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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Illegal Texting in Illinois?

For those of you who keep your thumbs to your "crackberries" while walking around the city of Chicago, Illinois lawmakers may be preparing to slap you on the wrist with a misdemeanor and $25 fine, if their new law gets passed. That's right, texting and walking will possibly be considered illegal.

Illinois state officials, including Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, have spoken out in support of a new bill that would ban using a wireless device while crossing streets.

Now before you flip out, this about this law need to be explained.

When I initially read the article, I had the same ranting flip-out session about "how dare they try and ban WALKING and TEXTING at the same time" and so forth. To tell the truth, I was all ready to type a huge tirade about how Illinois needs to let Darwin take the reigns for a while and get rid of those humans who haven't evolved to the point of either being able to text message and perform the simple act of walking at the same time - or being able to recognize that they aren't capable of this maneuver and deciding to not attempt it. We'll get back to the whole "passive eugenics" notion later.

For now, we all need to take a step back and analyze the TRUE LANGUAGE of this stupid bill before we can all agree it's stupid and should never become law.

Since the article's author has decided to shirk any journalistic responsibilities, I will say that the language does not say that "Illinois residents would get slapped with a misdemeanor and a $25 fine if caught using a cell phone or other wireless device while traversing streets".

Here's the ACTUAL bill, in its entirety:

HB4520 LRB095 16261 LCT 42281 b

1 AN ACT concerning transportation.

2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:

4 Section 5. The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended by adding
5 Section 11-1011.5 as follows:

6 (625 ILCS 5/11-1011.5 new)
7 Sec. 11-1011.5. Pedestrian use of wireless telephone.
8 (a) A pedestrian shall not use a wireless telephone while
9 crossing a roadway.
10 (b) As used in this Section, "wireless telephone" means a
11 device that is capable of transmitting or receiving telephonic
12 communications without a wire connecting the device to the
13 telephone network.
14 (c) A violation of this Section is a petty offense for
15 which a fine not to exceed $25 may be imposed.

Now what this DOES mean is that THIS language can allow for a couple of scary things. For example, they could ticket you not only for texting while crossing the street, but for BEING ON YOUR PHONE while crossing the street. I'm also pretty sure that this language could actually entitle the police to issue you a ticket for listening to an MP3 on your iPhone while crossing the street, since you would be considered to be "using a device that is capable of transmitting or receiving telephonic communications without a wire connecting the device to the telephone network while crossing a roadway".

I'm sure they WOULDN'T, but the fact that they COULD is unsettling enough, isn't it? And wouldn't this open the door for ANY device that requires minute focus to be banned from use while crossing the street? And when will they decide that just as much harm can befall you from lack of attention while walking on the sidewalk as can befall you while crossing the street?

Frankly, Illinois (Chicago specifically) is becoming the new Nanny State and keeps attempting to trade our LIBERTIES away in order to protect us from ourselves. There was an actual study done to look at how the 35 most-populous cities in the United States balance individual freedom with government paternalism - Chicago came in DEAD LAST. "And it wasn't even close," says the author.

"We ranked the cities on how much freedom they afford their residents to indulge in alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, gambling and food. And, for good measure, we also looked at the cities' gun laws, use of traffic and surveillance cameras, and tossed in an "other" category to catch weird laws such as New York's ban on unlicensed dancing, or Chicago's tax on bottled water.

Chicago reigns supreme when it comes to treating its citizens like children (Las Vegas topped our rankings as America's freest city). Chicagoans pay the second-highest cigarette tax in the country, and the sixth-highest tax on alcohol. Chicago has more traffic-light cameras than any city in America (despite studies questioning their effectiveness), restricts cell phone use while driving, and it's quickly moving toward a creepy public surveillance system similar to London's.

Chicago isn't alone, of course. Many of America's big cities are moving toward a suffocating sort of paternalism. Chicago is just the worst."

America needs to wake up and stop coddling our citizens and let them make their own mistakes. There's a difference between putting up a new stop sign because of lethal traffic accidents and stopping pedestrians from using their legally-owned devices while crossing from one side of the street to the other. I don't care that officials will undoubtedly say "well it's the law and we're going to enforce it, but we're not going to be patrolling specifically for this" - the same way they shrug off all of Chicago's moronic laws that shouldn't exist. When the foie gras ban was in effect, they told us similar things - that they wouldn't be hunting for it but would respond to tattle-tales complaining about it happening in restaurants.

We need to put a stop to pointless laws the protect us from ourselves and focus a bit more on laws that protect us from OTHER PEOPLE.

We shouldn't be ticketed for driving without a seatbelt, or riding a bicycle/motorcycle without a helmet. We definitely shouldn't be ticketed for doing something potentially distracting while doing something that requires an iota of focus. It makes no sense that we could get a ticket and a fine for using the hands-free function of a cellphone while walking a street, but not for doing the same thing while barbecuing or changing a tire or doing our taxes. All three of those things could destroy you if you screw up slightly by losing focus - but it's OUR CHOICE. We have the right to potentially screw up our own lives. We just don't have the right to potentially screw up the lives of others. I have no arguments about arresting for drunken driving. I have a few qualms about ticketing for cellphone-using while driving. I have more qualms about arresting for public drunkenness.

All in all, it's a matter of who has the potential to be hurt the most and who's most likely to get hurt, and if it's the person DOING the action, then it shouldn't be illegal.

People should be learning to keep their wits about them and making the right decisions on their own. Meanwhile, we as a society should start praying that our feeble human brains can start evolving at least a FRACTION as fast as our technology is evolving. It's the gap in-between that keeps causing these problems, which in turn keep causing these horrible attempts at solutions.

Do you agree? Are you in favor of taking away people's rights to risk getting hit by cars? Do you agree that we're losing too many of our rights? Shouldn't the stupid be allowed to die off in hilarious ways and make room for the smart? Leave a comment!

Please Digg this article and join the debate regarding this bill!

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Free Starbucks Smoothies

Just wanted to throw out this public service announcement to you all:

If you have either a gym membership card or a Starbucks card, you can get a free Vivanno smoothie (Orange Mango Banana or Banana Chocolate). Of course, you have to time it right.

Between 2pm and 4pm, on Tuesdays July 29th, August 5th and August 12th

Frankly, I've got a plethora of Starbucks locations at my disposal, so I'm almost tempted to see how many I can hit in one lunch hour. I've got the one in the Sears Tower, the one in the building right next door, the one a block east, and those are just off the top of my head. I don't even GO to Starbucks and I know of three locations within one block of me.

If I do manage this maneuver and do acquire both smoothies today, I'll post my reviews of the beverages.

Until then, whip out those cards and get your FREE on!

Please Digg this article and spread the word that these things are free!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Idiotic Product: Eye Jewelry

Okay, this is the first Idiotic Product I've reviewed that is almost too horrible to even LOOK AT. I consider myself to have a high level of intestinal fortitude for gross things, and rarely get "the willies" even while watching someone chew glass or lie on a bed of nails or anything like that. But this is just a product that has made me cringe from the first second I had to look at it.

It's Eye Jewelry.

Once you're done vomiting with rage or disgust from the picture on that website, we'll continue.

Okay, for those of you who were smart enough to NOT click on that link, it's got a couple of pictures describing this new fashion of contact lenses. Imagine a pretty little dangly earring, perched on someone's earlobe and containing a couple of shiny stones. And you might think "that's a lovely earring and it matches her evening gown so well" - because that's a normal occurrence and an accepted fashion statement. But now let's assume that the pretty dangling earrings are not connected to this woman's earlobe - they're connected to her CONTACT LENSES.

Yes, it's that bad.

I can think of very few borderline-sane reasons why a person would subject themselves to this ocular torture (torture for your own eyes and the eyes of anyone who has to see you wearing these monstrocities):

1. You have something horrible elsewhere on your face. Aside from the cheek region, I can agree that jewelry dangling from your goddamned eyes would be distracting enough to draw attention from anything like a giant mole on your chin to a disfiguring scar on your ear to a freakin' horn growing out of your forehead. One look at shiny stones dangling from your eyeballs will make sure we don't notice your grotesque facial feature because we'll frankly never want to glance at your face again.

2. There is seriously no other facial real estate from which things can dangle. You've perforated your ears worse than spiral notebook paper, your nose looks like you've never heard of the word "tissue" in your entire life, and your lips make it look like you're incessantly drooling gobs of jewels and metal. The only place left from which something shiny can dangle is your eyes. At this point, your face is either so numb from every other piercing and bejeweling that you'll never even notice. Your face is officially as tattered and torn as (one can assume) your self-worth/self-esteem or maybe you've damaged your own ego to the point where it constantly screams "LOOK AT ME! I SPARKLE!"

3. You never plan to hold a child, ever. Anyone who's ever held a child under the age of 18 months and also had ANY item or accessory on their face will know that children GRAB ANYTHING THEY CAN. I don't care if it's your glasses, your earrings or your hat, if it's within reach of their pudgy little arms, they will grab it without consideration and without mercy. Hell, it doesn't even have to be something removable - as those who have beards, mustaches or just low-hanging hair will attest. So I highly doubt that a baby will consider the fashion consequences of grabbing hold of your shiny contact-lens-dangle and ripping the hell out of it and possibly your cornea at the same time.

4. You have no nerve endings in your eye. You know, I'm a glasses person and would never consider contacts. I've heard the nightmare tales from my contact-lens-wearing friends and how a single errant eyelash will wreak havoc on their sight and sanity until it is located and extracted. One can only imagine the sheer terror and anguish that would result from a normal person having a string constantly dangling from their contact lens, with a WEIGHT. I also can't fathom the trippiness of having this attached sparkling cluster of jewels impede my vision every time I bent over and it hovers into view due to gravity, possibly infringing on my eyelashes' right to move freely once the angle of the string is not "straight down" but rather "straight out, causing a tugging sensation every time you blink."

Okay, it's seriously getting difficult to continue writing this when I'm cringing and rubbing my eyes every few minutes to remind myself that this will NEVER HAPPEN TO ME because I do not fall into any of those above categories, nor would I ever consider this fashion trend in the first place.

All in all, it's an idiotic product. Beyond that, it's an ocular atrocity.

Do you agree? Were you able to even look at it without shivering? Or would you buy into the trend because you fall into one of the above categories? Can you think of any other reasons why someone would do something so stupid? If you do, plase share!

Please Digg this article and spread the word that these things are creepy and dangerous!

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Idiotic Product: Car Piercings

(Originally posted on October 2, 2006)

You've seen them on the street - "punks" and "rebels" and their faces that make you wish there were an important metal detector nearby to buzz incessantly at their facial accessories. The lobes, the cartilage, the eyebrow, the lip, the nostril, the bridge, the septum, the labret - and these are just SOME of the piercings available for the FACE. Let's not even get into the piercings unseen, okay? So for the "punk" who's simply run out of ROOM on the face, or for the "rebel" without the constitution for bloody hole-punching on their own body, there's a new fad hitting the streets. The actual STREETS...

Piercings for your CAR.

At this point, it seems like that should just be the end of this article.

Piercings. For your car. 'Nuff said. End of discussion.

Cue the "IDIOTIC PRODUCT" catchphrase. Roll credits.

But instead, let's try and evaluate this a little further and try and speculate WHY someone would possibly DO this to their car. Also, should these things be considered detriments to your car and other cars just by existing?

If you take a look at the pictures, you'll see that these "piercings" are large rings affixed primarily to the front bumper area of the car (the "face" of it, if you will) - they stick out, but not dangerously far or anything. They stand out, but not so well that they'd help you locate it at the Disneyland parking lot. So what purpose can they serve, other than being "extreme"? I mean, most things we do to our cars we do to either improve our lives, make things easier, or possibly to simply draw attention to the car. I'm reminded of ugly fins, tails, and flame appliques.

So is this what we've come to? That our personal cries for help by punching needles in our skin and filling the new void with metallic hoops and bars just isn't enough? We must expand these pleas for attention to every driver on the road with a large metal hoop affixed to your front bumper with an interesting logo? It's a little scary - if you think about it...

"I'm in my car so you probably can't see MY piercings, but I want you to know that I'm totally into piercings, so I PIERCED MY CAR so you can SEE!"

So now that we've rationalized WHY you'd affix one of these car piercings - let's discuss the repercussions of the deed. Does punching a hole or welding a ring onto the bumper area qualify as an act that affects insurance? If you get into an accident and they see this extra piece of car shrapnel that you voluntarily tacked on managed to do some EXTRA damage, say to a radiator, would insurance still pay for it? Does the bluebook value of a car go down significantly after you've added a West Coast Chopper ring to its face? And on top of this entire loss of value and risk of higher payments - you have to pay for this car piercing.

I've seen prices that average at about $100.

And on that note, I feel that car piercings are officially an IDIOTIC PRODUCT.

What's next? "Car cutting", where you key your own car to relieve the pressures of driving and handle road rage? Read more!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Plastic Bag Bans

This has got to be one of the most horrid trends contributing to the combined laziness and incompetent nature of our current legal system: a ban on plastic bags. That's right, ever since Hippie Central (AKA San Francisco) decided in 2007 to place a ban on the use of plastic bags by supermarkets and chain pharmacies, other locations have been balancing their brains between the notion that it might be an environmentally-friendly idea and the warnings of sane people that it's a moronic idea and following suit would be sheer lunacy.

This week, the Los Angeles City Council teetered over the precipice of lunacy and has voted to ban all plastic bags in the city's supermarkets and stores by 2010.

I'll start this off by actually agreeing that some of the bleeding-heart liberals almost have a valid point when they talk about the evils of the plastic bags. They normally take between 100 and 1,000 years to biodegrade. (More on that later.) And yes, they tend to get caught in trees because of their lightweight nature and they wind up in streams and such and marine animals can eat them and die. While it's easy to say that "the kid who swallows too many marbles shouldn't grow up to have kids of his own" - I'll agree that it's a stretch to apply that logic to the turtles. I don't know how easy it is for a turtle to tell the difference between a fish and a freakin' plastic bag, but let's just pretend that somehow they look the same and it's not very nice to be killing off those poor confused sea creatures. And perhaps we use too many of them - we produce an estimated 500 billion of them a year, worldwide.

Okay, back to calling San Francisco and Los Angeles a bunch of idiots for imposing such ridiculous laws.

First of all, plastic bags were what we'd like to call a scientific and technological breakthrough. The ability to mass-produce a strong yet lightweight product that allows consumers to carry their items while also letting producers/manufacturers package their items was a proud day, in my opinion. Paper bags are often ineffective and unreliable, not to mention bulky and THEY CUT DOWN TREES. That was like one of the best reasons to make an alternative to paper bags in the first place! Doesn't anyone recall that little tree-hugging mantra? I mean there's no reason in arguing over the plastic bags that don't decompose fast enough to create mulch so new trees can grow and prosper is the alternative is just destroying the trees in the first place, right? The only alternative alternative is reusable material bags, which are costly, even bulkier, and require too much forethought to be effective. The likelihood of someone saying "it's time to make a grocery run - I'd better collect up my reusable bags so that I may use them once more at the grocery store" is minimal when compared to "oh dang I need milk right now and I'm passing by a store with milk so let me go and get milk and oh darn I don't have my reusable bag with me so just gimme something for free to carry it in so I'm not paying for another reusable bag that I'll never remember to use."

Secondly, we need to stop creating laws to claim things as obsolete. Remember when cassette tapes were popular and it was the most advanced way to listen to your favorite songs before this new-fangled "compact disc" came into existence? Well once we created the CD, it's not like we decided to ban the use/production of cassette tapes because we have better things now and cassettes are flooding the landfills and don't biodegrade and we need to pass laws to hold the recording industry responsible for this garbage and ban their production of cassettes! If you want to really call the plastic bag obsolete, you need to create something BETTER to REPLACE it. Once we came out with the CD and they were priced competitively and made available in mass amounts - we stopped using cassettes (for the most part). Just like the creation of cheap and effective plastic bags made the paper ones practically obsolete (there were very few paper-bag-choosers during the heyday of plastic baggery), if you want the plastic bag to be gone - a better choice has to come out. It has to fill the SAME NICHE (lightweight, strong, disposable, cheap) though. Reusable bags aren't meant to be cheap or disposable, so it's not a replacement. It's merely an alternative.

Thirdly, this is a freakin' non-issue! Remember how we mentioned that plastic bags normally take between 100 and 1,000 years to biodegrade? Well the point is that they DO BIODEGRADE. There must exist living organisms that can biodegrade plastic bags into compost. Ergo, there must be a way to identify those living organisms and culture them and use them to speed up the process by increasing the amount of those organisms and figuring out optimum conditions necessary to speed the process up exponentially. Oh wait, some 16-year-old kid in Canada already figured that out!

Do you understand how messed up this is now? That instead of pumping a minimal amount of money into a research grant to allow REAL scientists to build upon what some Canadian kid managed to accomplish, thereby creating efficient ways to completely biodegrade TONS of plastic bag material in LITTLE TIME - California cities are working to abolish plastic bags? That doesn't solve the PROBLEM, morons! The PROBLEM is millions of tons of plastic bags that we'd like to biodegrade, not the flow of the plastic bags!

That's as ridiculous as people becoming vegetarians because cows producing methane are causing global warming. The problem is the COWS and the METHANE, not people EATING the cows! If you convince everyone to stop eating cows, then the cows get ignored and continue to screw up the planet with global warming flatulence and WE ALL DIE.

Eat a Steak - Save the World! Remember?

In conclusion, it's just plain and simple stupidity to ban something that's completely legal to purchase or sell. It was insane when Chicago banned foie gras and luckily that's over now. If the following scenario is true, then something has gone horribly wrong and needs to be fixed:

In 2010, you can walk into a Los Angeles supermarket and purchase a container of plastic bags, but you can't have that container of plastic bags put into a plastic bag because that would be against the law.

This is horribly wrong and it needs to be fixed.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree that scientists and entrepreneurs should be investing in the process that we know exists to speed up the biodegrading process of plastic bags? Or would you rather ban a legal product in an effort to ignore the real problem and boast that "at least WE'RE not making the problem worse" rather than work to solve the problem?

(Again, the article about the Canadian teenager who's apparently smarter than the Los Angeles City Council)
(The article about San Francisco being the first in the idiot-city parade)
(The article about Los Angeles joining the idiot-city parade)

Please Digg this article and spread the word that we need science and not insane laws!

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Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July Letter to my Neighborhood

Dear Neighborhood,

I realize that this is the beginning of a 3-day-weekend celebrating the Fourth of July and our nation's glorious independance from a tyrannical oppressive country who is now actually being referred to by many borderline-journalists as the "Nanny State". I realize that this is the metaphorical equivelant of leaving Mommy's nest and celebrating by throwing a huge party that serves no purpose other than "let's break all the rules that have brought us down, regardless of the fact that some of those rules may have been put in place to keep us alive and/or healthy." I realize that this weekend is also another reason to grill hamburgers and/or drink beer for the simple reason of "it's nice enough to grill hamburgers and/or I enjoy drinking beer." I realize all of those things and despite my acknowledgement, something still needs to be said:

For fuck's sake - stop it with your half-assed fireworks.

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of "fireworks", let me start off by saying that there are basically two kinds of fireworks in the world: real fireworks and fake fireworks.

Technically, the government sees more than two kinds, but all of their classifications still manage to separate these two groups of explosives from each other. Oftentimes I look to Wikipedia for help in these matters, and it certainly has not let me down today.

The U.S. government now uses the United Nations explosives shipping classification system. This new system is based on hazard in shipping only, vs. the old USA system of both shipping and use hazards. The BATF and most states performed a direct substitution of Shipping Class 1.3 for Class B, and Shipping Class 1.4 for Class C. This allows some hazardous items that would have previously been classified as Class B and regulated to be classified as Shipping Class 1.4 due to some packaging method that confines any explosion to the package. Being Shipping Class 1.4, they can now be sold to the general public and are unregulated by the BATF.

So what are these two categories (other than my previous description of real and fake)?

Class 1.3G (Fire, Minor Blast:Pyrotechnics) UN0335 Fireworks (Most Display Fireworks) Current federal law states that (without appropriate ATF license/permit) the possession or sale of any display/professional fireworks is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Although some large firecraker items may be called "M-80's", "M-1000's", "Cherry bombs" or "Silver Salutes" by the manufacturer, they must contain less than 50-milligrams of flash or other explosive powder in order to be legally sold to consumers in the United States.

* any ground salute device with over 50 milligrams of explosive composition
* torpedoes (except for railroad signaling use)
* multi-tube devices containing over 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition and without 1/2" space between each tube
* any multiple tube fountains with over 500 grams of pyrotechnic composition and without 1/2" space between each tube
* any reloadable aerial shells over 1.75" diameter
* display shells
* any single-shot or reloadable aerial shell/mine/comet/tube with over 60 grams of pyrotechnic composition
* any Roman candle or rocket with over 20 grams of pyrotechnic composition
* any aerial salute with over 130 milligrams of explosive composition

Class 1.4G (Minor Explosion Hazard Confined To Package:Pyrotechnics) UN0336 Fireworks (Consumer or Common Fireworks) Most popular consumer fireworks sold in the US.

* reloadable aerial shells 1.75" or less sold in a box with not more than 12 shells and one launching tube
* single-shot aerial tubes
* bottle rockets
* skyrockets and missiles
* ground spinners, pinwheels and helicopters
* flares & fountains
* Roman candles
* smoke and novelty items
* multi-shot aerial devices, or "cakes"
* firecracker packs
* sparklers
* Catherine wheel
* black snakes and strobes

Do you see the difference? DO YOU??

Your goddamned little bottle rockets and novelty crap do not deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as REAL fireworks than actually DO STUFF. When I hear the obnoxious sounds of *peeeeeewwwwww* *pop*, I do not go rushing outside so that I don't miss the grand finale of your performance. Because you haven't lit a REAL FIREWORK. Which means you're performing noise pollution and also seemingly dropping the IQ and property value of a 50-yard radius by about 5%.

Actually, there's one category of "fake fireworks" that I will allow as a substitute "real firework" as a token of good faith - SPARKLERS.

While some of you may misconstrue that as my admittance to being a "nansy-pansy" or other disrespectful made-up word, it is not. I am simply recognizing the sparkler as the best commercially-available substitute for a real firework for one main reason:

It looks pretty.

It you took your family to the park to watch a real fireworks show, the real reason you'd be watching it is because it's something to WATCH. The Japanese word for firework - hanabi - translates to "fire flower" because fireworks are as pretty as a flower and also made of fire. While occasionally there is an audible aspect to the fireworks show, like the sizzling crackle of a time-rain firework, it's not what makes the firework great. If you were deaf, you could still enjoy the fireworks show for what it is.

If you were deaf and in my neighborhood, all you would see is a bunch of people rushing around something and then there's some smoke. Occasionally you'd see a roman candle and a little ball of fire or two. Maybe someone went the extra mile and got a pinwheel that sparks around - if you were within 5 meters to see it during the 10 seconds it was spinning. But you'd still be able to enjoy a sparkler - a miniature barely-harmful version of the massive real fireworks.

Oh, and one more thing I'd like to say to you, my neighborhood:


You know why nobody has fireworks shows in the daytime? BECAUSE YOU CAN'T SEE THEM!!! So why in the name of all that is good and holy and chocolate-covered would you waste your purchases at this ungodly hour (unless you are a sun-worshipper, in which case it could be considered a godly hour) when nobody can see your barely-visible fake firework??

It's not even late enough in the afternoon for those of us who enjoy beer to have a buzz moderate enough to find your antics enjoyable!

So please, do the world (and especially the neighborhood) a favor and go the fuck inside and watch something on TV instead of annoying your neighbors and whatever that quip was that I made about lowering IQs and property values. The least you can do is wait until the sun gets the hell out of here (sorry, sun-worshippers) and then there might be a modicum of enjoyment in whatever it is you're pitifully making explode.

Plus, there's the added benefit that maybe it'll be dark enough for you to misjudge something and hurt yourself in the process. Darwin and future generations would applaud it.

Now let me get back to my burgers and beer.

Yours Truly,

Your pissed-off neighbor

P.S.: This is my open invitation of comments in agreeance, as well as an open forum for those of you who think firecrackers are the cat's pajamas to defend your inalienable right to make an ass of yourself by waking up your neighbors who finally had one day to sleep in.

(Thanks, Wikipedia!) Read more!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


(This is in homage to George Carlin. This article was originally posted on November 29, 2006 and is being moved to this weblog.)

George Carlin had it right:

"That's another complaint of mine, too much use of this prefix pre.... It's all over the language now. pre this, pre that..... place the turkey in a preheated oven.... it's ridiculous... there are only two states an oven can possibly exist in, heated or unheated.... preheated is a meaningless fucking term... that's like pre-recorded, this program was pre-recorded, well of course it was pre-recorded, when else you gonna record it, afterwards? That’s the whole purpose of recording, to do it beforehand! Otherwise it doesn't really work does it? Pre-existing, pre-planning, pre-screening, you know what I tell these people? PRE-SUCK MY GENITAL SITUATION!"

The newest annoyance in the "Land of Pre-"? PREPREGNANCY.

While surfing through articles, I happened onto this one regarding the notion of prepregnancy and ways that women can take care of their prepregnant selves.

Just like the heated status of an oven, pregnancy is one of those boolean, dichotomous black-and-white situations: You can either be "pregnant" or "not pregnant". You don't get to be prepregnant and develop a whole new concept to scare the crap out of women.

The article itself tried to bring us some valid points, but then wound up going overboard and screwing everything up, like doing a backflip and making a midair bowel movement, completely covering itself in feces. For example, it tried to make a valid point by mentioning that by the time most women find out that they ARE pregnant - they've already done things that affect the fetus and the damage is already done. That's a completely fair point and worry, that by the time the pregnancy is discovered, it may already be too late.

And then it prepares for the backflip of going overboard by creating this new term, "prepregnancy", which apparently stands for every moment in a woman's life between menarche and menopause while the woman is not ACTUALLY pregnant. So now that we've got a loaded and vague term as the backflip, the article lets the feces fly as it gives some guidelines to follow to ensure a healthy prepregnancy, which supposedly means all throughout life while ovulating and not yet pregnant:

- "prepregnancy checkups that include screening for diabetes, H.I.V. and obesity; managing chronic medical conditions; reviewing medications that may harm a fetus; and making sure vaccinations are up to date"
- "they should abstain from smoking, alcohol and drugs"

So, their advice to the "prepregnant" is to not smoke, drink or do drugs - and to try to avoid diabetes, H.I.V. and obesity?

Yes, and it gets worse.

"It’s not like we have an injection we can give someone" to prepare her for pregnancy, said Dr. Hani Atrash, associate director for program development at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the disease centers. "Some of the interventions, like weight management, need time to happen. You cannot quit smoking in one day."

You mean there's no instant fix for smoking or an instant way to lose weight? HOW CAN THIS BE? By the way, I think Dr. Hani Atrash should change her title to "associate director for common-sense development at the National Center of the Blatantly Obvious".

In an attempt to wipe off the feces that the article decided to spray all over itself, it tries to bring up another valid point that indeed half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Teengers especially, but many others are sexually active and do not PLAN to get pregnant. Mostly because they don't WANT to be pregnant. Which means that when a not-100% protection method winds up proving its not-100% quality - the pregnancy is considered to be "unplanned".

The article then stretches out to get ready for another backflip, and takes to the air as it suggests that EVERY young person create a "reproductive life plan". Well, apparently "don't get her pregnant" and "don't get pregnant" aren't acceptable plans now. So what kind of plan did the article have in mind? Well, it goes on and says: "rising obesity rates and the tendency to postpone motherhood mean far more women are overweight when they become pregnant and thus are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes or prediabetes, which complicate pregnancy."

Their plan suggestion involves "not being overweight".

So now, women not only have the regular superficial worries about being overweight to worry about, but let's tack on an extra helping of worry with "but what happens if I get pregnant" to go with it. As if the worries of pregnancy, childbirth and parents weren't enough regarding the whole thing - now there's a bonus for being overweight all by itself.

Oh, and for those women who bother to take prepregnancy seriously from a medical standpoint, the article goes on to state: "While doctors have been recommending preconception care for many years, it has never really caught on. Only one in six health care providers said they had provided preconception care to patients, one study found, and most health plans do not cover it. Medicaid, the government health plan for the poor, often only covers women after they are pregnant."

WOMAN: "Hello, Mr. HMO Agent, I'd like to have more medical care and tests and doctor visits plase."
HMO AGENT: "Why are you requesting these additional services?"
WOMAN: "Well, I'm prepregnant. I could be pregnant sometime and I need to make sure to stay healthy while prepregnant."
HMO AGENT: "Wait, so you're not pregnant?"
WOMAN: "No, I'm prepregnant, but pregnancy could happen someday and I need extra medical attention before that happens."

*insert maniacal laughter and rejection from HMO AGENT*

Wow, who didn't see that one coming? Where's that doctor from the National Center of the Blatantly Obvious? Oh, apparently she's on a panel of experts, judging by my last feces-conjuring quote I plan on using from the article. It's regarding the role of men in the whole prepregnancy "reproductive life plan":

"(Men should be wary of exposures to toxins that cause birth defects and should avoid sexually transmitted diseases, experts say.)"

Wait, I'm NOT supposed to expose myself to toxins? I'm supposed to AVOID sexually-transmitted diseases?? WHY DIDN'T THE EXPERTS TELL ME SOONER???

"Waiter! I'd like to cancel my order of Lead Paint Chip and Syphillis Chow Mein! The experts say I shouldn't be eating that!"

Reading this article kind of made my day, giving me some laughs at the idiocy and about the sheer stupidity of humanity as a whole. I also shed many tears while reading this article - some out of afforementioned laughter, but just as many out of weeping for both the English language with another unplanned bastard "pre-" baby as well as the poor excuse for scare-tactics that seems to be targeting sexually-active dumbasses who possibly somehow don't know any better.

It's a sad day when such blatant common-sense can actually pass as a "new study" and "newsworthy findings". Humans must really suck if THESE are the kinds of warnings we need flying around in an attempt to EDUCATE people who somehow DON'T know this stuff already.

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