The Case for Restraint

Posted in Americana on December 12th, 2007 by Дмитрий

As I continue to hear about my government’s ongoing fight for its right to unwarranted surveillance, waterboarding of untried suspects, and itchy trigger fingers pointed at Persia, Russia, China and who knows where else, I keep remembering a quote I read several months ago:

Human rights are part of what it means to be civilised. Locking up suspected terrorists—and why not potential murderers, rapists and paedophiles, too?—before they commit crimes would probably make society safer. Dozens of plots may have been foiled and thousands of lives saved as a result of some of the unsavoury practices now being employed in the name of fighting terrorism. Dropping such practices in order to preserve freedom may cost many lives. So be it.

Alcohol, Socialization and Me

Posted in About Me, Friends, Get In My Head on December 16th, 2007 by Дмитрий

I’ve never been very social. In elementary school, I was a total outcast – listening to The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees when LL Cool J and New Kids on the Block were all 10-year-olds were allowed to like. Imagining worlds all my own at recess where I could do whatever I wanted, whilst all the other kids mocked me from their positions in carefully orchestrated, structured group play. My own intense desire not to be different in this way made me feel like even more of an outcast than my middle-class WASP peer group actually revealed.

By middle school, I was a bully magnet. I got picked on so often by so many of my peers – physically and emotionally – that I was thoroughly, persistently miserable. By 10th grade, as I started rebelling against my parents, I found myself a few fellow rebellious outcasts with whom to share my free time at school, but they weren’t very close (though at the time, being my only friends, they felt like the most important people in the world to me), and I never saw them outside of school. Once I graduated, I only saw them occasionally and casually, and never really again as friends, with the sole exception of a select few with whom I clung to despite cracks in the makeup for a couple years.

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