even my sister in Illinois called me to ask about it. What could I say?
"A tiger at your zoo jumped over a wall and killed some kid."
"I don't have a zoo?"

At first, all we heard from the police was, we are looking into stories that the tiger was taunted.
When I was talking to a friend about it he said, "Who doesn't taunt the animals when you go to the zoo?"
Ah, a lot of people actually just look at them.
Then he went on to tell me, "Monkeys will throw shit at you if you taunt them too much."
Alright. I suppose that might be true. In the grand scheme of things, I think I would prefer some monkey shit to a tiger bite. But years later a story about how a monkey threw shit on me is not gonna get me laid like a tiger attack story.
The tiger had to get across a moat and over a 12 foot wall where he mauled two men and killed a third one who went for help. Damn!
Maybe they didn't do anything to the Tiger. Maybe it just sat there year after year looking at kids making faces, throwing food and yelling crap. Maybe the tiger just had it and snapped. Who knows. It's a wild animal.
The zoo is in trouble because apparently the organization that sets standards for animal enclosures says the S.F. zoo's tiger wall was only 12 feet high. It is suppose to be 19 feet.
For those of you who think walls actually stop anything, think again. The U.S. wants to build a 700 mile long fence on our border with Mexico. Forget for a moment that our border with Mexico is more than 2,000 miles long and they could simply walk to where there is an opening. The estimated cost for this wall is a few billion dollars. Give or take. I don't know about you, but it seems a lot cheaper to me if we dig a moat and put tigers in it. Then it won't be a matter of illegal aliens sneaking into America. Then it will be the highest rated reality show of all time! And if they get across the tiger moat, their in! Thats exactly the tough independent daring that we want in this country. Anyone can sneak across the desert at night and climb a wall in the middle of no where. But a winner deals with tigers in a moat successfully to become a citizen.
Tell me you wouldn't watch that show. Of course you would!
There should be immigration attorneys and job placement specialists to greet our new members of society on the other side.
Tiger moat! Think about it people.
This makes anything you will ever see on American Gladiators pathetic.
In Florida, the Immigration authorities have adopted a policy for dealing with Cubans attempting to enter the country from the sea. The policy is called, wet foot dry foot. That means, if the Cost Guard or INS finds a Cuban still in the water, they get sent back. If they find them with just one foot firmly on the beach, they get in.
Hows that for the most high pressure hokey poky game ever!
You put your right foot in. You put your left foot out...
That might be how the entire tiger attack started.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Information & Bulletins

The other day I read a bulletin on Myspace. It was one of those bulletins that implores you to forward it to everyone you know. The subject matter? Barrack Obama.
It was a collection of half truths and lies specifically designed to place doubt in peoples heads about Barracks personal history. FOX news is fond of saying Barrack is a Muslim. Fact is, he's not. It also went on to say Obama refused to put his hand over his heart at a campaign stop when people sang God Bless America.
Wow! That's your proof? I'm sold.
A photo shown without any context can have any caption attached to it. Hell, we can photoshop most anything now.
The part that cracked me up the most was where the information supposedly came from.
Ever been? It's not a bad site actually. They track down the source of Urban Legends and assign a truth value to news stories. Some facts are completely false and get a red dot next to them. some facts are indeed the truth. They get a green dot next to them. Others are a bit more complicated, but you get the idea. The bulletin tells you that everything in it was easily found at Problem is, if you actually bother to hit the site, you see that everything the bulletin presents as fact has mostly been given a red dot. In other words, it's false.

We no longer have one central location where the truth is kept. You can find a source of information depending on your political point of view. You believe global warming is an important issue, you watch CNN. You believe there is a war on Christmas, you watch FOX. Problem is, we can't even agree on what facts are anymore. There is even a conservative version of wikipedia. No more is there a single source you can point to and say, Here. Your ideology determines where you get your information from. I think this is a little dangerous. How many times have you been in a heated discussion with someone about politics and when you state a well proven fact they just look at you and ask, "Where did you hear that from?"
As soon as you say where you heard, saw or read it, they spit the name back at you and say, "Figures."
We can't even talk about the issues anymore because everyone has their own set of facts from their own trusted sources. It's dangerous. Getting information from a source that tells you want you want to hear leaves more ignorant than before.

In the bulletin, it went on to say that the Muslims want to destroy the country from the inside out. They don't call Obama a radical Muslim outright, they just place a wild accusation next to his name and weak minded lazy people who don't bother to check sources think the information is true. Besides, if the radical Muslims truly wanted to destroy America, they would find a way to keep Bush President forever. Think about it, he has done more to benefit the cause of radical Muslims than Osama has. After all, we know where Osama is hiding. We just don't bother going after him for some reason. Bush and Saddam had a few things in common too. They both hated radical Muslims and did everything they could to keep them out of their countries. It was only after our invasion of Iraq that Al Quedia got inside the country.
Now that might sound like my take on things, but it is a fact.

Myspace is great if your a 13 year old girl who wants to find just the right sparkle font to spell your name in. It's a lousy source of information. Course, the entire Internet is a lousy source of information. Thats the problem with the information super highway, it's just content. Information is not facts. Information is not truth. Information is just content. Unfortunately, there is no pop up warning telling you what your about to read is fabricated. It just has capitol letters yelling at you to forward it to everyone you know.