Friday is Good

Friday is good
for working people
for big and small people
for good and bad people
for healthy people
and sick people
for all people.
Today is Friday
and it is good.
Everyone looks forward
to Friday,
it gives them relief
from work, from stress
from worries, fatigue
and from all problems.
I like Friday
it is good
for me and my family.
Thank God it's Friday!
Friday saves me
my family
and all people
from the woes
of the world.
Thank God for Friday!
Friday is good
and good is Friday
especially Good Friday!


A poor man's perk?

Legally speaking, sometimes it pays to be poor hence the law may not necessarily - or always - a rich man’s puppet, as some would postulate.

Kobe Bryant, the LA Lakers superstar was recently fined $100,000 for uttering a gay slur, on camera, to one of the officials  during the game. It’s one of those festering mishaps so the aftereffects may invade other aspects of Bryant’s life and career - or very likely nooooot.

But let me put the incident in some context and perspective that may illuminate an issue or two, or at least get our brain neurons bumping and banging.

I am guessing that the ginormous fine - by my standards as a poor man - has been assessed based on Bryant’s celebrity status (hence his prominence and influence in the community), his membership in a professional organization (NBA), and on his monetary worth as well. The fine, by Bryant’s standards - and by most US professional athletes’ - is minuscule. It is a small drop in his multimillionaire bucket.

The perennial lesson, however, is that the basic freedoms that we often preach tout and flaunt as democratic fanatics, have limits. Freedom of speech therefore does not mean you can say anything you want to say and get away with it - OR does it?

Comparatively, Bryant’s mishap means if I - being poor and unknown - say the same slur to someone and caught on a TV or phone camera and even ended up on Youtube, I doubt that I would be fined a hundred grand - if at all. Moreover, if Bryant’s fine is any measure of a broadly applied legal principle and scale, then I guess I would be proportionately fined; and that would be equivalent to a penny or .000001% of a penny based on my monetary worth. Not bad. I can certainly afford that. LOL!

So in other words, if you’re a celebrity - super rich and famous - be careful what you say especially denigrating another person. Conversely, if you’re poor and obscure you may be a bit “freer” to express yourself, even if with malicious intent. Now, under hate speech laws in some places, you may still be found guilty and pay a fine, but surely not $100,000.

And despite the apparent disparity - at least in monetary terms - there’s still some equity in all of this somewhere. For example, if $100,000 for Bryant is minuscule, so is a penny for the poor man. Either that or the huge fine comes as a price of being rich and famous - something along the lines of “where much is given much is required”.

And so who said that the rich - in terms of being favored by the law - have it their way or given more leeway? On the other hand, who wants to be poor?

Okay, make up your mind now. LOL!


The Internet - Another US Imperial Tool?

"You say yes, I say no, you say stop, I say go go go....!" says McCartney of the "British Invaders" - the Fab Four. Okay, The Beatles! 

But it's not so much that type of opposites in Paul's song that is linked to this post, rather it's something along the lines of : "You say "petrol", I say "gas[oline]", you say "lolly", I say "candy"...you say "aluminium", I say "aluminum". Even more relevant is this one: you spell "colour" I spell "color"; you spell "cheque" I spell "check"; you spell with "s", I spell with "z" and so on and so forth.

Ever since the Pilgrims, Puritans and other early prospectors crossed the Atlantic to meet their new nomadic neighbours - later neighbors - and founded a new nation named after an Italian, their imported lingua franca started changing too. It was not necessarily a conscious effort to promote the eventual secession or counted as seditious sentiments. Rather it's part of a linguistic phenomenon. The environment - natural and otherwise - contributed to the overall change and transformation in the English language. Throughout the years the transformation has generally stayed home in Yankee land evolving regionally except when Hollywood exports the popular yet inferior "Americanism" in movies - at least in accent and pronunciation.

But overall, English - in spelling and other intuitive aspects - has started to yield to American patterns. The language of Business has already adopted the American standards. The leading role of America in Business has helped, but the advent of the Internet is certainly catapulting the changes and conventions. Considering therefore the global reach and pervasiveness of business and commerce, the American English elements in other areas have followed suit and are making their inroads. Again the Internet is the main and ubiquitous agent of transformation. In some countries, especially in British spheres of influence, a dilemma or transition is obvious. Here's an example from a government newspaper in a British-influenced country. The excerpts are from the same editorial. Notice especially the underlined/highlighted words.

Soon to be replaced with a gold-colored coin, the $2 [dollar] note will be taken out of circulation later this year.
The notes will remain unchanged, except for the $2 [dollar] polymer note which is to be replaced by a gold coloured coin.
The most drastic of changes will be the eventual demonetization of the 1, 2 and 5 [cent] coins.
I doubt this has to do with a possible American background of the writer, rather it's more a reflection on American influence advanced by the Internet. And though the change and "dilemma" seem more apparent in the British spheres of influence, I doubt the mother country is any less vulnerable.

When I arrived at my American university, equipped with all the British/New Zealand English influences, I was adamant about my "mother country" spelling, even if it meant taking on an outcast repute or being a misfit among my fellow students and professors. During my sophomore year, I went in to see one of my English professors about a possible term paper topic. During the conference, I asked him about my British spelling which I was not ready to relinquish. He simply said, you can use the British spelling, but you have to be consistent throughout the paper. And that was it. By my senior year, I had already parted with my British spelling and other King's English proclivities.

In America recently, however, there has been a counter trend in the area of television entertainment. The appeal of the British elements, in accent and speech patterns, had a marked and conspicuous impact. The success of Simon Cowell on American Idol has led other American TV shows to embed their own British-accented hosts and presenters like Cat Deeley in "You Think You Can Dance" (Fox), Piers Morgan in "America's Got Talent" (NBC), and now has his own show on CNN.

But like all media and entertainment craze, the trend seems faddish, hence temporary, within the bigger and more comprehensive American media and Internet invasion, which is slowly spreading to distant shores like most other things American.

Therefore, today, it's likely that when you greet Paul McCartney by saying, "Hello Paul", chances are that he's going to use this Americanism: "What's up?" ... or perhaps the more popular version: "Wussssup?" ....LOL!


Coconut tree climbing, anyone?

This post is a fitting sequel to the recent post on the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) - “A Special and Unique Place.”

Climbing my way through school - literally and figuratively
Just yesterday, I read in the Samoa Observer an article on the PCC titled “Go coconuts in Hawaii.”  It is about some new changes in the visitors’ involvement especially in the demonstrations in the Samoan village. The Cultural Center is now going to give visitors a chance to not only watch the tree climbing demonstration, but actually try climbing the tree themselves.

“For our guests, one of the most popular segments in our Samoan village presentation is the coconut tree climbing demonstration,” said Delsa Moe, Cultural Presentations Director for PCC.
“Up until now, this has only been a demonstration, but due to guests’ high interest in participating we’ve decided to make coconut tree climbing available as an activity.
“Beyond being very fun, visitors also get to experience firsthand the amount of strength, dexterity and balance it takes to gather coconuts ....”
Personally, I don’t feel comfortable or confident in this change. The fire and coconut demonstrations should be fine and perhaps recommended. In fact during my time there, we had visitors actually try - and had done well - starting the fire and husking the coconut; the former especially.

Conversely, climbing the coconut tree involves a lot of risks, which I’m sure the PCC had already considered, hence the safety harness mentioned in the article. But falling is the least of the concerns since not many, if any, will make it to dangerous heights. Instead, it’s the inevitable scrapes, cuts, bruises and abrasions, which are part of learning to climb a coconut tree, even from simply trying to get a firm grip of the tree.

Skill in climbing a coconut tree is not acquired in a day, or two - it takes months or years. Now I’m not saying that these visitors or the PCC has competence-in-one-day in mind; it’s more for fun as stated in the article. But it’s still risky fun. There are no simulations in this climbing activity, but “firsthand experience”.

During my time there, we actually allowed some aggressive and fearless visitors try the feat. None of them got higher than four or five feet especially with the native method - the rope (aufaga) around their ankles. Some were able to climb higher without the rope, using just the grip of their hands and cupped feet. But all of them ended up with scrapes and bruises of some kind. Some bled real badly.

From experience, the skin on the chest and inner arms is compromised during the many first attempts. As a beginner, you climb using the “cuddling/embrace” method, hence the scrapes on chest and arms. As one becomes more experienced and skillful, he adopts the “leapfrogging” technique which all PCC climbers use. And by this time, one has already developed thick callouses on his feet (soles) and hands as part of the conditioning that is needed to climb faster, safer, and more effectively.

The visitors - most if not all - do not have these callouses and therefore their skins are quite thin and tenuous, susceptible to cuts and scrapes from the rough, gnarled and frizzy - sometimes sharp - bark of the coconut tree. The PCC would be wise to have first-aid treatment available onsite. Hopefully the cuts and abrasions will not lead to infections and other worse wounds for which the PCC can and will be held liable and responsible. Is it mainly for picture-taking? I think so. Will there be some legal disclaimer by the Center for this particular activity? I certainly hope so. Will the fun outweigh the risks involved? The PCC will be nutty (pun intended) not to have ruminated the issue.

Safe climbing everyone!


Whaaaaaat haaaaappened? No Way!

Pia ... voted .... OUT??  I'm puzzled and befuddled - just like Steven, JLo and Randy!

Personally, it's perhaps the biggest surprise in entertainment since the death of Michael Jackson! Not that I'm putting Pia on the same level as the king of pop, rather it's the element of surprise that is somewhat comparable.

I think American Idol should now take the voting and decision away from the people - leave them the government (though based on the last Presidential election, I have some doubts too).  If genuinely true that Pia's exit makes Randy mad, and JLo angry, then they should work to strip the popular vote and let the judges pick the winner. Forget the expected fan base and following created by the show and stupid texting (it's all for money, I know), the people will still buy the records regardless.

We - the judges and I - are definitely in agreement that Pia does not deserve to be voted out. Something is wrong with America, as I said, if Pia is not the winner and the judges echo the same sentiment! That nightmare has come true tonight. There's a theory though that explains the surprise and that is Pia's fans stopped voting thinking that she is safe, if not guaranteed to win. Well, if true, then all the more reason to let the judges make the choice, not the fickle - and oftentimes very biased - voters.

I am tempted to ask Donald Trump, since he seems interested and obsessed with the truth, that he should send the same group he's sending to investigate the validity of Obama's birth certificate to investigate Pia's premature and untimely exit and his chances of being elected President will escalate a thousandfold. Then again, if his experience will be anything like Pia's, he too will be voted out sooner. The difference is that the element of surprise will be missing like Iggy Pop's shirt.

Well, Scotty should now move up to #1 ... though I'm not so sure anymore about this seemingly rigged show. Someone is certainly sabotaging Idol, and I'm not surprised if Simon is the culprit in order to advance his X Factor. ...LOL!

Pia has certainly been robbed of the American Idol title! In political fashion, this is called the "idiocy of the majority" - "American Idol" or "American Idiot"? ... (chuckle chuckle)

Pia - but not Donald - in 2012!!

...sorry no more AI updates from this blogger!