TheKey Chronicle

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THE INKSTREME BALLPOINT
ADVENTURES

Sunday, April 25, 1999

WAS ANYONE REALLY SHOCKED?

The last thing I mean to do here is to insult the families and friends of those killed in Colorado or show any disrespect to the memories of those killed.

But really - was anyone truly shocked that this happened?

Did anyone OUTSIDE of Littleton actually feel that something like this could never happen?

When I first heard about it, I was saddened, but not surprised.

First off, this has happened before - it's just that these two kids planned it better. AGAIN, not to show any disrespect to those killed or their family and friends, but they were more successful than that guy who shot at his church group. These were a couple of deeply demented guys. They spent about a year planning this thing - it takes a lot of determination, discipline and dedication to plan an assault like this for so long and then actually pull it off. You want to know what else it takes?

REALLY BLIND PARENTS!!

How does one let one's child build bombs, obtain weapons and SPEND A YEAR PLANNING TO KILL HIS SCHOOL-MATES WITHOUT NOTICING!?!?

Of course the idiocy of those kids parents' doesn't surprise me either. I just hope THEY are put in jail for being so blind. What frightens me is this posed shock and the quickness in which people are willing to blame Hollywood and the Gun Industry for what those two kids' parents are COMPLETELY TO BLAME FOR.

I'm not saying they beat the kids and that drove them to kill their fellow students. I'm saying that until a person is over 18, they cannot be treated (legally) like adults - why? Because THEIR PARENTS are supposed to be RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. If your kid does something wrong, YOU get to pay, too! Oh and the next time you see me or some other person walking down the street in a trench coat, or having goofy hair or perhaps listening to Marylin Manson please, don't assume I'm about to kill someone. 99% of the people who call themselves "Goths" don't commit acts of violence. How do I know this? I used to be one. I used to hang with them. So give us all a break and stop getting distracted by the easy targets, like movies, music, guns - oh don't get me wrong, all of those things are problems, but this time, they're not to blame - not even slightly.

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MY KINGDOM FOR A CABLE MODEM

ARRRG!

I am so tired of ISPs!

My first Internet Service Provider was, of course, AOL. I ditched them when I decided I didn't want to pay them 70 bucks a month (this was long before the flat rate was introduced) and I started getting really tired of putting up with adverts for things not only in my inbox but splashed up on my screen before I even check my email. After that, I went with Concentric. These guys were cool for a while, until they changed their policy on me with almost no warning and gave me no alternative but to deal with the changes they made. They decided that I shouldn't be online for more than 150 hours a week and I should pay the same amount I paid while I was getting unlimited hours a month.

Then I went with Pacbell, a local ISP here in LA. They also were cool, until they revoked their flat rate for unlimited hours. For the past seven months or so, I've been sneaking onto the 'net via my girlfriend's account at her university. Of course, even though they are a MAJOR American university, their servers suck and with the advent of a new day job in my life I decided to try to pay for my net connection again. I also figured that going with one of the biggest names in communication would be a good idea.

I thought AT&T's Worldnet service would deliver fast connections consistently. Not so - first off, you have to install their idiotic helper software that activates the dialer for you - the dialer is that thing you just click "connect" to connect and "disconnect" to... you guessed it, disconnect. Now, I try to log on and almost every time I jump on, I can only get a 28,000 kbps connection - that's slower than the connection I got from the university! So I am forced to constantly log off and then try again. I usually get 42,000 connection after a couple more tries. On top of that, Worldnet claims to deliver the fastest connecting times around. Their software makes it easy to see that it takes usually about a minute to log on - it used to take me around thirty seconds - in fact AOL was faster than AT&T is now. And I'm paying 22 bucks!! SHEESH! I can't wait until cable modems hit the area! We'll ditch the extra line, ditch the ISP and welcome connection speeds that will top off at more than 100 times at what AT&T could ever hope to deliver.

Maybe Santa will bring me a cable modem...

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FOX'S "NEW" 'TOONS

Or NOT.

Have you seen either of what the FOX Network calls their new cartoons? I'm sure if you live in America and own a TV, you've at least heard of them. Well, I've seen a few of these episodes and let me tell you - there is very little about them that is new.

First off we'll take the show that SHOULD be very good, but isn't - FUTURAMA. It was created by the same guy who made the SIMPSONS. Now, for everything that this show has that makes it new and interesting, it has two things that make it boring and unfunny. It's got a great cast of characters - multi-cultured and multi-specied. But the lead is (surprise, surprise) a moron. And the jokes!! Sure, they're funny, but when I can see the punchline coming before the show even starts it sorta ruins it for me. This is why I stopped watching SEINFELD two years into the series. Top the IMMENSE predictability off with the scifi elements that are HYPER-CLICHE and you've got one lame show. And the myriad little plot elements that were (possibly accidentally) lifted from the more obscure shows like RED DWARF may be looked over by your average television viewer. Even though most folks don't realize they're being lied to, they are.

Next up, we have a show from a guy whom I actually know. Now, we're not best buddies or anything, but we have been known to tear apart a Trek episode or two from time-to-time. So, I know he won't mind if I tear into his show a bit - I mean come on - what does he care about my opinion? He's got his own NETWORK TV SHOW - all I have is this WEB SITE! But on with the bitch - this show is the SIMPSONS - PERIOD. Dumb Dad, smart wife, stupid son, smarter daughter, and only two things that make it different from it's Tuesday night pal. Baby Stewie and the dog. The dog is different only because he talks. But all he does is insult and the insults he throws out in every episode are so uninteresting and frankly quite predictable. Maybe I'm biased because I know the guy, so I know his humor. But still, the dog got old about half way through the first ep. After all, if he's so smart, why doesn't he just leave?

Then, Baby Stewie - now he's good comedy - I laugh almost every time he opens his mouth. So that makes ONE thing good about his show. Sorry Seth, but I really am not a fan of your show. I should add that I know how hard it is to get a show on the air and I also understand that it's not always the show's creator who is in full control of the show when it finally airs. So I don't blame Seth for how bad the show is - I know that he's a VERY funny guy, I also know network folks are in generally NOT funny. However, when you're Matt Groening, you really have no excuse for having a sucky show. Shame on you Matt!

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Have you seen them? What did you think?]

AMERICAN CULTURE RULES

Why don't we just admit it?

The United States of America ROCKS.

Our country is not perfect by any means. Obvious evidence of that is the fact that our present President is the first to be impeached in many dozens of years. You gotta love the irony as the same guy who dodged the draft during Vietnam is now waging war on Yugoslavia. We Americans are not without our hypocrisies. BUT you have admit that overall, the country of America is a pretty great place to live - I mean, sure there's the occasional mass murder in a high school or the odd driveby shooting or even a mugging or two, but PLEASE - those happen in less than 1% of America!! And hell - even the occasional mass murder in a high school is better than GENOCIDE. Or look at the UK - it's practically identical to our country - unless you count the random corner store being blown up by some teed off Irishman.

So, what is the deal here? Sure we want to practice this idea of "the Prime Directive" like on Star Trek, you know, where we try our best not to get involved with other cultures, letting them evolve as they see fit - but look what happens? Russia's in shambles, China seems to be one giant police-state (I think they need better PR) and the country that brought us the cheapest car ever (the Yugo) is currently in more turmoil than Clinton the day America first heard the name "Monica".

What I think we should do is take another lesson from Star Trek. When we see a government that is doing something that is OBVIOUSLY morally questionable, like say... KILLING A CHUNK OF IT'S POPULATION, let's play Jim Kirk, barge into their country kill the idea-man behind whatever is going on and then put a democracy in place. Sure it's not the most polite thing to do - but once they get a taste of a Big Mac, see a movie at their local multiplex and sleep all comfy in their own bed, they'll stop fannying about, all willy-nilly about some difference in beliefs they have with the Albanian down the street. The American way - hey - join us now or join us later. It's up to you. Resistance is futile.

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