(Note: I plan to publicize the latest blog at my school, so please don’t mind if it sounds more professional than my usual drivel.)

In the past year at Terra Linda, my school’s newspaper, the Voice of Troy, has made the jump from printed to online. All of the stories written in Journalism class have been placed on the school’s website for the whole world to see. The mistake Journalism made? They nixed the offline version. Biggest mistake in the paper’s history. Because the stories and reports are now open to the whole world, not only has this change made them vaguer, but it has erased virtually all opinion from them altogether. In fact, the Opinion section is gone, and has been replaced by restaurant reviews, and touchy-feely stories on basic high school social concepts (like “senioritis”). Also, barely anyone reads the paper anymore since it’s not shoved in their faces, giving the writers and editors more freedom to do less, since no one cares anymore. The Voice of Troy has become one of the most trivial and bland parts of TL’s student creations.

It wasn’t always this way. This realization that the Voice of Troy ultimately sucks was spawned when my U.S. History class came across old issues of the Voice from the 1970’s. We were amazed! In fact, even though none of the information had any significance to us, we all thoroughly enjoyed the papers. Why? Because there was charisma, there was style, there was opinion, and there was motivation. The articles covered everything from the nicknames of the JV soccer team members to poking fun at dehydration problems facing the school. There was at least one opinion page in each issue (published 8 times a year), and a comic to go along with it… a really good comic that stole no punch lines from other comic strips or lame jokes, like I’ve seen in more recent student comics. Maybe this was because of the revolutionary attitude of the 1970’s, or maybe it was because the internet wasn’t around to sap the creativity from all of our writers.

Now I wouldn’t just put this opinion out without some course of action, or a least a suggestion, seeing that I haven’t signed up for Journalism next year. Revamp the entire Voice of Troy. Start over, if needed. Adopt a new philosophy of localization, which will make the articles more interesting to read since they touch on things that directly affect us, the students. (The most recent Voice of Troy has an article about Lisa Lopez’s death. How about an article about the Dixie/San Rafael District unification issue?) Get more students to help out. Accept freelance work. Take photos. Have interviews. And most importantly of all, PUBLISH the damn thing. And I know in this day and age, publishing funds may be hard to come across… well, accept advertisements from local companies like the Voice always did. The ads actually worked, while making the publication look even more professional.

Being a webmaster who prefers to type up everything and publicize as much stuff on the internet as possible, I am not saying the Voice of Troy should scrap its online version, but if the printed version completely changes its look and feel, the online version should act accordingly. Does this sound like too much work? Well, I know of dozens of people who would be willing to help out with publishing to paper/web, as well as many other things I’ve already suggested. Maybe TL can show how it feels by doing something other than electing “Candidate #1” over “Candidate #2” for Student Official Who Has No Effect on What Administration Does.

To support my point, I’ll give an example of an article which definitely wouldn’t be published in this sort of Voice of Troy we have now. Anyone heard about John Wang being disqualified from senior class elections for having risqué campaign advertisements? Probably not. If the Voice of Troy had one more issue to make this year, I’d be damn sure it wouldn’t TOUCH the issue. The sheer mention of it would cause a stir in the administration and the student body, and let everyone know about something they may have cared about. In this NEW Voice of Troy I propose, that’s the exact reaction I’d expect from the article. It’d be a perfect cover-page story. Would the administration hate it? Well, yeah, the administration always hated the Voice when it touched on “sensitive” issues like these. But hey, this is America, and we as its inhabitants are entitled to our Bill of Rights.

Boy, do I love Fark. And, uh, since I can’t put a link inside a link, here’s Fark.

Over the weekend, James, my dad, and I went to Ye Olde Movie Theatre to see what James calls “Spider: Episode Man.” I quoted him because you need to go to his site right now and because I can’t think of a better parody title. I thought that it was the best comic character adaptation I had ever seen. Spiderman wasn’t bent on bringing love and happiness and flowers to the world for no reason like Superman, and was a cooler representation of a black little skinny thing than Batman. It’s probably because Stan Lee produced the movie that it had such a realistic feel to it, but kept the comic book attitude (the movie X-Men was also a good work of his). I thought the action scenes were amazing, mostly because there was a lot of emotion in each one. (Especially the one after Uncle Ben DIES. That’s not a spolier, since you’re supposed to know that from the comic… I did.) Of course, I was a bit disturbed with an explosion at a freaking NEW YORK LANDMARK, and I found it cheesy to have him grasp an American flag in the last scene. But eh, that’s the movie industry.

Also about movies, we finished Metropolis in my anime club, meaning that the club’s over for the rest of the year. I’m getting a lot of support from members of the club, so I plan to continue it next year (even though I showed all the really good ones this year). And I’ve already got a list of animes… Princess Mononoke (which I’d promised not to show this year because of a dare), Spirited Away (by the same people), and Barefoot Gen (the most brutal anime I know of… and it’s historical fiction). Hooray for anime!

I completed another MIDI this morning – Piano Bar from Cowboy Bebop requested by Hellfire104. I really enjoyed making it, especially with the help of my piano. Now it’s off to China Camp Beach where my family and I will do things!

Random blog time! And today it’s about my dad.

Well, he’s in an interesting position at work. I don’t know if this is classified or not, but economically, Sun Microsystems is SUCKING. My dad, having worked at the company for 13 years, has had nothing to do for almost a year now. His project, Trusted Solaris, has been put on hold by the company, while in the meantime, governments from around the world want him to teach them how to use it. It’s rather screwed up. But my dad’s not depressed, he has more fun stuff to do with his time.

First of all is his new Palm Pilot. It’s a Samsung phone/palm hybrid, with a color screen and other assorted goodies. He’s bought lots of shareware and spiffied it up to perfection. So I can often see him playing a rousing game of Vexed, or Bejeweled, or whatnot.

But when he’s on his BIG computer, he’s having fun making a Java program for his friend, Dan Gilbert (whose site I helped design). Dan is the creator of Triazzle, a puzzle in the shape of a triangle, with triangular pieces. The object is to fit each piece, which has a half of an image on each side, in the correct spot at the correct angle. Maybe you should just visit his site to see exactly what I’m talking about. Well, Dan’s been content with having just one solution for each of his puzzles, but recently, he’s been wondering if there could be any puzzles with more than one. So he’s asked my dad to create a Java program that would run in an infinite loop until it found a combination of 16 pieces that could be rearranged in more than one way. So far, the computer’s been running for an hour, and it hasn’t found anything. Wish it luck.

Also, what I find the most touching: my dad’s in love. Even though he’s married and everything, he’s been recently reunited over email with his first girlfriend, who he hasn’t talked to for almost 30 years. I can barely imagine how amazing and emotional it is to talk to a loved one you haven’t heard from in 30 years. It’s rather touching. I heard that my dad cried, hee heh. But the best thing about it is that my stepmom doesn’t care at all… she also feels that it’s rather amazing… but the other woman’s husband probably would have a fit. Unhappy marriage on her part, I guess. That’s too bad.

Well, back to “studying Chemistry!”

w00t

There’s a big generic “w00t” for all of you out there who are visiting from RPG World. I hope you like my guest comic. I guess it’s made me a celebrity for a day. And it’s actually well drawn (for my standards, that is).

And yes, just to contrast with the completely reasonable clichés that Cherry is pointing out (a night town is from Seiken Densetsu 3 if nothing else), I’ve added in a stupid “chickens” punchline for everyone to laugh their asses off at. Yup.

Damn, I have nothing to say. I guess babysitting sleeping kids for hours really makes everything else seem much more exciting than it actually is.

Okay, assheads. Here’s the deal. We’re making this completely insane offer that you would be rather lazy (and STUPID) to pass up. You get a tape of James, Steve, Felix and me running around Marin talking French for $3 (this includes shipping which probably costs more than that)… and when you’re done with it, you get a free videocassette to record over. I mean HELL, taking off the shipping costs, this is a completely free tape, with completely free footage.

Now why the hell WOULDN’T you want this? Tell me, please. I mean it, give me a comment with a coherent explanation. And I’m telling you, the footage is FUNNY. James is even probably going to include some MvC2 footage.

So just click the little PayPal button and lay down 3 measly dollars along with your shipping address, and you’ll recieve the tape. Just consider it a must-have for the even casual JeffreyAtW reader.

Really different kind of day today.

The day started off with me titling the design of this site “OBEY,” because it is reminiscent of the Obey Giant. My drama/choir teacher wasn’t there, so for 2 periods we basically fooled around and accomplished nothing toward our final projects for the year. I got to play on my old crappy keyboard I brought to school. I actually turned in all of my required assignments for English, because my teacher wasn’t sadistic and didn’t add anything extra to the whiteboard at the last minute of class or anything.

Then came the big turning point – 4th period. The entire junior class was excused that period to go over to the gym, where we listened to all the candidates rant about how they’d accomplish EVERYTHING if they got elected to some stupid position like “Treasurer” or something. Now the problem with this was the choice for Senior Class President – only one candidate. It wasn’t always this way.

Now John Wang, my former Pokemon-type rival (while Ash and Gary fought with Pokemon, I fought John’s predisposition with Pokemon), had originally been running against Jena McRae, the other (winning) candidate. John is a genius when it comes to self-promotion. Garnering up the required self-esteem, John placed posters all around school, exclaiming “VOTE WANG,” followed by a random capture from a Pokemon episode, and some subtle sexual innuendo (like “A Bonafide Leader” or “Ask Not What Wang Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Wang”). It was genius, and soon he was hailed thoughout the school, and it was almost a unanimous decision throughout the school that he would win. This is where John decided to take it one step further.

His next round of posters boasted “got Wang?” followed by a picture of him with a milk moustache, holding a Pikachu doll, and molesting random ferns placed throughout his house. He, along with some of his friends, even started wearing the famous Penny Arcadegot wang?” t-shirt. Seriously.

Seeing this, Mrs. Bader, the advisor of the Associated Student Body (ASB), went nuts. She disqualified John from the elections, and ensured Jena the role of Senior Class President. Well, people complained, even taking things to the point of accusations of racism because of the simple appearance of John’s last name in his advertising. A petition even went around (started by James), but to no avail.

Come election day, today, not everyone knew about the circumstances behind John’s getting pulled from the election. So when Jena finished her “victory” speech, a few kids got riled up and shouted “what about Wang?” Bader was probably ready for this, as she pulled the students from the gym and prevented them from voting. The period after the results were called, people walked out of their classrooms to find posters pasted throughout all of the halls, reading “MRS. BADER IS A FASCIST.” Scary, huh?

Well, come to think of it, the kid who put those posters up sounds right. Mrs. Bader disqualified an appropriate candidate, she deprived students of free speech AND the right to vote, and she discarded all Scantron ballots with “Wang” written in the margins. What a sorry state of affairs. I hope the message got to Mrs. Bader before the posters were torn down.

Oh, and also, the vice president I had supported lost also. He lost fair and square, but his advertising campaign was also really good. I actually designed the posters and stickers for him. His name’s Max Kuperman, so I just stuck his face on a bunch of pictures of Superman, and created a fancy title saying “SUPERMAN KUPERMAN!”

…And then I babysat kids and played Chrono Trigger with them for the whole evening. Fun fun fun!

As you’ve probably noticed, I also changed the type on the top of the page (although it’s not really type anymore). I think it looks pretty cool – it’s the usual way I type, along with the same words loosely sketched behind them for a rugged look. Tell me what you think.

5/22/02 – Everyone says that this kid Mark Lee looks like Garfield. By the way, I wasn’t looking at any other drawings while making this, so it’s sloppier than it could be.

Note: the following opinions are largely uneducated and reminiscent of Jim’s rants from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Last week, America was sad. They were in a complete slump. So far, we haven’t been successful in finding Osama bin Laden (awww, I’m shedding a tear), and the war on terrorism has been yielding widely unsuccessful results. Boo, hoo, hoo.

This week, some MORON in the media feels like changing everyone’s attitude and puts the blame on Bush, saying that he could have EASILY prevented the crap that happened last September. He knew EVERYTHING. He knew the NAMES of the people who would sabotage the planes, he knew the EXACT time and place, and he even knew the number of people who would die. (By the way, I’m kidding for God’s sakes, but you get the idea.)

All of a sudden, the media is filled with anti-American slush about “WHAT BUSH KNEW.” And all of my “smarter” friends are starting to rant on about how the whole attack was a conspiracy and a coverup all of a sudden – like Bush wanted the attack to happen. This is completely STUPID. No elected official in a democratic government – let alone his administration which actually does all the thinking – would martyr 3,000 of their own people for no reason.

And so now we’re thrown into this state of mistrust of the government – a phase that should have passed by months and months ago. This is a perfect example on how the biased media can so easily move the public from patriotic to anarchist with just one week of press releases.

One last note – it comes as no surprise to me at ALL that U.S. intelligence knew about these attacks. Threats are made all the time – they have been made before and after 9/11. And even though it may seem surprising that the government didn’t take many precautions to prevent it, keep in mind that these threats were made BEFORE the actual attack happened, and the country went into such a state of high alert. Now of course AFTER the attack, a false threat towards bridges on the west coast is responded to by a flood of National Guard troops. Of COURSE there wasn’t much effort made to stop the attack.