June 27, 2005

Revenge, Right and Wrong

Category: Social — Cranky @

Life is long, and people vary. Eventually, somebody is going to do somebody wrong. When it happens to you – and it will – you will have a decision to make. Is the perceived wrong small enough to ignore? If so, then ignore it. If you truly do not care, that is the healthiest response.

But if it isn’t, what will you do? A wrong that truly stings is deserving of a response.

You can ask others what they think, but you’re bound to hear that most ridiculous of responses, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

People who spit out that trite little gem are really annoying. Since when did right and wrong come into the picture? Why view everything as some big tapestry of absolutes? Not everything has to do with morality.

Besides, we’re only human. Over the course of our lives we are bound to make choices that do not come from the most lighthearted of places. Even really good people are going to make at least one really dark choice before they die.

Don’t try to rationalize it… simply accept that not every act you make stems from a decent place in your heart. If you find yourself having done something really nasty, don’t call it a “mistake”. There were probably no mistakes involved – just deliberate actions. Bad decisions… but not mistakes. Just come clean with your bad self, and move on.

Revenge doesn’t have to be about right and wrong. Tying morality judgments to it robs it of the fun.

Some people say revenge is never sweet. Well, it could be, if the attitude behind it is focused enough. Relish in the act. There will probably be repercussions, so take what you can. Let go of the inner restrictions that might limit your enjoyment, and for that brief period of time revel in the muck.


June 17, 2005

65% Of Retail Is Fair For Used Consumer Goods

Category: Miscellany — Cranky @

Ebay has become a cesspool of stupidity. What is it about the place that convinces people to pay near-retail price for used stuff?

I watched the bidding on a used Canon digital camera today. Street price, new, $899US. Final bid? $865US. Plus shipping.

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Seriously, if you want to get ripped off that bad, there are lots of ways to do it in person.

For cameras, DVD players, video games, computer parts, televisions, audio components, and anything else that isn’t an automobile, there is a magic number that is fair to both buyer and seller.

65% of retail.

Provided the item is complete, and in at least good condition, with only cosmetic flaws, 65% is low enough to entice the buyer, and high enough that the seller need not feel lowballed.

I don’t give a damn if you think your 5 month old iPod is worth 90% of its original value. It’s not. If the box is opened, it’s used. And as such, it is not worth new price. Especially if you can’t provide a receipt that confirms an existing warranty.

If your item is discontinued and it’s replacement from the manufacturer is roughly equivalent, 65% of the price of the new one is still fair.

And if it’s specifications no longer meet the bottom of the line, find a rough equivalent from another manufacturer based on specifications, and try 65% of that.

Finally, people who offer 40% of retail or lower for current gear in good shape should all just go straight to hell. Screw the lot of you.

Let’s keep the market fair. Lowballers and morons who’ll pay anything should step off.


June 14, 2005

The Media IS Distracting You

Category: Political — Cranky @

I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist. The U.S. government can’t even keep a surreptitious cigar incident out of the spotlight – why should I believe they can pull off massive cover-ups?

Then along came the Terry Schaivo case. An utterly normal woman with no claim to fame starved herself into vegetable-hood, and languished for years. The spouse and the family fight out the right to pull the plug.

Why the hell is this news? Why did we need to hear about every bloody detail? A Terry Schaivo deathwatch… what in blazes is going on?

There was not one single good reason for that case to receive the attention it did. There are people who die every day who are far more worthy of being remembered than Terry ever was. A family fighting over a termination decision is NOT a unique situation. It happens all the time.

I cannot help but reach the conclusion that the media was distracting us. A little sleight of hand. “Don’t look towards Iraq, or at issues in North America – they don’t matter! Instead, concentrate on this.”

To the citizens of the United States of America, collectively: “Don’t let the media distract you from the horrendous load of dog crap your government is serving up to the world. Pay attention, and take ownership of the problem.”