The sound of silence

I admit to being an odd bird (you can stop nodding your heads now) but I’m still amazed at how few people can tolerate silence. Benjamin, for example, always has music playing either via his iPod or computer be it in the house, in the car, while working out, etc. He doesn’t like silence.

I on the other hand very seldom play music except while in the car (which is seldom in itself these days). I’m perfectly happy running, working out, cooking, working, and doing virtually everything without music. To take it a step further, often I prefer silence.

This concept appears to be foreign to many people these days. Take for example the gym I attend. The facility is very small (a joint collaboration between the Raddisson hotel and the next door office building) and has a single TV in the room. If the TV is on a specific channel and someone wants to change the channel they usually ask those already in the room if anyone is watching it — the implication being that if no one is watching the currently-playing channel the asker will change it to something else. Several times I’ve been the only person in the room and turned the TV off prior to starting my workout. When the next person walks in they don’t bother asking if I wanted the TV off but instead just turn it on to whatever channel they desired.

On a similar front if I do have music playing in the house Benjamin will ask before changing it to something else but never thinks about playing music when there is none currently playing.

Has this uncomfortableness with silence always been there and personal music players (eg: iPods) have allowed folks to counteract it or is the dependence upon sound a recent development due to the accessibility of personal music players?

Gay marriage is legal in California!

I’m sure you already heard, but good news from CA today! Gay marriage is legal in California!

“In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation,” the court said in the 120-page ruling, “and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.

“We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”

Now there’s two states that B and I can move to after he graduates from college!

Ranting about today’s news

Warning: This post contains nothing worth reading, your time would be better spent taking a nice walk outside.

What the hell is wrong with the world recently? Am I the only one that thinks the headlines today are over the top? The following are actual news headlines and my rant about the topic.

Pope raps China over bishops
Folks in China appoint two new bishops. Pope Benedict is pissed that he didn’t have a say in the matter. Can you say classic catholicism at its worst? The notion that “the Pope has God’s ear and everyone else is wrong” just blows my mind. Protestant theology holds that God is an equal opportunity employer, yes anyone can talk to him. Not sure why the Pope (or the Catholic church in general) think they have a monopoly on the red hone to God.

US asks Mexico to reconsider ‘stupid’ drug law
So Mexico wants to pass a law that allows people to legally possess a limited amount of currently-illegal drugs. The US government is going ballistic because, well, no one’s sure exactly. The US has claimed that it would encourage “drug tourism” in Mexico – no shit, much like underage youth go across the border to drink. Amsterdam seems to be doing OK. One article has Judith Bryan, the US embassy spokesperson, as saying that they are encouraging Mexico to re-examine the law “to ensure that all persons found in possession of any quantity of illegal drugs be prosecuted or be sent into mandatory drug treatment programmes”. Lets think about that, if Mexico passes the law then they wouldn’t be illegal in small quantities so how exactly are they suppose to prosecute people who are acting within the law? I love how the US will gladly ignore the international community when we go to war with Iraq, an action affecting another country, and yet we have no qualms with telling Mexico what to do about laws that effect its own citizens and Mexico complies. The US is the worst kind of playground bully.

Side rant: America has somehow made a mental connection that “illegal drugs” are drugs that are bad for you, when in reality they are drugs that are illegal to possess. Sure they may also be bad for you for various meanings of the word ‘bad’, but bad != illegal. Someone needs to think up a new term. On the same thought, there’s currently a radio ad here in Austin about some news station doing a story over “Drugs that your students can buy on the streets … legally”. Right, like advil or Pepsid AC ’cause you know those are drugs that students can buy legally now. I’m sure they’re actually talking about some hallucinogenic/mind-altering substance but they have decided to use “drugs” instead. Arg!

Sugary sodas to be pulled from US schools
Thank you Mr. Clinton and the rest of society from protecting America from itself and becoming the parents of our youth. Lets not tackle the harder health problems like why parents can’t send their kids to school with nutritious lunches instead of money for the vending machines, or teach them the value of eating healthy food — no, lets just make it so that they don’t have access to sodas in their schools ’cause that’ll solve the problem. Good thing all of those convenience stores down the streets from those schools aren’t selling those sodas either, oh wait.

Mutant Mice May Hold Clues To Athiesm
Well, actually it was “Hold Clues to Autism” but that’s what I get for reading it too fast.