September 29, 2005


As most of you know, I'm majoring in Television, Radio, and Film at Syracuse University. One of the classes I'm taking this semester deals with film criticism. Basically, we sit there for 3 hours and watch movies while the professor points out various instances of symbolism and explains the hidden messages. For the past couple weeks, we've been viewing and discussing so-called "teensploitation" movies (yeah, that's right, you wish you had my life. Did you ever get academic credit for watching Animal House and Fast Times at Ridgemont High? I didn't think so).

Anyway, today's featured film was Ferris Bueller's Day Off (now that you know that, imagine Ben Stein reading the title of this post...). The professor started off the class by discussing the influence of that film's director, John Hughes.

This brings me to the main point of the post. This class is held in an auditorium with stadium seating, which means the people in front of you are slightly below you. Because of this, I happened to glance down at the notebook of a girl in front of me, and I saw something that made me want to do violent things to her. Ready?

The heading of her notes for today: John Hugh's

Think about that for a second. This is Syracuse University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and the TRF major is one of SU's most competitive and exclusive academic programs. And yet, there is a junior in this class who apparently thinks that a last name can be possessive.

I don't think I need to say anything else.

Posted by CD at 09:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Judicial Musings

So, it looks like John Roberts has been confirmed.

This seems like a good time to mention something I've been thinking about lately. A lot of liberals are worried about Bush getting to nominate new justices. The main talking point is usually that they'll "overturn Roe v. Wade," which would, of course, take away the precious right to infanticide choice.

I just have a simple question. As much as I'd like to see that travesty of a decision reversed...


I really don't think a lot of these people understand how the Supreme Court works. First of all, a justice can't just stand up and declare a previous decision invalid. The SCOTUS can only rule on cases brought before it. In order for Roe to be overturned, there would at least need to be a case in the Court related to the "right to privacy" that the majority inserted into the Constitution.

In addition, even if that did somehow happen, the question of abortion would be thrown back to the states. The only way for the Supreme Court to single-handedly make abortion illegal would be for it to declare abortion unconstitutional, and in order for that to happen, the plaintiff in a case would probably have to claim that his or her Constitutional rights were violated by someone else having an abortion. Until we let unborn children file lawsuits, I don't think that's going to happen.

Look, libs, I'm not going to lie to you. I, and a lot of other conservatives, hope that Roe v. Wade can be overturned someday, and we definitely support much stricter abortion laws, but you're being willfully ignorant if you believe that all it takes for that stuff to happen is a conservative majority on the SCOTUS. The judicial process is (unfortunately, in this case) a lot more complex than that.

...Why yes, I have been concentrating a lot on my Constitutional Law class lately. How did you know?

*passes out from exhaustion*

Posted by CD at 02:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005

Hooray for Urban Campuses

As I've mentioned (and illustrated) a couple times, my dorm room gives me a panoramic view of the depressing beautiful city of Syracuse, New York. It also allows me to hear a lot of sounds coming from the city.

As a result, every single night since I've been here, I've heard at least one police siren. Tonight's siren was accompanied by what sounded like a fire truck.

This sometimes gets me many criminals could there possibly be in this city? I've actually heard at least one siren per night since freshman year. That's several hundred, if I'm doing the mental math right. My theory is that they're just chasing the same guy over and over. Like COPS meets Roadrunner cartoons...or something like that.


I'm supposed to be writing a paper about the Dred Scott case right now...

...Hey, another siren. That's two in five minutes.

Posted by CD at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Paradox of Free Time

You know what's interesting? This semester is probably my easiest schedule so far. My classes are done by 10:30 AM every day except Thursday and Friday, the only other thing I have to do on weekdays is marching band rehearsal from 6:30-9:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I have huge blocks of free time in the afternoon every single day.

And yet...I've barely done any work in the last month. I have class in 8 hours, and I'm still sitting here at the frickin' computer when I should've been in bed an hour ago. I've probably got several hundred pages of reading to get caught up on, and that number gets bigger every day.

Compare this to last fall, which was my busiest semester. I had class in the morning and in the afternoon, and then I had marching band at night. I also had a ton of TRF projects to work on, which meant that I was busy on weekends too. Care to guess which semester of my college career was both my most productive and my favorite?

Yep. Last fall.

So what does this mean? It means that the more free time I have, the less work I get done. Wonderful.

When I schedule classes for next spring, I'll be sure to spread them out over the entire day...

Posted by CD at 01:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

Two Years Is A Long Time

You know how you can tell that my priorities have changed over the last few months? It's 9:20 PM, and I just remembered that today is the 2 year blogiversary of Semi-Intelligent Thoughts.

2 years...that's a long friggin' time. Think about it. When I started SIT (using the abomination known as Blog*Spot), I was a month into my freshman year of college, I had just started getting interested in politics a few months before that, and I had only been reading blogs for a couple weeks. My entries were in "real-time" format, which means that I wrote as if people were reading everything the second I typed it, and most posts were completely random.

Over the next few weeks, I somehow attracted readers and links, and I ended up posting a lot about politics and current events. Blogging became a full-time hobby, and I spent most of my free time finding things to write about. I eventually became a Munuvian and switched to Movable Type, and my posts got longer, more detailed, and more focused. This continued through the election in 2004.

After that, I basically used this site to bitch about the idiots in my dorm, and I blogged a lot less often. By last summer, I was just using SIT to pimp my band (by the way, I'm still looking for reviews of the demo) and apologize for not posting. I considered retiring a few times, but for some reason, I never followed through.

And now, here we's September of 2005, I'm a junior in college, and I still have a blog. I'm still not sure exactly what direction I want to take this thing, and I really don't think this post serves any specific purpose, but I'd like to thank everybody once more (if you're still out there) for sticking around.

I keep thinking back to the way life was when I started SIT, and I realize that a lot has changed in 2 years. I've learned a lot, I've changed quite a few of my beliefs, and I've been through a ton of different situations, many of which have been documented here.

Like I said, my priorities have changed a lot, and I don't know if SIT will ever be as good as it was "back in the day," but as of right now, I'm not going anywhere. I tried to quit once, and I couldn't go through with it.

Here's to another 2 years.

Posted by CD at 09:33 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Open Letter to Captain Loudness

Dear jackass,


Your neighbor,

Posted by CD at 12:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 14, 2005

This Is Too Good to Be True

I'm laughing out loud (I refuse to type "LOL" non-ironically...other than just now) as I write this. You see, I'm trying to come up with a good name for the main character of the script I mentioned a few days ago, and as I searched a list of surname meanings, I happened to come across this one:

Kennedy: Helmeted, or having an ugly head. (emphasis mine)

If you don't see the hilarity, let me take you back to this post.

Heh heh heh...

Posted by CD at 02:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quote of the Day

Overheard in my philosophy class:

"Plato crazy, talkin' 'bout 'da Forms.' Get yo' mystical ass outta here!"

No comment.

Posted by CD at 10:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

Yes, College Is Still Hard

As much as I hate to pull another disappearing act, I just realized that I've spent the last 2 weeks avoiding most of my work, and I am now dangerously close to crashing and burning before the semester is even a month old. Hooray for procrastination...

Don't expect much to be posted here for a while. I'll be dealing with the consequences of my mind-boggling stupidity for the next few weeks.


Posted by CD at 12:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2005


does studying the humanities giev u better verbal skills

If it does, you'd better start now.

Posted by CD at 01:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 10, 2005

Completely Random Update

I'd just like to announce that it is currently 9:05 AM on Saturday, and I've been up for the past 2.5 hours.

I love early morning marching band rehearsals. Especially when the actual game isn't until 3:30 PM. Really.

*passes out*

Posted by CD at 09:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

What Media Bias?

You know, when people point out that the media coverage of the War on Terror seems to be biased against President Bush, liberals resort to a variety of explanations. One explanation I've heard a few times (on the Internet and in real life) is that it only seems that way because car bombs and dead soldiers make more sensational and attention-grabbing news than the opening of a school or a group of Iraqis cheering as Americans drive by.

You know what I think of that? BULLSHIT.

I've considered it, and it is a valid argument, but the events of the past few days have pretty much shot down the whole "the media only appears biased because stories about death and destruction are more interesting" line.

Allow me to explain. I don't want to over-politicize Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent rescue efforts, but the media coverage of the whole thing serves as an excellent example of their true feelings.

For example, I was sitting in the food court eating dinner this afternoon, and the TV a few feet away from me happened to be showing a news broadcast (I'm not sure which channel it was, but I'm almost positive it wasn't FOX, so draw your own conclusions). I listened for about 15 minutes, and the majority of the time was spent discussing 1) Democrats' attacks on President Bush regarding the response to the hurricane and 2) the effect of this event on Bush's approval rating.

Let's think about this for a second. If it's true that deadly events are a priority for the media, and this just makes it appear that they're out to get Bush, then why aren't they spending more time covering the destruction left in the wake of the hurricane? It seems to me that they're once again revealing their true agenda.

I'm not basing this on an isolated, personal incident, of course. Look at the more widespread news coverage of this event, and you'll probably notice that more stories seem to be about the political aspect of the disaster than the details surrounding the fact that A FUCKING AMERICAN CITY IS UNDERWATER.

If that doesn't at least make you consider the possibility of a liberal media, I doubt you'll ever change your mind anyway.

Posted by CD at 11:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Random Thoughts

- Why do people gesture while talking on cell phones? Seriously. Do they think that the person on the other end will magically know what they're doing? The only other explanation I can think of is that cell phone use has become such an epidemic that people talk on the phone even when they can see each other. Speaking of cell phones, why is it that on any given walk across campus, about half the people I see are on the phone, but none of them seem to be having important conversations? I bet some of them are just talking to a dial tone so they'll look important.

- In a similiar vein, I want to write a short film about parasitic aliens that take over people's brains by hiding in their cell phones and crawling into their ears while they talk. Eventually, the characters in the film are forced to stop using cell phones, and they discover how much better life is without them.

- If you haven't figured it out yet, I hate cell phones. Yes, I do have one, but I use it more as an alarm clock than a communication device.

- If shared iTunes playlists are any indication, I am apparently one of the only people at Syracuse University who doesn't listen to 2Pac and 50 Cent. Almost every playlist I check out begins with those two. Not one or the other, but both. Human nature being what it is, I'm assuming that not everyone who has them in their playlist actually listens to them. Connect the dots...

- If this post seems only semi-coherent, it's because I was up late writing an analysis of Marbury v. Madison. Of all the poli-sci classes available, I had to take Constitutional Law...

Posted by CD at 11:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

A Room With a View

As promised, here's a better shot of the view from my dorm window:

(Click for full size)

Again, this is a low-quality picture, and it only covers about 1/3 of what I can actually see from my desk, but it should give you an idea of why I'm so impressed.

Fun fact: The light blue patch in the center-right portion of the photo (below the darker blue horizon) is Lake Onondaga. The real view is, as I said, much better than this shot can convey.

Posted by CD at 02:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005

Semi-Random Updates (read the whole post for vital info!)

Hey, minions. I just went a week without posting, didn't I? It happens. However, I finally have some free time, and I wanted to detail a few of the things that are happening in CD World right now.

First of all, in case you missed it, I am back at Syracuse. A lot has happened in the last couple weeks. I went through what was probably the worst band camp ever (long story), took my first week of classes as a junior, and performed at the football game this afternoon, among other things. I've been busy.

A bit of good news: As I've mentioned in the past, I finally managed to get my own dorm room this year, and let me tell you, having a single is friggin' awesome. In addition, I'm in a different building now, and The Chimps are nowhere to be found. The people on this floor are actually the quietest I've ever lived with. There are a few noisemakers (for example, the guy in the room next to me, who I refer to as "Captain Loudness" because he talks on the phone so loudly that I can hear him through the wall), but compared to the mind-numbing cacophony that I was forced to endure for two semesters, this is the freakin' Promised Land.

Another note about the room: The view from here is amazing! I'm on the sixth floor of my building, and the placement of my room provides...well...see for yourself:

(Click for full size)

That picture (taken with a camcorder at about 7:30 PM) doesn't do the real panoramic view justice. I'll try to take a better shot when we get a sunny afternoon and I'm actually home to see it.

Just for reference, compare that to the view I had out my window last year.

My classes are pretty good too, as far as I can tell from one week. The real highlight is TRF 411: Dramatic Writing for Television and Film. I want to be a screenwriter, and I'm finally taking a screenwriting class. It is from 8:00-9:20 AM two days a week (stupid schedule), but other than that, I think I'm going to like it. More on that later in the post...

On a totally different note, I'm still looking for more reviews of the Suspended Agitation demo. If you get a chance to listen, please let me know what you think. And yes, I know the singing sucks. That's why we're looking for a lead singer, people.

Now, here's the part that everyone cares about: What is the future of Semi-Intelligent Thoughts? Allow me to explain the dilemma I've had...

On one hand, I know that there are people who enjoy my blogging, and I don't want to disappoint you. In addition, I like doing this, and the thought that I've had this blog for almost two years almost makes me want to keep at it forever.

However (cue disappointed moans and groans), I really don't know how much longer I can keep it up. My schoolwork this semester is going to be insane, and I don't know if it would be in my best interests to try and blog at the rate I used to in the Good Old Days (when I first started, I could crank out 3-5 posts per day with ease).

Also, it's hard to admit this, but I don't know if I have that much more to say. Ever since the election, it seems like every political issue that comes up results in the same arguments happening over and over without any real progress. To tell you the truth, I haven't been that concerned with writing about politics since November 3, 2004. I'm still interested (and strongly opinionated), but I just don't feel that sense of duty or urgency to write about every issue anymore. After Election Day, something just changed. I'm sure you've noticed in the last 9 months.

But (cue anticipatory gasps and silence) I don't want to stop blogging completely. I am a writer by nature, and I need to write. If I called it quits, I'd be back within a week. The main reason I took that hiatus over the summer was to see what would happen if I just stopped posting, and to my surprise, all or most of you stuck around and waited for me to come back.

Thanks for that, by the way.

So it comes down to this: I'm still going to blog, but it's not going to be on a regular schedule, and it's not going to be as intensely political as it used to be. Semi-Intelligent Thoughts will be my place to write whatever I want to write, whether it be personal, political, musical, or a mix of those or any other elements. I know it's kinda been like that for a while, but I've hesitated to post things in the past because of the political history of the blog.

For the last few months, I've been telling myself that I'm just taking a break, and that I'll return to full-time political blogging one of these days. Now, I realize that I was just pretending to be someone else, and I'm finally ready to accept the change honestly. If you are too, feel free to stick around, but just keep in mind that this will no longer be considered a political blog, even if I do end up posting about politics fairly often. I still want to rant occasionally, but I've decided that I should stop focusing so much on liberals and just lash out against stupidity in all its forms. Again, I've done this in the past, but I've never really accepted the fact that I'm allowed to rant from a totally non-political angle.

If you just stuck around because you expected me, sooner or later, to revert back to my old routine of frequent tirades against liberal idiocy, then I'll understand if you don't want to read anymore. But I don't think that applies to most of you.

So, to summarize: SIT is still going to continue, but I'm no longer going to pretend that it exists mainly for political rants. I'll probably still write about politics, but nothing is off limits now, and I'll most likely cover some subjects I haven't really touched on before. Just keep in mind that I'll be busy, so I don't know how frequent posting is going to be.

Now, to go out on a more positive note, I thought I'd share an idea. The screenwriting class I'm taking offers two options for the main focus of the coursework: A 15 page short film script, or a full-length screenplay. I've decided to go for the so-called "long option" (after all, I've written two screenplays on my own), and I have to have an idea ready for Tuesday. I was thinking of doing something like this (initiate "Hollywood pitch" mode):

The story is like a cross between Network and Lord of the Flies. It details the struggle between two small town news networks competing for ratings. When regular sensationalism gets old, they start manufacturing news stories, and when that gets old, the reporters and anchors begin airing personal attacks on one another. Eventually, two reporters (one from each network) realize what's going on and join forces to create a new channel dedicated to telling the truth. Meanwhile, the employees of the big networks have begun attacking each other physically, and it just escalates from there.

This would be a heavy-handed satire, first of the media culture, then of the human tendency to demonize one's opponents and sincerely believe it. For example, one character would be like Howard Dean ("I hate Channel 6 and everything they stand for!"). I haven't worked out all the details yet, but I think it would be fun to write.

Your thoughts?

Posted by CD at 11:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack