The other day I mentioned that I had left some comments on people’s blogs that I wished I would have saved so that I could post them here. I went and found them, so here they are, along with the posts for which they are comments.
From My Random Musings by Kate The Great:
Have I been under a rock? In a coma? In a drunken stupor?
No, No, and thanks to God, No.
So why then am I only finding out about these LIVESTRONG bracelets now?
Apparently they’re a fundraiser for Lance Armstrong’s foundation, which helps fight cancer through education and advocacy. The bracelets are yellow rubber and cost a dollar each, you can find them on their website or at Niketown stores. Nike is helping to push the bands, which are being used to assist a five million dollar campaign for the cyclist’s charity. The tennis shoe maker says it will pony up another cool mil. if everyone and their mother (or at least five million people) buy the wristbands.
I discovered these bracelets after receiving one as a favor at a wedding I attended last night (no, I did not catch the bouquet). The bride and groom had opted to make a charitable donation in honor of all the guests, and placed one of these bracelets at each place setting as a small token.
The folks at my table informed me these bracelets are the hottest things going these days, with even the presidential candidates sucking up to the sensitive set, wearing the golden accessory on their respective campaign trails.
Celebrities aren’t out out of the loop on this one, either. Bruce Willis, Sheryl Crow and Robin Williams have all been spotted with LIVESTRONG on the wrist. So have Pamela Anderson, Matt Damon and Bono.
Do a Google search and you’ll notice some criticism of the bands, saying it makes trendy what people should already be doing: giving to charity. Others say this is a commercial bandwagon for folks to outwardly display their acts of kindness for all the world to see. Still others wag a shameful finger at Nike, saying their association with the bracelet is a shoddy attempt at a reputation renovation.
I say nay to all those naysayers.
It’s charity, plain and simple.
If a simple piece of yellow rubber incites others to give their money to a good cause, more power to it. As for Nike, well, I’m not so down with their child labor practices, but it appears they’re trying to put the best rubber-soled foot forward. And If some folks wanna feel cool and braggadocious about where they give their money, let ’em. No one said you had to be quiet about your contributions. Sure, that would be the classy way to act, but one needs to spend no more than five minutes in a Starbucks to know that class is going the way of handwritten thank you notes (another travesty, in my book).
I am proudly wearing my LIVESTRONG bracelet.
And I just bought ten more.
While I agree that its widespread popularity is beneficial, I can’t help but be turned off from it simply because it’s so damn popular. I’ve never been “hip”, nor do I have any desire to be. I do, however, really like Lance Armstrong, believe strongly in his cause and am more than willing to donate money to it, but not just so I can get some stupid rubber bracelet and be “cool” like everyone else.
What I think the naysayers are saying nay to is the fact that people are, in a matter of speaking, abusing the charity. Perhaps I should say that they’re using it for their own benefit. As with any trend, this bracelet has become a status symbol (or, in the case of Nike, a methods by which they can attempt to cause consumers to forget about their questionable business practices). There are those with the bracelet and those without. Are you a Sneetch with a star on your belly or one without?
We’ve hit a new low when society constructs an elitist attitude around a charity. So while it may be charity, it’s not plain and simple.
From Monique’s Blog by Tasha Best:
I think that blogs are great. It is a great way to communicate with professors, classmates, and other students. You get to come familiar with other students work and their opinions about the work you have done. It is very useful in hearing others opinions. Opinions from actually make thought that was never there. The professors also post comments that would later help you in assignments for the future. Overall, I just think that it is a neat source over the internet for english classes can come together and share their work.
I believe in blogs. They are wonderous tools that have forever changed the way we communicate. Their simplicity and ease of use makes them perfect for users of all ages and backgrounds. They are a system of immediate publishing to a potential audience of billions.
That having been said, blogs (and the internet in general) are destroying both the English language and the general intelligence of the world.
When the internet first started to get popular and accessible (let’s say between the years of 1995 and 2000) I noticed that people’s typing skills and English skills were improving. When you rely on purely textual cues for tone, emphasis and subtext, you are forced to be commanding in your use of the language. People seemed to realise that, in order to be understood, they had to spell words properly and construct their sentences using proper grammar.
Shortly thereafter, the abbreviations started. Such cryptic messages asl, lol, roflmao, and wtf became common in chat rooms and on BBSs. Suddenly society invented a new dialect of English; Net speak, as it were. With no basis in the real world, Net speak served as a wedge between English skills and internet users.
It didn’t take long for things to go downhill. These days I see worse spelling and grammar than ever. That’s not to say that my skills are second to none, but at least no one has ever complained of not understanding what it was I was trying to say.
Blogs have taken Net speak to the point where I can’t even read some blogs because they are so filled with bad English and web slang.
The immediacy of blogs has also served to “dumb-down” the populace. We are nurturing a generation that neglects to think before they convey their thoughts because there’s no reason to. Whereas an author will write and rewrite a novel before it is published (and even then an editor will pick through it before it goes to print), a blogger has but to click a single button for their missive to flash on the screens of a billion users worldwide.
If blogs have one saving grace, it’s that the blogosphere is self-correcting. That is to say that if you blog about something and have your facts wrong, chances are that someone will point it out to you. If only more people would check their spelling and re-read what they’ve written before posting it, we would be in better shape.
Good luck with your blog. -)
From Connections by Gareon:
“…Most religions claim an exclusive connection with the creator and by extension claim to be the only path to salvation. They are not hesitant to block the way and ambush – literally and figuratively- others during the journey to the mountaintop. History is replete with examples of self-righteousness and highhandedness of the followers of most religions.
What good is it, and the questions begs for an honest religious answer, when the priests, the rabbis, the garanthis, the pundits, the imams, the ministers, and the like hold hands and pray in unison for peace and harmony in interfaith gatherings, but preach the superiority of their own faith when they take to the pulpits? How could one be equal in one setting and superior in the other? Would it diminish their faith if they accorded the same relevance to other traditions that they reserve for their own? Or is it a sense of insecurity that permeates and accents most established and organized religions?”…
The man who fears no truths
has nothing to fear from lies.
-Sir Francis Bacon
It seems to me that religion is inherently fraught with such insecurities. I mean, there’s no evidence that anyone person is correct from hardcore Catholic to absolute atheist (which, I suppose, makes true agnostics the only ones who are actually correct).
Faith is such a tricky subject because so many people want to have faith in their religion, but how can you truly believe when you have so many other religions out there telling you that you might be wrong? It’s like asking a group of people what the best flavour of ice cream is; while some people will agree on the same flavour, not =everyone= will agree on that flavour.
It’s interesting that we live in a culture of fear, but we’re expected to be totally confident about our religion (otherwise you’re not being true to your faith and, if you’ll excuse the pun, God forbid…). But how can you be confident that you’ve made the right choice when you have so many people telling you that you haven’t?