Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Ever Deflating Ego...

My father always told me that criticism is a good thing, and that one should always be able to take it. In the end, it will help make you a better person. Character building.

However, it is possible to have a too much criticism, when it eventually starts to erode levels of confidence in your own abilities.

Take, for example, my Journalism course. I am all for receiving comments and criticisms for pieces of work, but it has to be substantial. "You need to do that differently" is not a sufficient answer. After about 8 attempts to get one particular article ready to go, I am still none the wiser what it is exactly that I've been doing wrong.

Coupled with ever-decreasing grades for pieces of work I was originally proud of, some serious thought has gone into trying to figure out why on Earth I thought journalism was the direction I should go down.

True, I've been writing for various school and university papers since I was 16, but let's be honest and admit that the level of sophistication is hardly noteworthy. Indeed, I spent much of my time on Marlborough College's Newssheet, contemplating the finer things of college basketball and whether or not Wicca was evil. Hardly the stuff of Pulitzers or even The Sun.

My own music magazine, MWRI (now on the web - see profile for link), was received relatively well by labels and PR - at least, that's the impression I got - and many appreciated the long album reviews. A contrast to the rather pithy, 20-word reviews you normally get in the press. But here, my reviews are apparently rather lacking.

The wide skill-gap is obvious in the class, but when your grades fall to the same level as people who can't speak English, you have to start asking yourself certain hard questions.

I guess I can kiss the PhD goodbye...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney's Got A Gun...

So, American VP Dick Cheney has shot someone in a hunting accident.

To be honest, I don't have anything particularly profound to say about this - other than it's amazing he thought he could just keep schtum about it and it'd all go away - but I really wanted to use that title...

(In case anyone's confused, look up Aerosmith's Big Ones, track 6)

Monday, February 13, 2006

People Wonder Why Many Hate America... Perhaps Now We Know

"Post 9/11, our philosophy should be: Raghead talks tough? Raghead faces consequences!"
What sort of maniac from the lunatic fringe would say such a thing? Well, you don't need to go that far to find the answer. It was none other than inexplicably well-paid, syndicated columnist Ann Coulter.
Ann Coulter is a dangerous woman.
She's the sort of character producers at Fox News dream about - she's attractive, intelligent (statements notwithstanding), conservative, and can work a crowd.
The above statement, though, is a step too far. It is the sort of declaration that stirs hatred towards an America clearly becoming more and more arrogant by the day. Especially considering the current climate; the furore over the Danish cartoons has yet to disipate, and the debate about respect for Muslims and other foreign societies continues to gather speed.
If anything or anyone should be censored or fired, it should be Ms Coulter for this incredibly racist, reprehensible comment. There is no way this can be dressed up as "misinterpretation". The term "raghead" is nothing if not meant as racist. This is the sort of thing governments should be targetting, not newspapers that decided to show everyone what all the fuss was about, vis-a-vis the cartoons.
What's even scarier, though, is the forum where this utterance occurred: the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. The acclaim and cheers that met the statement are equally worrying.
A once great nation, led now by soap-box pundits with money, America is slowly digging its own grave.