Long ramblings on the news

While I didn’t find much in the news that interested me, I did find myself rambling on a bit after each article. Normally, my opinions can fit into a nice little paragraph. Not so much, this time.

Mondelez International May Use Microsoft Kinect to Track Your Snack Buying Habits

I have to agree with Kee Tien from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “What need to they think they’re filling? You have to do a whole lot to overcome this presumption that store tracking is acceptable. Good luck on that.”

When I scan a shelf, I’m looking for items on my list. I don’t deviate, nor do I spend much time looking at items not written down. Most of my time is spent reading labels to avoid preservatives and household allergies for my roommates; I’m not agonizing over whether or not cookies are okay to each (fuck that, I love cookies!). It’s not okay to track my movements in some bizarre attempt to find better marketing layouts.

Why not ask customers in person? Ask me what catches my eye down the snack aisle, and I’ll tell you how I look for “natural” on labels just to find foods without preservatives. Ask me why I picked up those granola bars and put them back; you might assume it was a calorie issue, since I’m an overweight female who presumably cares about losing weight, but I can guarantee it was for the ingredient list and allergies. Ask me if I like the way generic brands sit right next to or above the name brand items, and I’ll tell you it’s very convenient and leads to me purchasing more generic store brand products. Just ask me!


Should parents be criminally liable for kids’ cyberbullying?

This is a very interesting question. The writer makes a good point, as we charge parents when their children injury or kill someone using a parent’s gun, car, or other equipment. Is technology (and the internet) different?

I believe children are responsible for their behavior first, before their parents. They made a choice to cyberbully, to post nude pictures from a rape, or to vlog about smoking pot. But I do think our society could use some mandatory training for parents of law-breakers; think along the lines of anger management. Make parents learn about online behavior, sites that currently exist, and ways to prevent future instances of occurrence.

Only if a repeated negligence is present should there be criminal charges. If their child cyberbullies and stalks other students multiple times before someone finally commits suicide, and the parent had been notified of the issue… then they willfully chose to do nothing, and they’re responsible for that choice.

Dear Prudence: Stop Victim Blaming

It’s been said a thousand times, but it will keep being said until it sticks. Stop telling women to avoid getting raped, and start telling men not to rape in the first place. I like the advice given to new campers at the pagan festival I used to attend: No means no, and a drunken yes means no, too. Only a sober yes is a yes.

Alcohol overuse is a problem. I agree on that. I think that kids need to be warned that alcohol is not only developmentally dangerous (something they don’t care about), but that it can be physically dangerous as well (injuries from “Jackass” imitations, drunk driving, and other poor choices). I feel like it’s becoming even more of an issue that it used to be, but I might just be getting old. However, I’ll point this out: my friends and I enjoyed a *LOT* of alcohol in Germany, but we never got too drunk to remember the next day. We never got drunk enough to get into a car with a drunk driver, or to allow a drunk friend to get behind the wheel. We never got so drunk that we couldn’t say words or remain vertical (with mild assistance). We got drunk to feel the sensation of being uninhibited, but we didn’t get blackout drunk, or stupid drunk. When someone got so drunk they passed out or threw up, we saw them as a party fail; we pitied their inability to stop when pleasantly smashed.

All of that said, rape is, was, and will always be rape. Women shouldn’t be specially targeted to act more appropriately than men. We shouldn’t be told to avoid getting raped; instead, the message should be “don’t rape”. Don’t rape the woman walking alone at night to her car. Don’t rape the girl you’ve found passed out at the frat party. Don’t rape the friend who fell asleep in your bed after crying on your shoulder. Don’t ever have sex with someone who can’t clearly and honestly say “yes”.

The Question That Ruined Generation Y

I have to agree with this woman wholeheartedly. I never knew what I wanted to be; when forced to choose, I told people I wanted to become an author and a mother (compatible careers in my childhood brain). And yet, people would get so pushy! I mean, of course the smart girl in class should want to become something “more” than that!

It’s frustrating, actually, that we corner young people so early. Instead of fostering a lifelong pleasure in learning and trying new things, we make an effort to push young students into boxes. What’s worse, we try to push them into preconceived boxes; we never consider the possibilities unimagined by our adult minds. For example, who would’ve known that becoming a YouTube star could pay for a house? Who ever dreamed that bloggers could right out recipes, opinions, and randomness for real cash on the internet? These aren’t careers supported by traditional boxes, but they pay the bills in surprising new (and creative) ways.

I hope my children find something that makes them exhilarated and ecstatic! Anything less probably belongs in the trash bin. My biases and opinions mean far less than the long-term joy of my future children. In fact, I believe children play a large part in keeping older minds open to change.


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