Saturday, January 30, 2010

Allie is annoyed

So I just got home and:

- My flatmate is having a loud "concert" at the flat to replace some concert she couldn't go to. It involves playing Switchfoot music REALLY REALLY loud. I'm tired. I want to go to bed.

Update: I am now sitting IN THE DRIVEWAY with my laptop because I do not want to listen to ANY more Switchfoot, ever again, never, ever, ever, and because I am a wimp who doesn't like asking my flatmate to turn down the music.

- I turned on my computer and opened up a Word document and it turns out someone who was just using my computer to read something before has changed my set-up! That has got to be the most annoying thing! Like changing the direction in which someone else's toilet paper rolls off the holder. Surely you would think that if someone has left something a certain way, that is how that someone wants it to be? There is no longer the toolbar at the top of the document which I can click on to get the formatting palette and the zoom option and so on. And I can't figure out how to get it back because Macbooks actually aren't all that intuitive (though they are pretty). Can anyone who has a Mac tell me how to get my toolbar back?

Sorry about the sheer boringness and self-centeredness of this blog post. Enough about me, let's talk about YOU. What annoys YOU the most?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

in which I have a strong opinion

I have always felt out of my comfort zone in sports. That's not to say I never enjoy playing a sport. Sport is fun to play, if you're good at it and have some measure of coordination, and it is good for us in a physical and mental sense, et cetera, et cetera. But I don't think I am the only one who suffered through the P.E. part of the education system, detesting being forced to put on unattractive clothes several times a week and humiliate oneself in front of one's classmates. And I hate the way the teaching of sports goes out of its way to embarrass kids; for example, the "pick your team" method that every non-athletic child has been humiliated by, and the intense shame of being picked last.

So much for my childhood and teenage years, which were permeated with a vague distrust of sports. The last few years I've thought about it more. The last few years I've become even more disgusted with the ideology behind sports, as undeniably great events like the Olympics have sold out, and athletes think competing in what is, essentially, a game is more important than human rights. [I'm thinking of Beijing here, and thinking back to Berlin 1936, or the Springboks' tours of New Zealand during apartheid.] I've also become disgusted with the culture of sport in New Zealand that thinks it's okay to spend twenty-five minutes of the news hour on sports news, and also thinks it's okay to spend roughly twenty of those twenty-five minutes on men's sports. I'm disgusted by the amount of money that is spent on sportspeople and sports equipment, by individuals, businesses and by government.

SPORTS IS ULTIMATELY POINTLESS. On a personal level, exercise is important, and playing a game makes people happy - of course. But there is absolutely no point to it; nothing about it actually serves other people in any way. I heard someone who coaches athletics say to another person the other day, "The problem with these kids is that none of them are passionate about throwing." Yes, well, why would they be? "Throwing" is NOT IMPORTANT. There is no conceivable purpose to it. Sport only gives other people pleasure if they have been brainwashed into thinking that there is something about watching other people run around a field that is intrinsically exciting. They encourage national and local chauvinism and idolisation of brute strength.

I'm not saying sports events should cease. Events like the Olympics are great examples of international cooperation. But it is so easy for their organisers to assume that they CAN somehow be apolitical, as if they get a free pass from having a global conscience, and the amount of money spent on them is a travesty. And I am skeptical that the people who win medals win them by talent and determination alone.

Would it be so very bad if sports stopped being professional, and sportspeople were forced to see themselves as ordinary people with a particular interest that is not more noble and not more worthy of support than others?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I melted

Watch out for 1:15. I feel a degree less cynical today because of this.