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Tried 2 times in a 5 min span, site unavailable both times. I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever complete a complete browsing session with the MSN Search Beta.

Tonight my friend Liz invited me to a discussion on 'The Faces of God" at her church, hosted by a member who teaches theology at the nearby Methodist Theological Seminary. We began with a prayer offered by a very tall, elderly man with stumbling speech and a 'peace now' button. He was a veteran of combat in World War II, and during his prayer he quoted Norman Cousins. Cousins wrote that we have national anthems to rally a nation, but there were no anthems for humanity itself, no song that all nations sing as one to celebrate our unity.

Of course no such song exists. Human unity is far more pretense than reality. We all may put our pants on the same way, but you would never think so based on the anger and violence being perpetrated in the name of Nation and God.

As a political scientist I know that sometimes God and Country are labels we place upon conflicts whose underlying roots are found in economic asymmetry and political oppression. Yet the conflicts of today do have roots in ideological and religous zealotry. The simple fact is that organizing against an outsider is far easier than uniting people for some cause. Fear is more powerful than love for most people.

Yet we are one species, living on one planet, worshipping (or not) One God. Our world is but a tiny mudball in the great cosmos, a cosmos I believe inhabited by others who share the dreams and aspirations of humanity. How can we hope to recognize their humanity when we so consistently deny our own?

We need an anthem to sing together, to make us remember that the things we share exceed the issues dividing us. We need harmony more than ever to rise up and drown out the discord.

auduster suggested to me that The Internationale would represent an anthem for the world. Of course it is explicitly Marxist which would make certain people a bit queasy. But i can think of nothing else which attempts universality. Except maybe Satisfaction.

I did not submit this writeup under You owe any one Olympian one beer like I had wanted to do. Actually this wu has been sitting in my scratch pad for a long time, and I've been meaning to try to find a better place for it than You owe any one Olympian one beer but I couldn't think of one. And today I wanted to start using my scratch pad for something else, so I had to put this stupid thing somewhere. Now of course, based on past experience I'm aware there's still a possible chance someone like jessicapierce will delete it (too GNKW: Good Ness Knows What) but I'm guessing it might be tolerated in a Day Log. I think it's an interesting idea (mostly because it's months after the summer olympics when I originally wrote it); hence its appearance here.

Obliviously, after reading Oblivius's comments about JessicaPierce having relegated his/her comments to this place, I figured maybe I was on the right track. I'm sure despite my efforts to not piss people off, I will still piss people off, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. The preceding is not an indicator that I'm upset with JessicaPierce personally. It's parody or satire or ..something. So lighten up.



You owe any one Olympian one beer

You owe an Olympian a beer. It can be any Olympian. It can be any kind of beer. I'd recommend asking the Olympian what he or she wants to drink before you actually purchase it. Maybe the bartender will already know. This beer should not be intended as an opportunity to ingratiate yourself or get an autograph. Just buy the guy or gal a beer, and say a quick "Thank you" then be on your way.

I'm sitting here with my beer gut watching the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. I'm sort of enjoying it and alternately am finding myself disappointed. Admittedly, being an American, I'm very ethnocentric towards what I consider to be my home team playing abroad. The turnout isn't what was expected. The American basketball 'Dream Team' seems more like a wet dream. Although the swimming competition has been interesting academically, and Amanda Beard is without a doubt drop dead gorgeous, I've never personally been able to get excited over people swimming back and forth in a pool. The Japanese are dutifully and deservedly kicking our ass in men's gymnastics and the Romanian women may do the same in women's gymnastics. Although women's beach volleyball is entertaining to watch (May and Walsh are major babe material), I question how that ever became an Olympic sport. Don't even get me started on synchronized swimming, because I didn't start this rant just for Olympic Games bashing. That's not my aim here.

Now I sit here, with my beer gut, and I have the gaul to think these thoughts; type these words. How dare I look at this Olympics thing as if it were supposed to entertain me personally. That's not what this Olympics thing is about at all. I could barely do a chin up, much less actually take hold of a high bar and flip myself over it without ending up dead. Yet these people spend years - in many cases over half or more of their day to day lives - endeavoring to achieve a level of physical perfection. Only three in each event can go home with a medal, but anyone who even makes it to contention deserve to be called Olympians.

Any non Olympian who has ever watched a summer or winter Olympic games and felt a smile cross their lips, anyone who has ever entertained the thought of maybe getting off their ass and training to better themselves and while perhaps not competing in the Olympics at least getting healthy enough to survive a walkathon, owes an Olympian a beer. Anyone who ever dreamed a dream and failed to achieve it, or dreamed a dream and found a way to realize it, you have a merest sinking suspicion what it must be like to stand there and hear your national anthem played, with a ribbon draped around your neck and a medallion hanging from it, perhaps with a crown of laurels or a bouquet of flowers, millions of people watching you... Well there's people on this planet who don't just think about what it's like. They went out and did it, at great expense and painful exertion. They made the dream a reality, which somehow lends more tangibility to the fantasy of millions of others. You and I will probably never get off our ass and remain couch potatoes, or perhaps you are off your ass and actually have a six pack where I have a small keg. That doesn't matter. What does matter is if by some whim of the gods you find yourself in the presence of a person who actually competed in the Olympics, doesn't matter which one, you should feel duty-bound as a member of humanity to buy the person a beer.

If they don't drink, no biggie, but at least offer. After all, they've done their small part to continue a tradition that dates back near the dawn of the human race. For the most part Olympian athletes show what it's like to have grace under pressure and epitomize both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. They represent the best human beings can be. They support with their effort a global communal spirit that may one day contribute in a small way to the end of war and help pave the way of peace. At the very least, they have cool stories to tell which might make the night of everybody at the bar.

Pamela Anderson gave Mohini Bhardwaj twenty thousand dollars to help her achieve her dream. Would it really kill ya? The least you can do is buy Mary Lou Retton a beer. Or any Olympian past or present, provided you ever meet one. And let's face it: what are the odds?

Still asking why? What possible reason why these people deserve your offer of alcohol to whet their whistle? Or hey a sports drink if they really turn down the hard stuff. Why do this? Why should it matter to you? Just practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty for no reason whatsoever and lighten up a bit. Do you really need a reason? For that matter, next time you run into a fireman, astronaut, policeman or whoever invented the cellphone, buy them a beer too. What the hell. Still asking why? Why the hell not?

Ok, so…I just got promoted.

I’ve worked for the NBC Experience Store for 2 days. I haven’t worked the sales floor once. I don’t have an ‘in,’ I’m not special in any way as far as this job goes. Still. I’ve been offered a job in the cash office. More money, less contact with the public, a definite 40 hours a week and a puppy.

Ok, they didn’t give me a puppy. It kinda feels like they gave me a puppy, just, you know, in cash form.

When I got my first job at this place, I was relieved because I could start buying real food and, like, going out again and stuff. Now I just might be able to save money. I haven’t been able to do that for years.

(Breathing room)++

I have never daylogged before, nor do I intend to make a habit of it. That's why I have a LiveJournal. Today just happened to inspire a lot of cogitation in me, so I thought it might inspire it in one or two of y'all.

A little background is necessary, although necessarily vague due to the sensitive nature of this situation. I worked. I was fired. It was, to many minds, unjust, and it may also have been illegal.

You can trust me on that or not.

Anyway, today I was called by a former coworker of mine, a man who departed the workforce under similarly questionable circumstances. He caught wind of my situation, and he made me an interesting offer; he wants me to join him in taking legal action against our former employer for their bad business practices and (so he says) illegal treatment of us. The reward would probably be unemployment benefits and compensation for the time since my firing that I would have been working.

I am philosophically and ethically torn. On the one hand, I believe that some of the laws which my employers are alleged to have broken are unjust in the first place (I am libertarian). I am also a firm believer in TANSTAAFL, which would seem to preempt demanding (or even accepting) money because I feel I was fired unjustly. I risk hypocrisy by going ahead with this and at the same time maintaining my belief that employment is (and ought to be) at-will on both sides. I told this guy that he could forward the details of my firing to his lawyer, who will apparently be contacting me at some point in the near future. We'll see how this goes from there. I would at least love to stick it to these asshole staff members, whom the customers and lower-ranked employees hate for a variety of other reasons anyway.

Swimming

The cool water touches all over my skin. I pull through it - friction against me. The sun light reflects playfully on the bottom of the pool. I am surrouded by the quiet - no voices - just bubbles and splashes.

My arms and legs radiate heat, proving that they are alive. Other bodies lumber or race by, in red bikinis and blue shorts. My goggles make the world like a pair of mini-TV screens.

A man is beside me - he has a rainbow-colored cap. He can swim. He is tanned.

"Please, take off your goggles - who are you?"

And - he does - but he is not right - he is not what I wanted him to be... his eyes aren't right.

I wait politely while another man swims by. I duck my head under the ropes and under the water. I walk up the stairs. My forty minutes are up.

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