Why myspace isn’t the devil, why I wish Jack Thompson would hush and why I think good parenting will rule the day…

March 14, 2007 at 8:34 pm (General stuff, Movies/TV/Books/Music/Video Games, Poli-ticking)

Part the 1st: Why myspace ain’t the devil…

I’ve been hearing a lot of things lately about Myspace and how parents are basically lauding it as a place for perverts. Now, not to say that Myspace or the Internet doesn’t have its fair share of perverts, however I would like to agree that I believe that news and shows have been overexaggerating cases in order to both instill fear in parents who already don’t approve of technology and to boost ratings. With that being said… 

Here’s an interesting fact for you, do you know that most cases of Child Abuse come from someone a child already knows? Yup, 90-95%  of Child abuse survivors were attacked by someone they knew previously (60% family members and 30% a person in their community ex. family friend, teacher, clergy member etc.) Now, i’m not saying that you shouldn’t ensure that your kid is not prepared to go on the inter-webs, which might be hard for some parents who aren’t as tech savvy as their children (My parents went through the same problem.) Here be some tips for those who are not sure how to approach this problem….
Content Blockers are your friend: Invest in content blockers, along with pop up blockers so that your kids are less likely to run into bad content ex. porn or pop up ads.

Sit down with your kids and talk to them: Continue to keep communication with your teenage kids as open and positive about computers as you can. Keep talking with them about their on-line lives, friends, and activities, just as you would about other friends and activities.

Lay down the Rules: You and your kids can make up a list of Internet House rules that they can abide by.

You can make the difference: Teach your kid about proper behavior on the net. The last thing you want to do is make up the next generation of abusive trolls… 

To Meet or not too meet: Don’t encourage your teen to meet any of their friends offline, at least not alone unless you’re there. Even though most of the time it is another teen or preteen, sometimes it can be a person a lot older.  

Know what’s up: Know what chat rooms and message boards your kids frequent. Also, make sure you know what websites they visit and insure that it doesn’t have inappropriate content or post too much info and pictures of themselves … 

Make it out in the Open: Make sure that you keep the computer in a common area of the house, not the kids room.  

 Straight up: Encourage your teens to tell you if something or someone on-line makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Stay calm and remind your kids they are not in trouble for bringing something to your attention. (It is important that your teen does not think that their computer privileges could be taken away.)

Talk to your teenagers about online adult content and pornography, and direct them to positive sites about health and sexuality.

Filtering and protection is your friend too: Teach your teens never to give out personal information without your permission when using e-mail, chat rooms, or instant messaging, filling out registration forms and personal profiles, and entering on-line contests. Also, help protect them from spam. Tell your teens not to give out their e-mail address on-line, not to respond to junk mail, and to use e-mail filters.

Buying things: Make sure your kid doesn’t buy anything without your knowledge and make sure that when they do that they buy it from a BBB site and also insure that they know about identity theft.

Don’t forget to also talk to your kids about Child Abuse and abduction: tell them what behavior or talk is right with someone they know Give them the tools to protect themselves on and offline.

 The second part: Why Jack Thompson gets on me and most gamers nerves.

There is a lawyer in Florida by the name of Jack Thompson, if you read the news or are a video game aficionado, you know exactly who i’m talking about.  

He’s launched high level cruisades against RockStar (Against GTA:SA’s Hot Coffee Mod, which actually isn’t in the actual game content, and most people would have to put in a mod to draw it out, and Bully, even before the game came out, which ended up being a game against the forementioned title) , the gaming industry and gamers themselves, and pretty much anyone who disagrees with his point of view that video games are killing simulators and that be the end of it.

I’m a 21 year old black woman. I’ve been playing video games since Atari and Super Nes. I’ve been playing fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter for nigh on 2 decades, I’ve played shooting games like “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” and “Doom” since I had my first computer, which was Win 95, with Dos mind you (Yeah, i’m that kind of geek gangsta.) Have I shot or killed anyone? No, even though most people would automatically assume that I would become another violence statistic just based on where I grew up and my poor economic status alone, let alone the fact that I’m a gamer. I got A’s and B’s and was on the honor roll all the way through College, I have a BS in CIS, I volunteer with my community. There are lots of people like me, and haven’t had adverse affects at all.

 Now, yes video games are a form of escapism, most gaming is. Then again, so are movies, books, and other media. It can take you to a far away place or a place that doesn’t exist. However, I doubt that they are the root cause in what is wrong with our youth. In cases of people perpetuating violence (See Columbine), it seems that folks who use mediums for example video games who can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality had problems prior to their violent acts, and it would not have changed, even if there were no video games or television. It’s a shame that things that are supposed to be expressive such as
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a lot of violence and sexuality in video games. But, I’m not so easy to peg them for the worlds problems (Bad education, no health care, unemployment, War, etc.). For every video game that has sex and violence there are some used for education, for learning and in a more positive way. It’s like any medium, it depends on what it is meant to do.

 Part the third: Why Good Parenting will rule out most problems…

 Just like safe guarding your kids on the interwebs, in order to make sure your kids don’t have adverse effects due to video games, it comes down to good parenting. Sadly, most folks would rather let the net and TV raise their kids or stop for a second to check if their kids are doing alright. I’m not talking about the parents that are working several jobs or one long job, trying to make ends meat mind you. Well, the kids are not alright, Virginia. In order to assure that your kid is getting

Limit Video game time: I couldn’t play video games unless it was on the weekend, and that I had my homework done and triple checked by the parents. Plus, they wanted me to go outside and get fresh air.

Check the label of your video games: just like you wouldn’t bring your 5 year old to an NC-17 movie (Unless you were covering their eyes and ears most of the time.) or let your youngin’ watch Nip/Tuck, you would not get your kid a M rated game if they’re extremely young. The ESRB is a rating system for games. It goes something like this:

EC- Means Early Childhood. Its ok for kids who are 3 years old and up. An example is the Dr. Brain series

E: Everyone. Everyone can play this video game, its like the equivalent of G rated movies almost. ex. Mario, Sonic and a few of the legend of Zelda games.

E-10+: Everyone from ages 10 and up: It might have more cartoon violence than E rated games, I suppose the equivalent would be Y-7 for tv and possibly PG for movies. Ex. Kingdom Hearts 2 (one of my favorite games btw)

Teen: Content thats appropriate for ages 13 and up. It might be because of blood or crude humor. Equivilant would be of  PG-13. Ex. Prince of Persia: the sands of time.

Mature: For ages 17 and up.  Equivalent would be NC-17 or R for movies and R for Television. Ex. Mortal Kombat, Elder Scrolls IV, and Resident Evil.

Adults only: only 18 years old and up. Ex. GTA San Andreas

Insure that you know what your kid is playing: A problem I’ve seen is that parents instead of getting mad at finding their kid playing an inappropriate video game that they’ve bought with their own money, instead of handling it by going after the store and whatever clerk that let their kid buy a non age appropriate video game, they go after the company that created the video game. A tad backwards. If you find your kid with a video game that isn’t right, you have to talk to your child and explain why they can’t play it til their older, discipline their child then go to the store and handle the problem.

I feel that a lot of bad things could be avoided if some parent’s would give their children the tools that they need to go out there. Video Games are not inheriently good or inheriently evil, even though they can be used positively or negatively, its up to the person who uses it in the end. I’m done with my little rant. Have a good day. 🙂

Permalink Leave a Comment

Things that are a lot scarier then Gays in the military….

March 14, 2007 at 3:57 pm (General stuff)

Since I wrote my previous post, I decided to read the news, like i do most mornings and I picked out a few stories that I feel prove the point that there are a lot of scarier shit going down than GLBT americans being in the Military without fear of losing their jobs or being shoved so far in the closet they can find Narnia. Thank you.

US war veterans need more mental help -study

By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO, March 12 (Reuters) – Almost one-third of U.S. soldiers seeking government health care after returning from
Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with a mental problem, researchers said on Monday in a study calling for more emphasis on the mental wounds of war. Diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other problems were most prevalent among younger soldiers, the veterans study found. The challenge to provide better care to soldiers with mental problems as well as physical wounds comes amid revelations of substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and other Veterans Affairs hospitals. The revelations have prompted the resignations of the Army secretary and the Army surgeon general. Study author Dr. Karen Seal of the University of California and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center said the prevalence of mental problems among veterans threatens “to bring the war back home as a costly personal and public health burden.” “Our results signal a need for improvements in the primary prevention of military service-related mental health disorders, particularly among our youngest service members,” Seal wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.The study found that 25 percent of U.S. veterans returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan sought government-sponsored care, compared to 10 percent of Vietnam war veterans.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N12356941.htm

 Corps placed faulty pumps in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — The Army Corps of Engineers, rushing to meet President Bush’s promise to protect New Orleans by the start of the 2006 hurricane season, installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The 2006 hurricane season turned out to be mild, and the new pumps were never pressed into action. But the Corps and the politically connected manufacturer of the equipment are still struggling to get the 34 heavy-duty pumps working properly.

The pumps are now being pulled out and overhauled because of excessive vibration, Corps officials said. Other problems have included overheated engines, broken hoses and blown gaskets, according to the documents obtained by the AP.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/4628032.html

Permalink Leave a Comment

Why General Pace should be hosed down with water…

March 13, 2007 at 9:42 pm (omgztehgay!)

Definitions of Moral:
relating to principles of right and wrong; i.e. to morals or ethics; “moral philosophy” concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles; “moral sense”; “a moral scrutiny”; “a moral lesson”; “a moral quandary”; “moral convictions”; “a moral life”ethical: adhering to ethical and moral principles; “it seems ethical and right”; “followed the only honorable course of action”; “had the moral courage to stand alone”

arising from the sense of right and wrong; “a moral obligation”

the significance of a story or event; “the moral of the story is to love thy neighbor”

psychological rather than physical or tangible in effect; “a moral victory”; “moral support”


So, the topic for today, Apparently, the head of the joint chiefs of staff thinks that gays are “Immoral”. Here is the link:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-070312pace,1,864651.story?coll=chi-news-hed

Now, my disclaimer, even though I for damn sure don’t agree with him in any shape or form or fashion, he has the right to say what he wants as free speech, and I am a strong believer of free speech, even though I may not agree with it or find it completely hate filled dreck. With that being said…

You want to know what I find morally wrong? I find that its wrong that there have been cases of autistic, sociopathic people, folks with violent criminal histories and Neo nazis getting enlisted and yet needed Gay soldiers who are linguists (including ones who were experts of Arabic languages) under “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” are getting dismissed. I find it wrong that folks think that the “gay lifestyle” is such a problem when several countries have openly gay officers with no adverse effects to moral. In the advent of Gitmo,Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, and now Walter Reed, queers in the military should be the last thing the US Armed forces should be worried about. And another thing, I’m sick and tired of people saying that being gay is a lifestyle. No one choses to be gay, the only choice is if the person is GLBT is to live their lives truly or living their life in denile. see: Ted Haggard.
If, by lifestyle, they mean the sex aspect, in the terms of a relationship, that is a small part of an overall lifetime, and I’m sure gay folks do more than shag. I shall put it to you this way, no straight person wants to be equated to only their sex lives: considering folks have jobs, hobbies, people to be caretakers to and other things than just plain sex. But, I digress…

I find it disgusting that men and women who pay taxes, obey laws and just want to be treated like human beings, decide to sacrifice their time, effort and have to at best pretend that they are something they are not, hide an important part of themselves and in turn their sig others/family in order to keep their job. And, the worst part about it, is that they go out putting their lives on the line to protect supposed “good” supposidly “moral” people who hate them and would have them live the lives of second and third class citizenry. That is if they don’t want them dead first. I’ll be glad when one day GLBT folks will not be seen as the supreme evil, when their rights will not be seen as the foreshadowing of the unraviling of society and that they’ll be able to defend this country without fear of losing their livelihood or physical reprisal.

Folks like Pace and his ilk have nothing to do with Morality,ethics or honor whatsoever, and that is the saddest truth of all….
x-posted…

Permalink Leave a Comment