Sick on a Sunday

You Aren’t Worth Shit

I am an unemployed twenty-something who this week decided it was time to start looking for a job again. I have had a few interviews and have seen many more prospects which I have applied to. The most interesting part of job hunting however has been all the insulting craigslist ads I have come across. These are ads that require you to have a dizzying array of skill, experience, and qualities, as well as calling upon you to shoulder the responsibilities of multiple workers. A Magna Carta sized lists of duties and requirements alone don’t make the ads an insult to all workers, rather it’s usually the salary offered at the end of the ad.

Let’s cut to the chase here. I present to you my first in a list of ads I’ve seen on craigslist entitled “You Aren’t Worth Shit”

This ad appears to actually be for two positions. Either way, the person who listed it must think that job hunters are desperate, which they are, and therefore not worth an ingrown hair on a dog’s ass. The first job will be compensated minimum wage, and whatever lucky pleb gets the second more sophisticated position will be paid a staggering EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR.

 

Job #1
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/ofc/2172723829.html
***FULL TIME-DATA ENTRY CLERK & INTERNET MARKETING SPECIALIST (Rosemead, CA)
Date: 2011-01-21, 12:04PM PSTReply to: job-bqnnt-2172723829@craigslist.org
Immediate opening for a full time Data-Entry clerk
Job Description:
• Create spreadsheet files. • Process orders efficiently and accurately. • Answer phones. • Other related office procedures.

Qualifications:
• Detail oriented. • Working knowledge of computers (MS word, Excel, etc.) is a must. • Must type at least 35wpm. • Must be proficient in QuickBooks. • Ability to multi-task. • Minimum 1 year experience. • High level of accuracy. • Self-motivated, dependable, and able to work independently

If this looks like the right position for you to utilize and improve your skills, please submit your resume to hr@toners.com or fax to (626) 288-6638.

Location: Rosemead, CA 91770 Compensation: Minimum Wage

Job #2

***INTERNET MARKETING SPECIALIST***

Ink cartridges and Toner company is looking for a dedicated hard working Marketing/E-Commerce Manager to implement the marketing development of a new website.
Requirements
•FTP / HTML / CSS / Domains / DNS / SSL •PPC / SEO / SEM o

Adjust bids to out rank the competition. o Develop and manage SEO program, ensuring site, links and all content is optimized to build organic traffic. o Manages the development and execution of internal and external advertising production, including landing pages and banners for company website, Build SEM partners and Affiliate partners. •Build Product pages from beginning to end (Magento). •E-mail marketing campaigns. •Managing affiliate network and Commission Junction, including product feeds, product launches, setting-up commission tiers, working with top affiliates, reporting and optimizing the sales channel. •Social Media o Facebook o Twitter •Anaylytics o Track and analyze all relevant e-Commerce metrics to improve traffic and conversions. o Competitive Analysis: Ongoing competitive analysis of similar sites •Develop full scale marketing plans and schedules – breakdown structure to estimate required effort. •Prefer familiarity with Magento Shopping Cart •5+ years experience (references & background check will be conducted)
Knowledge of the following is a plus: •Experience in marketing in the jewelry industry. •Java •AJAX •Flash •Wikis •PHP •MySQL

To apply and have your resume reviewed, the following MUST be included:
• Cover letter including salary history & requirement.
• Resume

  • Location: Rosemead, CA
  • Compensation: $8/hr

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How Generative Grammar Doomed the Twelve Colonies of Kobol!

I’ve been trying very hard to enjoy SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica spin off series Caprica. It has a few moments of genuine brilliance, such as a gorgeous shot of the first Cylon in the twelve worlds hugging a childhood friend. It also possesses two male leads, Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales, who shine in their roles. Unfortunately the main plot threads of the series tend to be bogged down by a handful of sluggish side plots that struggle to approach anything approximating engaging. That all changed while I was watching Episode 7 this week as two extremely nerdy facets of my life collided on screen.

Behold, Jane Espenson!

What do I have in common with this lady? I definitely was not one of the head writers on Battlestar Galactica, and last time I checked I also wasn’t one of the head writers and executive producers of Caprica. Well according to the ever infallible Wikipedia, Jane Espenson, like myself, studied Linguistics in college. Now her focus wasn’t on generative-grammar, but no Linguistics undergrad manages to receive an education in the field without acquiring at least a shallow understanding of generative grammar. In a Cylon goo bath nutshell the theory of generative grammar stipulates that the unlimited variety of sentences which human beings are capable of generating derive themselves from a finite set of rules within our brains. These rules determine what the structure of a sentence can and cannot consist of.

How does that relate back to Caprica? I’m glad you asked! (minor spoilers ahead)

Through a series of events in the pilot episode of the series a virtual reality avatar of Daniel Graystone’s (Eric Stoltz) deceased daughter, Zoey Graystone, is downloaded into the MCP (Meta Cognitive Processor, or brain) of his Cylon prototype. The Cylon performs admirably in a demonstration for the Caprican Defense Ministry, winning Daniel’s corporation a lucrative contract for an army of Cylons. Things don’t go as planned however, as every single copy of the MCP fails to produce a functioning Cylon soldier when placed inside of a Cylon chassis. Graystone finds himself in a real bind, with his company hemorrhaging profits he can ill afford to lose the Caprican military contract.

Here is where my studies run smack dab into the plot of my extremely nerdy choices in television viewing. In episode 7 the digital copy of Zoey finds herself on a virtual reality date with one of Graystone’s robotics engineers. It would take a lot of text to explain, but long story short the engineer does not know that the avatar he is out on a date with in virtual reality land is actually inside of the Cylon he spends all day tooling up. He thinks he is merely out on a date with a super cute computer nerd who lives somewhere out there on Caprica. So I’m watching all of this and feeling less than gripped by virtual Zoey’s lamenting of the lack of aesthetic variety in virtual trees, when suddenly she launches into this little diddy:

“That’s just it, that’s not the way to do it. Living systems use generative algorithms. With a generative model, the system would use a basic generative kernel of a tree and POW an infinite variety of tree like trees!”

Upon hearing this Graystone’s employee realizes that what’s missing from the other Cylons is a similar generative model in the MCPs. What’s needed is a finite set of rules from which an infinite number of unique artificial intelligences can be born.

Watching this, and knowing that the head writer and scriptwriter of Caprica is a student of linguistics herself was a virtual nerd overload. With the terms she used in the scene, and the general idea that was being proposed to solve the problem of the malfunctioning Cylon AI, there was no doubt in my mind that Espenson had to have drawn the inspiration for that scene from her studies in linguistics.

That my friends, is how the theory of generative-grammar doomed the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.

-Eric

trailer for upcoming art house masterpiece “Immortal Delicious”

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Entertainment, isms, Politics, Things That Own by jamie on September 7, 2009

-guilty parties-

Sandy Murray – Director and Writer

Myself – Writer

Dixon as Himself

Mary as Herself

Mike as Himself

Stephen as Lord Sugarplums the Third.

Here’s a little song I wrote about the mystery of life…

Posted in Entertainment, Politics, Random Rants, Things That Don't Own, Uncategorized by jamie on September 5, 2009

douche1

If there is one group of people asking to be thrown up against a wall and riddled with high caliber ammunition, it’s guys who carry their acoustic guitars everywhere.

Like modern day Troubadours with only tales of themselves to sing, they have spread across the land. Sitting down to enjoy a cup of joe and a conversation with a friend at your favorite coffee shop? Fuck that, they’ve got something better. Whatever you two were about to discuss couldn’t possibly measure up to their unsolicited musings on life.

douche2

Quickly, say whatever you have to say while he clumsily tunes his guitar.  Nooo it’s too late, he’s started strumming the thing!

douche 3

Really though, where do you get off complaining? You’re just another working class drone, slaving away in an office for the beneift of  the man. You could never conjour up the same cogent analysis of the short comings of our society that the uninvited musican delivers with every passing note. He merely wants to enhance that dinner with friends you were already looking forward to after your 10 hour day of work and college courses with a little bit of his home made sonic flavoring. So what if it sounds like a go-kart running over rabbits, this is art we’re talking about here!

Been in love? Yes? Well have you written a song about it? I didn’t think so.  Whatever it is you’ve done, he’s done it harder. Anything you’ve felt, he’s felt on a deeper and more urgent  level. Having a little trouble keeping up with the universal language that is music? Well relax and let him teach you a few lessons up and down the fretboard.

coffe

What’s that? You want him to shut the fuck up so you can get back to conversation with your friend?  How dare you! This is his art, his heart, and indeed his very soul. Your free time is but a trifle before the spiritual experience you’re about to be a part of. Why, it isn’t like there are millions of these guys just walking around sharing their music to the unwilling and willing a like, don’t be silly!

Oh, and did I mention he’s quite the harmonica prodigy as well?

harmonica

Segs for Vets

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Politics, Things That Don't Own by jamiemarie on August 11, 2009

Twice a week, I drive to Long Beach.  Apparently, every Monday afternoon, so does a representative of Segs 4 Vets. This is an organization that claims their goal is to help disabled veterans, and I totally and unconditionally support that.  Looking at the website now, it seems like a much more legitimate organization than this wingnut would have you believe, driving around in this vehicle:

photo-1

The side panel says “6 Reasons Why America’s Free: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Marines”.  Which begs the question: in that order?

I should also add that I took this photo from my car, in traffic on the 405.  And in addition to all this patriotic militaristic paraphernalia, this little pick up was blasting “Stars and Stripes Forever”.  (Which to this day, still makes me hum “be kind to your web footed friends…”)

So at first, I found this pretty harmless.  Despite the blind nationalism I typically find kind of scary, this was plain ridiculous – especially with the music.  Regardless, if I were an activist associated with Segs 4 Vets, I’d be okay with this dude driving around bringing us publicity.

However, recently, I’ve started to see a similar vehicle in the same area, so I can only assume it’s the same guy.

photo The text here says:
Beware.  I am a domestic terrorist by definition of government beaurocrats[sic].  I love America, the Constitution & Flag.  I hate the liberal, socialist agenda.  I am vocal about corruption and treason.  I want real americans to [??]. I own guns and ammo [??].  Call Homeland In-Security [??] Or the president’s hotline.

The president has a hotline?!  And what actually caught my attention at first, was the misspelling of bureaucrats.

Anyway, this is fear-mongering at its finest.  “The liberal, socialist agenda”?  Threatening with guns and ammo?  Saying that the administration will call you a “domestic terrorist” because you simply disagree with them?  I’m no political scientist, but I’m pretty sure that’s not true.

Maybe he’s a terrorist because he has a muppet with a fake gun on the top of his poorly worded sign. But if this dude has actually been labeled a “domestic terrorist” by the government, I’m willing to bet that he earned that title under more severe charges than disliking liberals.  Is Glenn Beck a domestic terrorist?  To me personally, absolutely; but to “government bureaucrats”?  Probably not.

But this is the part of blind, militaristic nationalism that scares me.  Not because I actually believe he’s going to commit acts of terrorism, but because people like this exist.

And you know, if I were part of the Segs 4 Vets organization, I would be totally embarrassed by this guy.  Unless he’s in, say, the Appalachians, he’s not going to garner much support in Southern California.  Take me, for example.  I’m liberal, but I am all in favor of getting veterans what they need – be it medical care, education, or segways.  However, I’m never, ever going to donate or do anything to associate myself with an organization promoted but nutjobs like this.

And, finally, because I can’t go a post without mentioning Gob Bluth, can anyone take segways seriously in the first place?

83272815_5810d9c83b  arrested-development-segway

 

Annotated AP report on Judge Sotomayor

Posted in Politics by jamiemarie on July 28, 2009

 

My notes in purple.  Article via MSNBC.

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to approve Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic justice over nearly solid racist Republican opposition, paving the way for a historic confirmation vote.

The panel voted 13-6 in favor of Sotomayor, with just one Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham [link mine], joining Democrats to support her. The nearly party-line tally masked deeper political and discriminatory divisions within Republican ranks about confirming black President Barack Obama’s first high court nominee.

“I’m deciding to vote for a woman and I totally would not have chosen any woman, but I really felt like an asshole after that hearing,” Graham said. Obama’s choice to nominate the first-ever Latina to the highest court is “a big deal,” he added, declaring that, “America has changed for the better with her selection.”

The solid Republican vote against Sotomayor on the Judiciary panel reflected the choice many party conservatives have made to side with their core supporters and oppose a judge they charge will bring liberal bias and racial and gender prejudices to her decisions, because upper-class white males would never, ever do anything like that. Others in the party, however, are concerned that doing so could hurt their efforts to broaden their base, and particularly alienate Hispanic voters, a fast-growing segment of the U.S. electorate (Hahahaha, Republicans concerned about Hispanics?  No, they’re not.)

Democrats, for their part, are lining up solidly in favor of the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents who was raised in a poor New York housing project on the same block as Jennifer Lopez, and educated at prestigious universities.

“There’s not one example — let alone a pattern — of her ruling based on bias or prejudice or sympathy,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat and the Judiciary Committee chairman. “She has administered justice without favoring one group of persons over another.”

The senior Republican, Sen. Jeff Session, said, “Pattern?” accusing Democrats of bringing Sotomayor’s interior design choices into their decision, and countered that Sotomayor’s speeches and a few of her rulings show she would let her opinions interfere in decisions.

“In speech after speech, year after year, Judge Sotomayor set forth a fully formed, I believe, judicial philosophy that conflicts with the great American tradition of blind justice for the wealthy (except Bernie Madoff, so shut up already, liberals) and fidelity to the law but not spouses as written somewhere in the Bible, I’m told,” Sessions said.

Secrets to rendering the POTUS ineligible

Posted in Politics by jamiemarie on July 28, 2009

Hawaii has presented plenty of evidence that Barack Hussein Obama is a natural-born US citizen, and thus eligible for the presidency – much to the chagrin of Fox News.

Next step?  We must expel Hawaii from the US.  No one’s said this yet (to my knowledge) but you know it’s coming. When Glenn Beck suggests this, he better cite me as his inspiration.

And invade Austria.  For you, Arnold.

Sarkozy confused about “submission”, “freedom”

Posted in isms, Politics, Things That Don't Own by jamiemarie on June 22, 2009

French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s a progressive guy, you know?  He’s all into respecting women and shit, which is why he addressed the French Parliament – for the first time since Napoleon did it in the 19th Century (and we all know how down-to-earth that guy was) – to tell them that this Muslim burqa shit is totally lame.  And they should start forcing women to stop being so submissive.

According to Sarkozy, the burqa is a symbol of women’s oppression.  Which, in a sense, it is…  if you’re in Iran or Saudi Arabia, where women are required by law to wear it.  The fact that it is mandated is what makes it oppressive, not the garment itself.  In France, Muslim women can wear whatever the fuck they want, as can all its citizens.  It’s France, for fucks sake.

From what I understand, in and of itself, the burqa is a traditional Muslim garment symbolizing something religious – not necessarily female submission.  Sarkozy disagrees with me:

“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue; it is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “The burqa is not a religious sign; it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women.”

Regardless of whether I’m correct of Mr. Sarkozy is, it’s not up to the President of France or some secular American chick to make that distinction.  As with any religion or religious act, what it symbolizes should ultimately be up to the individual who practices it.

Restricting the burqa’s presence is taking away a Muslim woman’s right to choose how she expresses herself and her religion.  One way or another, requiring that a burqa is worn or requiring that it’s not, the government is dictating what she can or cannot wear – giving her no choice but to submit.  If, as Sarkozy says, it’s a question of “freedom” – restricting the presence of the burqa is inhibiting Muslim women’s freedom, not promoting it.  

So STFU, Mr. Sarkozy, mind your own business, and focus on something that does promote women’s rights and freedoms.

Learning history: worth it for comedic value

Posted in Politics by jamiemarie on May 20, 2009

In 1930, Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.  The bill was sponsored by republican senator Reed Smoot and republican representative Willis Hawley.  The Act raised taxes on over 20,000 US exports – and was passed through Congress and by the President, despite a petition signed by over 1,000 economists and businesspeople.  

Its purpose was to increase domestic industrial productivity.  To put things in perspective, this went into effect a few months after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  History refresher: Herbert Hoover was POTUS from 1929 – 1933.

The primary effect of raising tariffs isn’t increased domestic productivity (although, admittedly, that is a side-effect).  It’s pissing off foreign countries.  This particular act pissed foreign countries off so badly that they also raised tariffs – which means consumers abroad stopped purchasing and investing in US goods.  So much for net exports!

In years following the passage of the act, given that it was passed right as the proverbial shit really hit the fan, unemployment doubled, and its estimated that net exports decreased 33% (although, like just about everything, economists are not entirely in agreement on this estimate – but it uses my favorite kind of statistical data analysis, so I’m gonna stick with it).  Basically, shit got so bad that FDR used Hoover’s involvement in the Smoot-Hawley Act (which was actually reluctant, but he gave into peer pressure and let it slide) as part of his campaign platform in 1932.

[I swear I’m going somewhere with this, hang in there]

In 2009, after the same proverbial economic shit hit the fan in 2008, republican congresswoman Michelle Bachman brought the Act up in a House debate.  Okay, sure, relevant, I guess, if we’re talking about the effects of foreign trade during a recession.

Except she referred to it as the “Hoot-Smalley” Act and blamed FDR’s administration for it.

US History, for the win.

 

 

Obeying International Law, A Threat To Democracy…?

Posted in Politics by jamie on March 31, 2009

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/31/obamas-appointment-koh-state-department-legal-adviser-stirs-controversy/

According to that article the answer is a resounding “yes” from the American right. The nomination of Harold Koh to the position of  State Department Legal Advisor by Barack Obama has unleashed a fit of hysterical wailing from conservative intellectual giants all over the nation.  Conjuring up a horrific nightmare world where the average American citizen is put on trial before an international court of law, rather than a jury of his peers, critics of the appointment gleefully strapped on their skiing boots and headed down the slippery slopes of their latest fallacious argument.

On the bright side the critic of American foreign policy and political attitudes can rarely ask for such a brazen display of the cognitive dissonance supporters of rendition and torture must grapple with everyday.  How rare it is to see the bullshit dispensed with and intent laid bare.  It’s no secret to anyone with even the slightest inclination to read about America’s sordid history of violating international law, all the while claiming to be the champions of it, that the real fear generated by this appointment is the nightmare scenario of being held accountable for the untold suffering and murder caused by say the covert funding of death squads in South America. Or maybe it’s the idea that for once we as a nation might have to take a critical look at our actions on the world stage since day one?  Perhaps with a man like Koh in this prominent position we could take an honest look at the legacy of people like Ronald Reagan, rather than dull our senses by getting high off nationalistic platitudes.

Ah, who I am kidding, Obama will probably back down and withdrawl the nomination.