Got some time to waste before Prison Break comes on. All I’ve done today is waste time basically. I honestly spent all morning reading Slashdot. Although, I did come across some relevant and meaningful stuff to think about for my network security and just the general process of making “ideas” into real things. My horoscopes today all mentioned about ideas (I skim the Globe and Mail, the Herald and the Daily News at work…yay) so maybe there’s a huge idea thing in my destiny. Ok…but seriously, I did nothing all morning.
Weekend was good. Hung out with Joe a lot. Drank a lot, fun ensued. Went to the Casino, won money, about 30 bucks. Had this one blackjack dealer try to teach me how to play, I would have none of that. There was this one kid at one of the tables who was tearing it up. Split a pair of aces, blackjacked on both of them. Knew when to double, knew when to hit, he rarely lost. It was crazy.
The Slurpee turned 40
I have this dream, and I’ve had it for a while. To own and operate the first 7-11 east of Ontario. I kid you not, once you cross that Quebec border, there are no 7-11s. You can keep coming til you get to the ocean, but you’re not going to find one on Canadian soil. Nova Scotia deserves a Slurpee, in fact, they deserve more then one. A Nova Scotian, hell even a guy from Newfoundland deserves to come to at 3am, have a craving for a semi-congeled carbonated treat and be able to walk to a 24 hour 7-11 and fulfill that craving. That is my dream.
While reading Slashdot all morning, I came across this article about a guy who’s rethinking Trigonometry. Basically he’s getting rid of Sines,Cosines and Tangents. The discussion that follows delved deep into the use of Trig especially in the high school curriculum. Was half interesting.
I actually wanted to forward the article onto Markotich. For those not in the know, John Markotich was my math and physics teacher in Shelburne. We’re all pretty sure he was a smart man, he just had a hard time expressing it. But yeah, this seems like something right up his alley. Unfortunately, I have not idea how to email Mr. Markotich, shame.
I like reading and thinking about math. It makes me feel all Good Will Hunting. When I was in Grade 6, I used to fantasize about finding a new way to solve equations and blow everything on its side as a child prodigy. I had an over-active imagination.
I’m reading George Orwell’s Why I Write, a collection of political essays he wrote in the 30s and 40s. I would strongly suggest it to anyone who has any interest in History or Politics. Hell, anyone who has an interest in writing or the English language should read this book.
His views on the Second World War and Socialism in the essay “The Lion and The Unicorn”, while London was being bombed in the Battle of Britain, are intriguing if nothing more, especially on how it relates to where London was and what path they eventually had to take. Basically, he argues that in order for London to win World War II, they needed to take their patriotism one step farther and develop into a Socialist state in what would have to be a very quick and very proper revolution. Not Socialist in the idea of goose stepping, but in the true definition of “for the people.” Very compelling, especially considering the background it was written in.
The essay I’m currently entangled in is called “Politics and the English Language”. It starts by talking about how the English language borrows from other languages and because of that it is a disgusting and lazy language. Basically when people can’t take the time to think of the proper word, they Anglicize what they mean from another language.
This laziness grows into plagarization of the idioms and turns of speech. Basically, instead of a metaphor like swan song or toe the line being a vivid image or a clever phrase, it has become overused and tired. There’s no meaning behind the words, they’re hollow.
So then things like a speech end up being just a stringing together of commonly known and accepted phrases in a semi-sensible blather. Nothing new is ever said, it’s just repackaged and regurgitated. The politicians who deliver the speeches are nothing more then robots, repeating the catch phrases loaded into them. This lends to an obvious comparison to Dubya and “the axis of evil”, “the coalition of the willing”, “the insurgency” and all the other slogans and politico-slang.
By the words becoming regurgitation and the speech flowerly without being direct, clever or important, honesty is lost. There’s no meaning in words that are overly complicated, but still unoriginal. What’s the point in not saying what you mean, but also stealing the work of others. They say no one can say it like Hallmark, but then again it’s more sincere from the heart.
This all struck a nerve with me, because I often find it hard to write what I mean, and I have this desire to make it poignant and make it well thought out, and so the natural reaction is to make it flowerly and try to be intelligent instead of just being.
This all goes back to some thoughts I’ve been having about Hockey’s Future and my writing for them. It strikes me quite obviously that the prospect profiles are simply the tacking together of turns of phrase. hard hitting, smooth skating, hard shooting, well-rounded, two-way, defensively responsible, polished, project, gritty, slick. These profiles are the first thing someone will see if they google a prospects name. Well maybe not every prospect, but certainly most. If you’re a second round pick from 2003 and you google your name, HF is the first link of the bunch. And yet that’s the drivel we have in return. It’s a shame, but it can’t be broke and it’s almost the standard in the industry.
Witness the profiles on TSN.ca. Hell, in the McKeen’s Hockey Yearbook, the one I discredited earlier when I realised my knowledge was equivalent to those on the masthead, they don’t even make an attempt at tacking the phrases together. It’s all done in point form.
I guess what makes me feel bad about the profiles is that fact that I received another email from the parents of a prospect I write about. It’s hard to handle the idea that a family in Saskatoon is relying on me, a guy in Halifax, to tell them how their son is doing in Cincinnati. And I can’t honestly tell them that the organization in Cincinnati won’t give me the access I need to do their son justice, hell they won’t even let me subscribe to their media newsletter.
I’m the chair of the Organizational Rankings committee for HF this time around. It’s a big deal, but I’m liking it. My committee, in retrospect, is probably poorly put together, based on everyone’s location and coverage. We have overkill in some divisions and nothing in some others, but we’ll squeek a job.
I need to find my muse.
And if I haven’t already written enough, I stuck my Portfolio from school online for a bit. Check it out here.