Friday, February 17, 2006

Lab Tales part 6 - Thought provoking conversations

Talking in the lab today I wondered to myself if just putting a hidden camera or would yield some kind of interesting reality television. Sometimes in the heat of a conversation it's not obvious how absurd it sounds. But sometimes I stop to listen.

The first thing I noticed was everyone in our lab is completely deaf. To the point where everyone is just saying, "What? Huh?" It's ridiculous. Like Dave Chapelle's Little John sketch. "WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT??.... WHAT??? ookAAAYYYYYYY!!!" You end up repeating things that really don't need repeating.

Me (burning myself on the bunsen burner): "OW!"
Lab guy: "What?"
Me: "I said ow!!!"
Lab guy: "I can't hear you!"
Me: "Nevermind."
Lab guy: "No, tell me what is it?"
Me: "I said OW!!! It's a verbal expression of pain! OW!! I burned myself, you idiot!"
Lab guy:" .... "
Me: "...."
Lab guy (scratches himself): "...."
Me: "...."
Lab guy: "WHAT?"


Me: "I know the theme song to the old Spider-man cartoon by heart."
Lab guy: "What? Spider-man is Italian?"

I also noticed a tendency for all of us to get very defensive for no reason.

Lab guy 1: "I think you're a filthy swine! Which is ironic because you're jewish and therefore cannot eat swine!"
Lab guy 2 (offended): "Wait a minute... did you just call me... Inedible?"

And then of course there's just straight up profanity for its own sake.

Lab guy: "What's this on my cereal?"
Me: "I'll give you a hint... It's semen. My semen! I'm a serial rapist."

Get it? Serial rapist? Cereal rape? It's funny cuz there's semen on the cereal. Bah, what know you for funny!? Anyway, thought you enjoyed this page from the life of me. Don't ask me how these exchanges get started... One day I should really bring some kind of tape recorder to the lab.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Calling black people Ni**az, that's so necessary!! Using stars for the G's, that's so necessary!!! Being rude and offensive? Is that necessary?

This is going to be a long post, sorry Amish. But I think this is one of the funniest things I've seen in my life.

This is simply the most amazing white guy ever. Not only does he have the balls to call one of his students the n-word, but in his defense, he draws up a little diagram showing us why he didn't think he was offending anyone. I'm still laughing now at him saying, "I even add the H at the end, to emphasize the AAAAAHHHH!!! Niggaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!"

So cencorship is a really big deal these days. Most of you probably heard that a group of Muslims have engaged in violent protest in response to the publication of a cartoon depicting Mohammad wearing a bomb shaped like a turban (or something ridiculous like that). This is obviously offensive, not only becuase of the deeply prejudice undertones of the remark but also because it is a violation of Islamic law to depict Mohammad in any way.

Now I think the big problem here (besides the violence of the protests), is the stubborness of people when it comes to making viciously prejudiced comments. No one wants to just pretend they're not racist anymore and apologize and let that be the end of it. No, people become very arrogant these days and angry. Instead of apologizing, they'll hide behind this idea of "freedom of speech."

I heard an interview on Global recently where a journalist insisted that the cartoon be RE-PULBISHED in a Canadian journal despite the fact that it was offensive to Muslims. Something about this guy was so indignant that you get the impression he doesn't want to republish the offensive cartoon despite the fact that it was insulting, but rather BECAUSE it was insulting. The attitude nowadays is, "How dare someone tell me not to offend someone? It's my right!"

And so it is. Unless of course you're a rapper like 50 cent. 50 cent, as you all know was shot 9 times. He grew up "in the ghetto" meaning he suffered a very difficult life with crime and drugs and gun related violence. The problem is, when he raps about it, people do censor him. They banned a poster of him holding a baby and a gun. They tried to prevent him from entering Canada. We can glorify movies like Scarface and disgustingly violent movies by Quentin Tarantino but when it comes to black people and guns, it seems freedom of speech isn't so appealing. I still haven't seen the poster!!

What's so amazing about this phenomenon is that 50 Cent is actually rapping about his life. He's actually been shot! If anyone should have the right to feature violence in their art it's him. I think rap music is the most misunderstood art form in the world. Whites and even older black people are always trying to say it promotes the use of drugs and violence. If you listen to (good) rap music you'll realize it's just telling a story about people who are angry at being a lower class. They tell stories about their difficult life which invariably includes drug dealing and violence. I think these are important stories that should be told.

I find these days there are fewer advocates for the freedom of speech of minorities and an increasing number of advocates for the freedom of speech of racists. I find often times family guy really pushes it with some of their humor but too bad for me! If I'm offended by something, I'll just have to take it! Though I would very much like to see the poster with 50 cent holding a gun and a baby. I think that would be phat.

Now as a black guy who knows lots of non-black people, I think I've seen the evolution of racism to an overtly hostile tool of oppression, to a more insidious, subtle monster that people wear passive-aggressively. I've been called the n-word many times throughout my life. It's always done in a way that's almost a test. Like people will open with it to try and surprise me.

"What's up Ni**ah?!"
Me: "Uh... Hello?"

And I just don't know what to say. On one level, I feel I should say something because most black people seemed to have reached a concensus that the n-word is a bad thing for non-black people to say. This is something I understand because obviously it's been used in the past and is still used as something to denigrate(what's the root word of the word denigrate?) black people. On the other hand I'm not offended because I know often times it's not said to offend. The n-word is addictive. Sometimes I just want to let loose and say the N-word all day long. I blame Dave Chappelle for this. Since his show became popular I've been called the N-word twice as much in my life than ever before. All in joke of course.

I imagine it must be hard for non-blacks not to use the word. I can imagine being a white guy watching this sketch and just bursting at the seams wanting to say it so badly. Once upon a time people would curb this urge. Now, it seems the urge is impossible to resist. Look at the teacher in the link above. He doesn't sound like he really wanted to offend the black guy. It sounds like he just wanted to use the word. He was desperate to use it. He can't stop talking about the word, the sound of it, the use of it. He even says, "I'm cured of this.... Niggah... Niggah this...Niggah Please! Can you lend a Niggah a pencil!?! I will never use any form of (demonstrates his drawing of the word nigger and nigga) NIGGAH! Ever again!!!"

He doesn't sound cured. He sounds addicted!!! It's hilarious. He couldn't stop saying it.

I wonder to myself if maybe all white people feel this way. A yearning to use the word Niggah. In my heart of hearts I feel they shouldn't but I also know that lots of my white and non-black friends are like a kettle that's been plugged up and is about to explode. It doesnt' help when us black people rub it in others faces and use it profusely in our music, our humour and yes our blogs. Now that Dave Chappelle is rich he decided to say on the Oprah Winfrey show that some of his skits maybe irresponsible when racist people take them out of context. Much like rap music. Should black people censor themselves too? I mean... Poor Jbo... I see the pain on his face when he's trying to discuss Dave Chapelle with me.

Jbo: "Have you seen the sketch? The ... ummm... Negro family? Can I say negro?"
Me: "Ummm... I dont' know..."

Maybe there should be one day a year put aside for people to use the word niggah, nigger whatever they want all day without any consequences. Just so everyone can get it out of their system.

Eric Brosseau: "Hey Niggah, can I borrow a pencil?"
Mike Tyson grudgingly passes over the pencil.
Eric Brosseau: "This pencil isn't sharp, Niggah! Sharpen this s**t you big black ni**ah!!!"
Mike Tyson trembling with rage, sharpens the pencil and hands it back
Eric Brosseau: "That's right. So you want to go to lunch or something, Ni**ah?"
Mike Tyson: "I hate n-word day. I want to eat its children." :-(

I dont' know. Yeah, it's just a word, yeah it's just a cartoon, but if it offends people, why not just not use it? I'm especially surprised when someone says something really racist, then claims they're not racist they were only joking. In reality everyone involved in the joke knows how offensive it was but it's said anyway. Why? Is the joke that important?

I think the fact that people get so offended they are attacked for saying or doing something really racist is because deep down inside they know they do have racist tendencies and somehow feel justified when they blatantly insult someone. Maybe it's just natural. But if everyone's racist deep down inside then the problem isn't a lack of cencorship but a lack of understanding of one another. Or maybe it's just natural to be prejudice. Beneath all the fake smiles, there are people who deeply resent diversity. In which case things will probably get worse before they get better, resulting in an all out race war!!! All the colors of the rainbow battling it out for supreme rulership of the earth!!

Which brings us back to freedom of speech. In the wrong hands it can be deadly. I wouldn't mind the word nigger, if I didn't think that there are many, many people in the world who are very, very racist. But there is racism in the world. Montreal is forever getting warnings from the UN for brutality against blacks. Blacks are still having trouble getting high level jobs and are still stereotyped as being criminals and drug dealers etc, even honor students like the guy in the news story I linked. I don't think using derogatory words really helps the situation. So next time you get the urge, just don't call us niggers. It would be greatly appreciated.

A little cartoon has caused so many bad feelings. But I think if the Islamic community had just let it slide things could have been worse. Let's not forget in the last century there was propaganda that illustrated black people as apes and jewish people as rats. If we have free speech, should we allow these images to be portrayed in the media? Where do we draw the line?

Anyway, props to Jenn for sending me the link and thanks to Tony for pointing out the teacher looks like Ned Flanders. That would make an awesome Simpsons episode, "Flanders uses the N-Word."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Orange you glad you didn't watch the Grammys?

There's something very relaxing about living alone. For some reason I wanted to eat an orange. It doesn't seem like something you should eat at night, so I was pleased at myself for being so edgy and extreme. Anyway, before orange eating I was reminded by Vrej that the Grammy's were on. He expressed feelings that he was superior to the entire concept of the Grammys and I was hard pressed to argue with him.

At this point my plans for the evening were to watch the Grammys while eating an orange. I spoke to Janine and confided my plans to her. She likewise seemed to feel she was better than the Grammys and was not impressed that I was going to watch.

One of the first things I saw was Mariah Carrey's performance. The chubby "diva" comes on stage with too much cleavage as usual and was singing some kind of gospel song. You know, she's not a horrible performer, but I find she's not hot enough. And somehow I always felt it was wrong to sing praises to God while being dressed like a skank. I can just imagine God looking down from heaven right down her dress and being not too impressed. "Why did I make this woman skanky AND fat?" Then as a final slap in the face, God has to watch as the walls behind Mariah Carrey open and a Gospel choir "takes us home" with an inspirational hook. Gospel; meaning good news... The good news is, when they bust out the choir, it means the song is almost over!

Teri Hatcher and Michael Buble come on stage. Lathspel I name them! Teri Hatcher says, "Wow, after Mariah's performance I feel like I've been saved... or something." I was lying on the couch all by myself with orange peels in the bowl in front of me and I told Teri Hatcher to "Shut the f**k up!" I actually swore! All by myself like some kind of crazy person I cursed at the television.

Then they were presenting an award in some category that I can't remember. Anyway, they had nuff contemptible female artists. What category is so loathesome that the nominees are Gwen Stefani, Mariah Carrey, Ciara and Missy Elliot and some girl who's name I can't remember. "And the winner of the most offensive female media personality is... SOME WOMAN WHO'S NAME I FORGET!!!" (Mandy Moore? I really forget). She gave a very annoying acceptance speech.

Jay-Z and Linkin Park won an award. When the Linkin Park guy was done thanking people he offered the mic up to Jay-Z. Now this was strange. Jay-Z simply declined speaking. As if he really had nothing to say to the collective scum who had gathered to give him an award.

Then there was the usual Grammy dealy where they put a rapper together with some old white guy. This year featured Paul McArtney and Jay-Z. Wow! It was a tribute to something. I don't remember what exactly. It could have been a tribute to Jbo's blog for all I know. They sang the Linkin Park/Jay-Z song and a Beatle's song.

But what the heck! Seeing a white guy and a black guy butchering a song together... It almost makes you forget that there's racism in the world. Very positive stuff. Speaking of forgetting, do people forget how to sing when they're on the Grammys? Paul McArtney's voice sounded terrible and so did Ciara's. But at least what Ciara lacks in talent she makes up for in hotness. What does Paul have? No street cred, no stage presence. He said something like, "I've never done the Grammys before. So I'd like to rock a bit... I'd like to rock a bit... NOW!!!"



BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Why just a bit? Does he know that's all I could stomach.

This was Paul's chance to say something. He's getting on in years and his opportunities to speak on stage will become fewer and fewer. If I was him I'd say something really shocking. "F**K YOU GRAMMYS!!! I HATE YOU ALL! NONE OF YOU IDIOTS HAS ANY TALENT!! AND NEITHER DO I!!!" *drops the mic, grabs his nuts and storms off*

I'd say it's also an opportunity for God to make his presenece felt. With all these simpletons thanking him, after they're singing about doing drugs and being materialistic sinners he should do something really cool. I know if I were God, sitting up in heaven staring down Mariah's dress I'd patiently wait for her to hit one of those high notes that peels the linoleum right off your kitchen floor. And just as that happens I'd make a swarm of locusts erupt from her cleavage. 1000 locusts for every person present. And they'd carry off Gwen Stefani and her Japanese entourage, dropping them into the pacific ocean to be consumed by sharks. The locusts would then proceed to eat everyone else, leaving behind Stevie Wonder, Steve Tyler and a few other select cool people. Maybe Common.

Who's responsible for the Grammys anyway? What's up with award shows? People with money arbitrarily decide to start doling out awards. I mean, they gave a lifetime achievement award to Richard Pryor. I love Richard Pryor but, he's not a musician. How can they just decide that they're good enough to send props to him in the afterlife? And what could be more subjective than music? You have Gwen Stefani in a category with U2, Kanye West and Paul Mcartney for best album???

AND!!! Why does it seem like they segregate everyone in the auditorium? Bono's sitting right behind Paul McArtney, he has to walk all the way over to black people land to give Kanye West props??? This sounds racist.

I think I'm getting old and angry. Even the commercials made me upset. I hate the commercial with Jessica Simpson and the pizza poppers. Where she sings... Then Queen Latifah's voice can be heard saying, "Pizza is good!" Then Kermitt the Frog and Miss Piggy are there for some reason??? AAACH!!! I'm getting real tired of this garbage. Grammys. Exploitation of muppets by Jessica Simpsons. Exploitation of Japanese women by Gwen Stefani. The world is so wrong.

In summary, Grammy awards this year, barely rivals Folies at Centennial High. Vrej and Janine... You are both better than the Grammys. (Christina Aguilera is also better than the Grammys she did a really nice number with a jazz musician. I'm sorry she gets lumped together with other pop scum. She has talent and potential. I'm sure some other people are better than the Grammys too but I didnt' see them.)

Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm quite the fool

It was brought to my attention that they have empregnated a man!

At first I thought it was some kind of hoax, but this guy Mr. Lee has actually been empregnated and is with child. At least the site says it's true. They wouldn't lie on the internet would they? They even say he might be able to breast feed the child when it's over.

I like the comments that people have. Especially the woman who's appalled: "You motha f**kas need Jesus!"

My opinion? When are they going to cure cancer? When will they cure aids? I mean, was male pregnancy in such demand that some scientists are spending time and money to make it happen? As a biologist I'm totally shocked. Last time I ever considered the idea of a man becoming pregnant was the TERRIBLE movie with Arnold Shwarznegger and Danny Devito, Junior. I think the same thing now as I did then; WTF???

Furthermore I don't even like having it as an option. If some woman asks me to carry a child it's over. I don't care if we're married, career.. nothing... Immediate divorce if the subject even comes up. All these scientists have done is given couples another thing to argue about.

Man: "I dont' want to be pregnant!"
Woman: "But my career! You're so selfish!"
Man: "Making babies should be your career."

I will NEVER be pregnant. I think that's a realistic thing for me to strive toward.

And what's up with the men who want to be pregnant? There are men out there who actually want to defy nature and carry a child? One guy has actually said "I've dreamed of this all my life!!" How... How does such a thought even enter your mind. How do you approach your wife about something like that?

Simon: Dear... I'd like to carry our child.
Linda: Ummm... are you gay?
Simon: No, I just think I'd like the experience of carrying a child for nine months and nurturing it, breast feeding it... etc...
Linda: So you're gay.
Simon: Just because I wish I had a vagina doesn't make me gay.

How will a woman look at their husband while he's pregnant? What about the child? How would I look at a male friend who's gotten knocked up.

Me: "Oh, looks like you're losing at Halo 5 again!"
Vrej: "The baby's kicking!"
Me: "Stop being a little pussy! OOOOH SNAP!!! KILLING SPREE BIATCH!!!"
Vrej: "I think my water just broke!"
Me: "Shut up and pick up your joystick! Ewwww... my couch!!!"
Vrej: "Have some compassion! The moment I was knocked up my wife left me!"

The whole thing makes me shudder. Dear God...


I've been told by my friend Jenn that I'm a fool for believing this. I'm so embarassed. If you look at the site they've also claimed to have made nanites and accomplished a head transplant. I'm supposed to be getting a phd in biology in a few years. Shame on me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This Post is Not Racist

The weekend was jawesome. Went to a party with Marie-Eve (the Thetford Mines variety) organized by the biology department to raise money for some students doing volunteer work in the Galopogus islands (spp?). Nice party, nice peeps and my buddy Andrew, a mad scientist of sorts was playing with his band. It was cool to see a different side of him. He went from not so mild mannered scientist to tortured rock star. He's a Velvet Revolver/GNR band... I don't know much about that kind of music but he had a good voice and a hot young lady drummer. The effect of her hotness was offset by Andrew dancing around with no shirt but there was obviously no helping that. Andrew being the lead singer was responsible enough to leave us with a very important thought. "500.... .. BILLION!!! Species... die everyday in the Galopagus islands." I guess it was just a ballpark figure...

Next day Alpha Posse came over. They brought over more junk food than I'd ever seen in one place. A 20 piece bucket of KFC, popcorn chicken, fries, pizza, little cakes, sodas, donuts, munchkins and as the piece d'irresistance, Marie-Eve (the Jbo variety) made a cake.

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As you can see the cake is not racist. One day I hope to know what that means. It was delicious despite it's political dispositions. Thanks Maeva.

Rez dazzled us all with tales of his pilgrimage to Mecca while I blasphemed and made wise ass comments. He did it with panache and professionalism that only Rez could pull off. I for one learned a lot about Islam. The pics were beautiful and it was just really fun and impressive. He even brought us some holy water from a well that has been flowing since the time of... Moses? Abraham? Anyway, we drank the blessed draught. My favourite story was about a spot inside the main Mosque in Mecca (the Masjid Al Haram) where your prayers are more potent BUT your sinful thoughts count as actual sins. Can you imagine? If all my sinful thoughts counted as sins, I would never get into heaven nor would any of my decent. Anyway, it was really cool, thanks Rez.

Mad props also go to Vrej who accesorized the old pimp hat with a Santa hat (that was lying around my apartment for some reason) as well as his own baseball cap. As if invoking the spirit of some pimp he pulls out his phone and berates his Ho Ho Hoes "I DON'T CARE WHAT HE SAYS!!! JUST DO IT!!!" In a hilarious Sir Smokes Alot/pimp voice.

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Vrej, you're sick!!! I dub thee, Pimpaclaus

We also played pictionary. It was like a super-hero story. Ever notice how in comics super-heroes always seem to match up their powers? Like Iceman will fight Pyro's fire powers? Wolverine will end up fighting someone with claws. Anyway, this was nothing like that. I just found it odd that both Marie-Eve's were sitting across from each other. It was like when Data had to fight Lore...

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Finally, I followed up Rez's classy lecture about Islam by showing the guys the very tacky part 8,9,10 of R.Kelly's trapped in the closet. And so the evening concluded at about 1am. I still have friend chicken and cake in my apt. (I was originally going to correct my typo but have decided that Fried Chicken shall henceforth be referred to as Friend Chicken).