NPR had a special on yesterday afternoon about genocides in the last 20 years and the response of the western world. I quipped last week about how people under 30 don't have a clue who Manuel Noriega was, but it dawned on me while listening to this program that almost all of the events of the last 25 years are lost on those who grew up while they went on. I've read up on Rwanda and Bosnia in recent years, but only vaguely recall hearing about either of them as I grew up. Waco and Oklahoma City filled our brains while tens of thousands were being slaughtered overseas over ethnic differences. A whole generation of American youth will only learn the details of these events if they invest the effort themselves or see it in a movie. How long until any of it makes its way into high school history books, if at all? It's sad to know that entire ethnic groups could be wiped from the planet without notice. I mentioned the stifled response by Dubya to the situation in Darfur to someone at work the other day. They'd never heard about any of it and thought I was making it up as a reason to complain about Bush.
The new 250 gb drive showed up. I haven't decided if I'm going to use it for backups or if I'm going to replace the 160 gb drive I bought awhile back with this one and use the 160 gb for backing up my iTunes library and any video that I absolutely can't live without. The iTunes library is sitting at a little over 61 gb right now, and that still doesn't include all of my music. Sick, I know. Do I care? Not especially. I heard a story on NPR about these portable mini-houses that are being manufactured and sold in Louisiana that look like a normal house, only smaller and insanely energy effecient because of it. For some reason they felt obligated to mention that the guy whom the story was focused on kept himself amused at home with his PC and a collection of "over 600 songs!" on the computer. Is 600 songs really something to write home about? Off the top of my head, I couldn't tell you how many songs I'm up to on my PC (aside from the vague 61 gb). My iPod is sitting at 7342 right this moment (which leads me to think I'm probably just short of 12,000 on the PC). 600? That's for teenage girls and people who only listen to adult contemporary.
My brother is moving to North Carolina in the next couple weeks. He and my mother went there last week to take a load of his stuff. She was apparently not too impressed by his "allegedly" deadbeat girlfriend there. After hearing the stories that she managed to remember (there were a lot), I don't blame her. I mention all of this because they had a conversation about his gf's hatred of Wal-Mart due to how they treat female employees. Being the smug liberal that I am, this viewpoint is not alien to me. There are a legion of reasons to dislike them. My reason of the moment is their practice of working people as many part-time hours as possible without having to provide them appropriate benefits. Big business destroying ma and pa, unfair employment practices involving women, etc., are all important issues, but purposefully keeping your employees impoverished, men or women, seems to me to be the biggest problem with Wal-Mart of all. That said, I'm also a firm believer that if you don't like your job, get a new one. Elitist of me, perhaps, but I've never had a problem getting a job when I've been looking for one. I've known people who it was more difficult for, and I can appreciate their struggle, but there are always jobs available if only you'll suck it up and take them. If you're working at Wal-Mart and don't agree with their business practices, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get a job elsewhere, even if that means McDonalds or a gas station or waiting tables. It might go against some of the more socialist values of my fellow liberals to have such an opinion, but I'm my own personal brand of snob. Universal health care? Bring it on. Welfare? Fix it, but don't destroy it. Don't like how Wal-Mart is treating you as an employee? Work somewhere else. Says me who complains about work all the time, but I know I could leave if I wanted to. The pros outweigh the cons still.
Ranting and raving has been my favorite thing to do recently. Unfortunately for Meg, she's been the one who has had to suffer through the brunt of it. Why it hasn't all ended up here, I'm not sure. For the moment, I'll blame "sparing the lot of you". There's a lot of random bottled up crap that wants to make it's way out that I've simply no time to spill (or at least to form into a nice, neat, cleaned up post), the majority of which is of no import to anyone but me. The rest of it is potentially drama inducing and I don't have the patience for that right now.
Blah blah blah. That's all I do.