Sunday, April 30, 2006

Norm Violation

Our social norm violation was that we went up to people we did not know in Estes and asked them how they felt about female orgasms. We received a variety of responses which ranged from laughter to absolute repulsion. In general, the women felt more uneasy about bein asked about this than the men. Men generally laughed and said "it rocks". With one couple we asked, the woman was compeltely offended. She yelled at us and asked us why we would ask her something like that while she was eating and she was not going to answer our question because she felt it was "inapropriate". On the other hand, one group of women we asked appeared shocked at first, but then were able to respond in a positive manner.
We chose this as our norm violation because sex in general is a taboo subject, and the female orgasm is an especially taboo topic. People do not generally consider the female orgasm when they talk about sex, which caused most of the people we spoke to to be caught completley off guard to the point where they didn't know how to respond. When there was a mand and a woman in the group, the guy was more likely to respond, and the woman would generally agree with whatever the man said. However, when we spoke with the woman who responded by being offended, we noticed that she spoke up after the mand did not respond. We assume that this reaction was due to the fact that she felt that if she responded to our question in a postitive manner, he might view her in a negative way. We believe this because of male dominance in our society. This was further enhanced with another man's statement that the male orgams are what are most important in sexual relationships.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Song Critique

PaintersEighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porchWatching the clouds roll by.They remind her of her lover, How he left her, and of times long ago,When she used color carelessly, painted his portraitA thousand times, or maybe just his smile,Her and her canvas would follow him wherever they would go.
(Chorus 1)'Cause they were painters, and they were painting themselvesA lovely world.
Oil-streaked daisies covered the living room walls.He put water-colored roses in her hair.He said, "Love, I love you, I want to give you the mountains,The sunshine, the sunset too.I just want to give you a world as beautiful as you are to me."
(Chorus 2)'Cause I'm a painter, and I want to paint youA lovely world.
So, they sat down and made a drawing of their love,They made it an art to live by.They painted every passion, every home, Created every beautiful child.In winter they were weavers of warmth,In summer they were carpenters of love.They thought blueprints were too sad So they made them yellow.
(Chorus)
(Bridge 1)Until one day the rain fell as thick as black oil,And in her heart she knew something was wrong.She went running through the orchard, screaming, "No God, don't take him from me,"But by the time she got there, She feared he already had gone.She got to where he lay, Water-colored roses in his hands for her.She threw them down, screaming, "Damn you, man, don't leave me with nothing left behind But these cold paintings, these cold portraits to remind me!"
(Bridge 2) He said, "Love I only leave a little, try to understand.I put my soul in this life we've created with these four hands.Love, I leave, but only a little,This world holds me still.My body may die now, but these paintings are real."La de di, la de di, la de di, de di.
So, many seasons came and many seasons went,And many times she saw he love's face watering the flowers,Talking to the trees and singing to his children.When the wind blew, she knew he was listeningAnd, oh, how he seemed to laugh along, andHow he seemed to hold her when she was crying.
(Chorus 4) 'Cause they were painters, and they had painted themselvesA lovely world.
Eighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porchWatching the clouds roll by.They remind her of her lover, How he left her, and of times long ago,When she used color carelessly, painted his portraitA thousand times, or maybe just his smile,Her and her canvas would follow him wherever they would go.Yes, her and her canvas still follow.
Because they are painters and they are painting themselvesA lovely...
'Cause the are painters and they are painting themselvesA lovely world.

This song, from Jewel's 1995 album "Pieces of You", is as beautiful as it is tragic. The words paint a delicate picture of a love lost but not forgotten. I think this is the kind of love everybody searches for- the kind of love that is eternal. The woman Jewel sings about in this song loses her lover at a young age, but no matter how much time passes, she is still wholly and truly devoted to him. Even though all she has left of him are the paintings they created, they are enough to keep him in the foreground of all of her thoughts. Even as she ages, the song never speaks about her moving on, or simply forgetting what she had. Instead, Jewel focuses on the idea that when you find "the one", love outlasts everything, even death.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Compatibilism

Compatibilism is important to personal identity in that neither free will nor determinism alone can fully explain personal identity in terms of how people make decisions. Compatibilism is important because it is a mixture of the two extremes. Compatibilists feel that people do not necessarily have complete control over their actions, and that choice does play a part in how people make decisions. In essence, from a compatibist’s perspective, “a person can be free and determined because what he does can be caused by something that goes on inside him even though he is not forced by some circumstance outside him to act as he does, then he acts freely” (Williams, 32). Rather than theorize that free will is based on the notion that people are able to make decisions about everything, and nothing is predetermined, (or that there is in fact no free will, and therefore everything is determined), compatibilism focuses on the fact that people make choices inside of subsets of their lives which are predetermined.
An example of this would be if a person decides to write a novel. Something internal could make him want to write the novel (in other words he would be predetermined to want to do this); however, nobody (or nothing), is in fact forcing him to write the novel. Therefore, he is writing the novel by his own free will, meaning the fact that he writes the novel is not predetermined. Yet another example that supports the compatibilitst view would be the the book itself. In this case, the author determines what point of view the story is told from. However, the reader has the free will to be able to use their imagination. For instance, the author is not able to give every single detail in the story, such as the setting, how the characters look, move, etcetera, therefore, the reader is able to use his imagination to fill in these gaps. Further, the reader has the free will to decide when and if he will read the book. He is able to choose when he wishes to begin reading, as well as when he wishes to stop. However, it can be argued that it is determined that the reader will have an interest in reading the book in the first place.
The basic principle here is that both free will and determinism affect our lives. Nobody is truly free, but we have the ability to deliberate and make choices for ourselves as well. (Compatibilism is the middle ground of two extremes: free will and determinism.)

I am a firm believer in the compatabilist viewpoint. Throughout my life I have often raised this exact question with myself. How can life be predetermined when so much seems to be left to chance? Yet, there are other times in life where things seem like they are almost destined to happen. The middle ground? Compatibilism. In the end it comes down to the idea that we are free to choose between a set of predetermined choices and the choice we make determines our next set of choices, and so on. You might never know what "could have been", yet the options were presented, you simply chose the one that was most appealing at the time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Very Angry Poem

This game just isn’t worth my time
I’m getting fucking tired
Of playing within the lines
One step two step three step
I’m done.
Suddenly this isn’t
So much fun
I told you not to fuck with me
And I thought you understood
The next time I say goodbye
I can promise it’s for good.
You’ve toyed with my emotions
And treated me like a bitch
You do this right to my face
And you seem to have no shame for it
How can I trust you
When this whole façade is a lie
You mean to demean my demeanor
I don’t know why I even try
I can’t go on being this
This lifeless doll you call your own
I’ll never trust you
I’ll never love you
Why don’t you just go home.
I know what you’re doing
I can see it in your eyes
Even through these dark clouds
That forever shame my skies
I know you’re a liar
I know this isn’t true
Why can’t you just tell me
And I swear I’ll walk away
I don’t have time for this
And you’re making it such a mess
Just confess to what I already know
I don’t need you and all I want
Is to go home
I’ve forgotten love
I’ve forgotten trust
No matter what
Everyone and anyone
Always gives in to lust
You won’t be faithful
So don’t even try
There’s no faith involved
When you’re playing from my side.
I know too much
And I can’t see the good
In trying to kill what’s left inside

And this is what I get for being kind
No matter how hard I try
It always blows up in my face
I’m tired of being shafted
Like I’m nothing but some whore
All I know is I’m not
Playing these games anymore
How long do I have to wait
Before I can really say
Everything that’s written
In the back of my mind
Further
How long before I walk away
You drain me
You shame me
And I’m tired of these lies
Why do you ask me these questions
When you know what I’m going to say
Why don’t you just pay me
What I’m owed
And let me walk away.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Soc Abstract

A sociological perspective concerning crime is that crime and deviance are socially constructed. For example, a person who steals from a convenience store would be considered to have committed the crime of larceny if “it does not involve force or the threat of force” (Conklin ). However, bring in force and the crime is considered to be a robbery which carries a harsher sentence. Another example of this type of differentiation between levels of crime occurs in the case of rape. In some instances, a rape may not even be reported as a crime. This usually occurs when the rape is committed by “a woman’s husband or ex-husband” (Conklin ). However, rape between strangers is almost always reported as a crime.
Another stigma associated with the way rape is viewed is in the terms of college students. Rape on college campuses is widely seen within a fraternity setting. Within these settings, some fraternities are seen as “high risk” while others are seen as “low risk” houses (Boswell and Spade). The brothers in “high risk houses” generally had degrading attitudes towards women and were encouraged to keep out of relationships and treat women as objects rather than as people (Boswell and Spade). There was a significant difference in the way women when in the company of men from “low risk” houses versus the men from “high risk” houses, who were seen as being more “sexually aggressive.” When around men from “high risk” houses, the women tended to be more on guard aware of themselves. (Boswell and Spade).
Being as I am currently a college student I interact with members of fraternities on a daily basis. I do not generally attend their parties, and have no insight as to how the men on our campus behave towards women in these situations; however, from what I see in my day to day interactions with them around campus and in the classroom, I find that most of the fraternity brothers on Randolph-Macon’s campus, regardless of which fraternity it is, seem to treat women with respect. However, I have heard otherwise even though I have never witnessed these actions for myself.
The issue, however, is that of personal perception. What I may see as a student who does not attend social gatherings held by fraternities frequently may be different from the perspective of a student who does. This idea of difference in perspective can also apply to the stigmas people place on what they consider deviant behavior. For example, “perceptions of tobacco users have changed dramatically” since the early 1940’s and 1950’s (Tuggle and Holmes). In this era, cigarette smoking was considered “socially desirable”, versus today where there are numerous anti-smoking campaigns (Tuggle and Holmes). This can also be seen in the idea that “drug scares must be understood sociologically on their own terms” (Reinaraman). For example, the stigma against drinking in the early 1900’s, which lead to “the passage of Prohibition in 1919” (Reinaraman). As with cigarette smoking, “crimes” such as these depend on how people want to view them at the time, and what can be gained and lost from stigmatizing them. The way in which people view certain crimes and taboos can be summed up to how “sociologically mindful” they are (Scwalbe). Sociological mindfulness is important because it “helps us see how our lives are intertwined and how our words and deeds help or harm others in non-obvious ways” (Scwalbe).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Comments on Soc. Reading

I was doing my reading for sociology which was discussing the theft of social security cards and identity theft. I was thinking, if this is such a big problem, in our age of techological advances, why doesn't somebody come up with a new system? If people are having their cards stolen or their numbers taken from online transactions, why not then find some way of transforming the system? I was thinking along the lines of the way a debit card is used. Even if you have the card, you can't use it without knowing the pin number. So, why not when a child is born, issue him a social security card, and allow the parent to make up a pin which the child will have access to and be able to change one he turns 18. After initially setting up the pin with the social security number, not only does a person need the actual number to gain access to a person's private information, but they also need the access code. Maybe it's not feasible, but I figure if you have to have pass codes for everything else in today's world, why not have a code to protect your social security number from being used as well.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Now I Remember Why I Avoid Getting Haircuts...

So I went to get my hair cut today and I swear I now remember why I do this as little as possible. I told the woman I just wanted a "trim" to get rid of the split ends. She says okay then promptly sets to work chopping my hair into something like, well I'm not sure. Needless to say it's not what I told her at all. It pretty much looks like it did, except it's shorter and that doesn't help when I've been trying to grow my hair out. I'm just summing this up to be another one of those life lessons. Don't ever let someone cut your hair unless you're sure they're actually going to listen to you. Oh well, at least I she didn't cut my bangs too. I absolutely hate having bangs. They're not bad if they're long, but most of these people want to cut them so short that it just doesn't look right. Now I guess I'll just have to wait until my hair grows back out and then make sure I, oh I dunno, write in big letters what I want done to my hair and tape it to the hairstylist's forehead the next time I go to get it cut. That seems to be about the only thing that might work.

Friday, April 21, 2006

LSAT...

So, I went to Barnes and Noble earlier tonight and picked up a study guide for the LSAT. I'm only a sophomore, but I figured the sooner I begin studying the better my chances are of getting a high score. After I flipped through the book and suffered a few of the practice questions, I'm glad I decided to buy the book! The SAT's weren't too much of a problem for me, and I thought the LSAT's were going to be similar, but I found out very quickly it's a whole separate game! I'm not too stressed out about it because I'm giving myself about a year to study for it. Yeah, I know it seems like a really long time, but all I can say is if I'm getting into law school it's definately not going to be because of my undergraduate GPA! I'm planning on going through this book at least three or four times and taking a prep class like the one I took for the SAT's. Well, I guess the more time I take to study the better, and only time will tell!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Only Real Truth

Last night I was reading back through a paper I did for a philosophy class I took last spring. One of the questions was about Descartes philosophy on deciphering dreams from the real world. I'm still trying to figure that one out, but I've about come to the conclusion that he was right, there is no way of telling. That got me thinking about how it is that we *know* anything for sure. When we are little, we depend on our parents to teach us things. We consider everything they tell us to be the truth. We don't bother to think for ourselves at that point so we don't question whether or not what we're being told is really true. As we get older we rely on teachers and later professors to provide these truths to us. Even though at the point we are able to, or should be able to, consider what they are telling us and decide for ourselves what is true and what is not. The main question though, is how do we *know* whether what we're contemplating is true or not? I could tell you that the sky is purple and I would challenge you to prove me wrong. Sure, you can sit there and say that you can see the sky and it is obviously blue, therefore, I'm obviously wrong. From here I'd have to ask you to define blue. How do you know it's *blue*? You can say you know it's blue because that particular shade is defined as *blue* and any child who has ever been taught their colors could tell you this. Okay, but how do you know they're right? Color is a personal perception. What may appear blue to you may not appear the same way to me. Thus, if I say the sky is purple, well, that may be true for me because that may be the way my mind registers the color of the sky.
Another example is the classic case of a group people witnessing the same event and then telling the story in very different ways. It's not that one person is lying and the others are not; it's just the way each person saw the event. What they saw with their eyes it what is true for them, even if it is not true for the other thirty people who witness the same event. Thus, truth is a personal perception and the only real truth is the one which you determine for yourself to be true.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Soc. Class

We started the criminology section of soc. 200 today. Well, considering I want to be a lawyer...eventually...I've been waiting to start this section anyway. However, what made it more interesting was when professor Bissler asked us to pair up and share a crime we had committed with our partner. As we went around introducing our partner and the crime they had committed, I was amazed at some of what I heard. I never would have thought some of the people in that class had done some of these things. (I think the most prevalant crime had to have been stealing road signs.) It's just amazing to me what you learn about people through some of the exercises they have you do in class. What's more, I think it was more of a humbling experience for me. After I left class it dawned on me how human each of us really are.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

So far away

Why does it seem
Like every time I talk to you
I'm in some distant dream

The only time the world seems alive
Is for that split second
I forget your not mine

Yet as soon as I put down the receiver
I don't know if I should either
Give up or give in

Try to live my life without you
Or try harder to pull you in
To everything I know we can be

But there's just too much distance
And time is a losing battle
Every second of every day

Brings me closer to you
Yet I still feel
So far away

Monday, April 17, 2006

Poem....

When did I allow myself
To become a victim
Of my own longing?
How did I manage
To find such a sweet song in
Someone I know
I will never call my own?
Where did I go wrong
When I promised myself so long
Ago that last time
Was the last time
I would be this far gone?
A voice like silk
Eyes are the rays of the sun
All the things that make me
Simply come undone
But I can’t do this again.
No, I won’t fall into line
Too many tears
Have fallen from my eyes
For way too long now
So why can‘t I, no, how
Do I walk away from this
Completely intact
When I know in fact
That a piece of my soul
Will be gone when I leave
And how long until
I will once again be whole?
Oh mercy please grant me
Give me the strength to keep fighting
And maybe I will
Leave this game with at least
A piece of my wounded pride
Even though I know
Inside I have died
Oh so long ago
On the day
I let my thoughts stray
And now I fear
This is how it will stay
And forever my tears
Will fall gently like rain.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

How Do I Manage To Do This To Myself???

Yeah, that's the question of the day. How exactly do I manage to always put myself in these situations with guys? It's beyond me other than I'm really just that stupid. So as anyone that knows me has heard, millions of times, I'm talking to one of my ex's and I've been down to see him in Florida...blah blah blah, well lately he's been kind of short with me on the phone. He'll call me and then say he's going to call me back. That would be fine, except either he never calls me back, or he calls me back long enough to tell me he'll call me back again, and then doesn't do it. So what do I go and do? Instead of just forgetting about him completely and telling him where to go and how to get there, I blow twenty bucks on one of those prepaid cards for his cell. Why? Well, I'm just going to chock it up to the fact that I'm hopeless. I still love him and when I get like this, which has only been once before, I do stupid things. I guess it could have been worse right? Twenty dollars isn't really that much, but I guess it's the point of the thing. I'm just going to say it's my...amicable nature...because I'm such a kind outgoing person...yeah right. Well, that's not to say I don't do things for my friends. Actually it's quite the opposite. Anyone that's in class with me probably thinks I'm quiet and unsociable because I keep to myself all the time. Well, no, I'm just extremely shy, but I'll go through hell and high water for someone I've gotten close to and consider to be a true friend. Although, I don't think that really applies in this case now does it?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Thoughts

When I was a junior in high school I had a friend who committed suicide. I went and visited his gravesite today and thought about a lot of things, mainly my life. And for the first time, I think I actually cried for him instead of because of him. What I mean by this is, well, I was there with one of my other friends when he killed himself, and to make a long story short I think back then I cried from the shock of it all, rather than because he was gone. It sounds weird, but unless you've experienced it, you probably won't understand. Well, today I stood there and realized how young we really were and how sad it is that he cut his life so short. We were only 17 and I know it doesn't seem like it's that big of a difference from 17 to 20, but it really is. I just sat there wondering why someone would do that to themselves and to everyone that cares about them. All of this really stems back from my research that I'm doing for this class because the boy in my narrative did the same thing. It just makes me wonder how anyone can have it so bad that they choose just to end things instead of sticking through it. I've had times in my life where I thought things would never get better, I'm kind of going through that right now, but then I realize that no matter how bad things may seem, it could always be worse, and it will get better. I just wish he would have realized this as well.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Nyquil Dreams and Vodka Induced Headaches

I’ve got little time and even less meaning
Gone through so much to receive such little happiness
I’m losing my mind, losing my reason
To sit here and write these rhymes
Nothing is stable anyway
My patience is stretched as far as it can go
I’ve got Nyquil dreams and vodka induced headaches
Every morning is just the same
Opening my eyes just to slam my head into a wall
Just shut up and I’ll be okay
Once the aspirin stops eating my stomach (x2)
You said you’d be here forever
I never thought it was a lie
Six months later I’m left with nothing but why
This bed is so big now
All I can warm it with
Is memories and kerosene
My patience is stretched as far as it can go
I’ve got Nyquil dreams and vodka induced headaches
Every morning is just the same
Opening my eyes just to slam my head into a wall
Just shut up and I’ll be okay
Once the aspirin stops eating my stomach
Strike a match for an unlit cigarette
So much better now
But the smoke is so thick
And my cigarette remains unlit
For now…
My patience is stretched as far as it can go
I’ve got Nyquil dreams and vodka induced headaches
Every morning is just the same
Opening my eyes just to slam my head into a wall
Just shut up and I’ll be okay
Once the aspirin stops eating my stomach
I’ve got Nyquil dreams and vodka induced headaches
Vodka induced headaches

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Just read it like a poem...that's all it really is...

I’m an enigma…a social downfall on the face of this breathless void in humanity…my mind is an open casket filled with an emotional corpse…decomposing in the heat of this self-destructive mistrust of everything I’ve ever known…until the point that all of the petals on this wilted rose I call life, have fallen and returned back to the meaningless dust from which they came…but what is meaninglessness? Is it in fact anything other than what I am? Is what I call life anything less than in fact a naked rose…a bleach stain on your favorite jeans…the one thing everybody looks at, but in all reality, never really sees…for to see something…is to wonder…to wonder is to try to understand…and at this point…understanding is impossible. How can one understand anything that the eludes the very thing which you are trying to understand? A physical deficiency .like an ember burning in a suffocating fire. Help me…find myself…beyond this thing that I am. Teach me how to breath…beyond this stale air that surrounds me. I’m falling so far down, that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see anything other than this eternal darkness that slowly swallows me. Do it again and again and again….until neither of us can take it anymore. I’m almost at that breaking point? Where are you? I know I can’t see you and you no longer care to try to see what it is that makes me indicate some small sign…that I am truly alive. But what this comes down to…is…what is living…if not some hellacious mind game…drawn out until all of the rules intertwine, yet, none of them make sense. What is the probability that this pain I feel will ever subside? Sedatives in the mind of the numb. An anarchist’s revelries. Touché.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blog Post for Friday 4/7/06

While on my way to Tenessee my parents brought up the topic of shopping at Wal-Mart. I couldn't help but stifle a groan from the back seat. When they asked me what my problem was I simply informed them that Wal-Mart is nothing more than a corporate scam. Of course they had not idea what I was talking about, so I enlightened them. Simply stated, Wal-Mart is like any other capitalistic buisniess we have in America, only, something about how they do business gets under my skin. I don't know whether it's the part about violating child labor laws, firing their employess at the first sign that somebody might possibly be even considering forming a union, or the fact that the cameras in the store are not in place for the safety of the consumer, but in place to watch the employees and ward off such unions. The whole things just irks me in a way I can't even describe. When you see the ads on tv, you are disillusioned by happy smiling faces, the big yellow smiley face logo people know so well, and the idea that Wal-Mart provides the lowest prices and best deals. I just wish they would tell you that in order to give you, the consumer, yes you, these "great deals" they force their workers to work through breaks and off the clock for hours. They also employ the use of sweatshops. So, be sure you thank all those hardworking children, you know, the ones with the missing fingers, and the employees, mainly the ones who can't figure out how putting in probably 80 hours a week amounts to less than 40 hours of pay, the next time you buy something from Wal-Mart. I'm sure they'll appreciate the recognition.

Soc. reflections

I was sitting in my sociology class today listening to a lecture on the medical model and how Americans basically are more concerned about capital gain than about people's health. It made me sick knowing that the people we turn to for help when we are sick are really interested in little more than how much money they can squeeze out of you as a result of your illness. For example, my professor was discussing the case of a lady who had open heart surgery (this was in Richmond for those of you who live in the area!) and was sent away from the recovery unit after a few months. She was declared "recovered". The issue there is that her husband didn't even know she was sent home with an IV and a bedpan to her husband who didn't even know she was coming home. Both the lady and her husband were elderly people which made it difficult for him to help take care of her. She wasn't able to do anything for herself, implicating she wasn't as *recovered* as the recovery center claimed she was. Her husband was infuriated and called the rescue squad because he simply couldn't take care of her, they couldn't afford a live in nurse, and she needed medical assistance. When the rescue squad took her back to the recovery center they denied her readmittance and said that they had released her, not because she was well enough to go home, but because her insurance had run out, and besides that she didn't have long to live anyway! (Well, considering the circumstances, I could imagine not!) These are the types of people we have not only taking care of our generation, but our parents and grandparents. We go to a doctor believing that they have our best interests in mind and they want to help heal us. This just is not the case. All the medical professionals seem to care about is what their reputation looks like (i.e. how many people they've kept alive, not necessarily how many lives they've saved, that's a whole other tangent), and how much money they have in their pockets. I used to believe whole heartedly in our medical professionals; however, after taking this section of my sociology course I'm not too sure I want to see another doctors office again unless I absolutely have to.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Poem

Take this yearning in my heart
Feel what I've been feeling
Try to understand
And then you can tell me I'm wrong
For thinking maybe one day
You can forgive me my insecurities
And we can be like we were back then...

I see now something has changed
Deep inside of you
The person I once knew
Is there for my eyes to view
But my heart sees beyond that
To what you have become
Regardless I still love you
The passion that burn within me
Is just as true...

Yet you say we can be nothing
More than "just friends"
And until this wound I'm nursing mends
I'll never be satisfied
No matter how many tears I've cried
I know I'm still not over you
And it kills me to know
Nothing I can say or do
Will make you change your mind...

Yet through all this you manage
To fill my mind with false hopes
And a million maybes
That remain in my mind
Time after time you say you love me
Insist you still care
So why is it that when I say I want to be with you
You seem to just not hear
And carry on like I'm not even there...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Poetry

A dark desperation looms deep within my haunted soul
As hard as I try it seems as though I can’t break free
And unfortunately, I can’t seem to let go
Of this misery that binds me in this eternal hell
And the contempt that demeans my soul.
Follow me down love’s dark path
As you relish in the aftermath of my misfortune
Which I allow since your greatness does surpass my own
Because I know down deep in my soul
That I’ll never find the light I so desperately long for.
I’m nothing but your plastic doll
With dead eyes and a fake smile
Play with me now like a child, so shallow
As your intentions which like the winter snow
Dry up and leave nothing but puddles on the ground.
In which I am left to bleed so solemnly for I never take heed
To anyone’s advice, not even my own, though granted I’ll never be alone
For this misery that overwhelms me will forever be my company.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Abstract For Sociology

The bureaucratic management of medicine and medical training restrict health intervention to tissue manipulation because from the beginning medical students are expected to cast aside their emotions. This leaves little room for anything other than viewing the patient in an objective manner, as something to be worked on rather than a living person. “Their strategies will include transforming the patient or the procedure into an analytic object or event…” (Smith and Kleinman 1998). Voiding themselves of emotional attachment to their patients may help physicians deal with their own emotions, and allow them to maintain a sense of professionalism within their practice; however, this objectified view can also be problematic for the patients in certain situations.
For example, because of the lack of personal attachment for their patients, it is easier for some practitioners to deny that a patient even has an ailment. This type of malady can be seen in the case of black lung disease. In many cases, physicians denied that patients who came to them claiming to suffer from the disease had the ailment because their x-rays did not prove their condition. (Smith 2001). As a result, many mineworkers who had the disease were denied compensation, even if “by all appearances they we equally or even more disabled by the lung disease” (Smith 2001). The same type of issue rises again in Cassell’s work when he speaks of the objectification of the mind and body being viewed as separate entities. It is related in that if the doctor does not find physiological sings of sickness, patients are often told that “the pain is psychological (in the sense of not being real) or that the patient is “faking” (Cassell 1997).
As with black lung disease, it seems that because of the objectification of the patient by the physician, if there is no clinical evidence, or the evidence does not match up with what is expected, the patient is disregarded. This seems to conflict with the Hippocratic Oath, which all doctors are supposed to abide by. The oath is in place to ensure that physicians to everything they can to try to preserve life and diminish suffering. However, this too is problematic because of the bureaucratic management of medicine and medical training. Often times the patient suffers more under a physician’s treatment than they do from the ailment itself. This is problematic because while physicians are supposed to do what they can to preserve the life of their patient, they are then left with the ethics of the fact that they are ignoring life quality in exchange for quantity. For example, Cassell speaks of a sculptor who was being treated for metastatic disease of the breast. Each phase in the treatment was a source of ongoing suffering for her (Cassell 1997). All of this is directly related to medical intervention, which in some cases may even be needless in that they may not necessarily .preserve life, thus simply causing unnecessary suffering. As McKinlay and McKinlay point out, “in general, medical measures appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality rates in the United States since about 1900” (McKinlay and McKinlay 2004). Such medical interventions can also have great impacts not only on individuals, but also on whole societies.
For example, as Erickson addresses such an issue in regards to the Ojibwa Indians. “The problem was that traditional healers proved powerless to cure or even explain that alien disease” (Erickson 1994). In this example, influenza stuck the native people who required Western medical intervention to cure the disease. However, with this type of intervention came others which ultimately destroyed their society. In this light, I feel that sociopolitical factors and cultural standards are responsible for the quality
of human health.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Random Venting...

So I'm doing all I can to figure out why men are the way they are. It's simply beyond me. Maybe I should be looking at why I am the way I am. For instance, I spent, oh I don't know, over $1,000 to go see him over break. Sorry, let me fill in here, I'm talking about my ex who recently moved to Florida. So basically I was down there (long story behind it and I don't feel like explaining) and this would be the second time I've seen him in a month. Before that he was in Virginia getting the rest of his stuff. Well, basically even though we did let's just say *everything* we used to do, and he was still saying how much he loved me, he still is acting like all he wants is to be friends in case one of us decides we want something else. It's just getting on my nerves so incredibly bad. I'm not rich by any means. I don't just go dropping money like that to go see people, no way. It just gets under my skin how he can pass us off as being so casual, especially after seeing what I'm willing to do just to see him for a few days. It's ridiculous. I don't understand how he can be so bipolar. You don't go from telling someone that it "doesn't have to be our last goodbye" and "I love you" to nothing. Just no. So yeah, I officially give up!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Book Vs Movie "Memiors of a Geisha"

I've heard many people numerous times tell me most books are better than the movie. Generally I've never thought so. I've always thought movies were much better;however, not in this case. I would have to say that the book is much better than the movie. There are many important and very touching scenes in the book that are cut out or changed in the movie. I think that in order to get a true understanding of what is being said, you have to read the book. I normally do not continuously read a book. Generally I'll read it for a half an hour at the most and then put it down and find something else to do. I found I couldn't do that with this book. The imagry and language is captivating and you are instantly drawn into her world. I haven't read a book that I felt was this completely riveting in many years. I would definately recomend it to anyone who is looking for a compelling read that will tug at their heart strings. As for the movie, it gives you a general overview of the book, and the acting was generally okay, but I do not feel it did the book any justice at all.