Greedy clowns strike again

While doing some research on my new art course, I came across something that shocked me. It turns out that if you transfer from a level 3 FE course to a level 2 FE course, you can’t get ALG. Apparently the people who run ALG expect students like me to go from level 3 to a higher-level course in order to keep receiving funding.

pound coins

We happen to need that money, so this is basically a massive kick in the balls.

That, to me, is bullshit. Why should I have to suffer just because I made a different choice in life. I think the government simply hates young people and wants us to rot until we’re on our knees, ready to become their little puppets.

The idea is fairly simple. The government knows that going to university is expensive, but their lackeys in the media constantly try and make university or higher education look good, so that nearly every young person will try and get a place, presumably at their parents’ expense. On top of all that, it looks as though ALG is trying to coax 20-year-olds like me into progressing into a higher education by cutting off our funding if we don’t.

The people who run ALG honestly believe that I can’t be coaxed into not doing a lower-level art course by putting money on the line. They honestly believe that I’m a materialistic airhead who thinks money is more important than anything else. I’d rather feel the sting of poverty than betray my principles.

What really pisses me off is that I’ve found a path I’m really going to like, but the big bad government is trying to ruin it for me. If government really can see this site, then I have a message for them. They’re nothing more than a bunch of lying, greedy scumbags who thrive off the misfortune of others, and if any of them are thinking they’re going to get my vote, then they’re as blind as decaying bats.

I also have a message for all the young people. Don’t let anyone, not even the government, use money to coax you into doing something you don’t want to. You’re in charge of your own life, and you have the power to do what you think is best for you. All the universities want to do is persuade you to attend their courses so they can take money from you or your own parents.

Remember, this abhorrent greed will never stop unless we all tell the men behind the curtain that we won’t tolerate it anymore.

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Money, ego, and the rise and fall of Justin Bieber

justin bieber mugshot

This couldn’t happen to anyone more deserving.

Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of buzz around Justin Bieber’s criminal behaviour. About two days ago, he was arrested for drunk driving, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest. He later admitted to also smoking pot and taking medication. Of course, all this is a serious threat to his clean-cut, teen pop image.

This is obviously a sign of the end of Justin Bieber’s annoying career. All celebrations aside, I can’t help but think that this is a matter of Justin’s ego spiralling out of whack. Even after he’s been arrested, I can just tell that he thinks he can get away with it just because he’s a rich pop star with an army of fans.

Speaking of money, I’m a firm believer that Justin Bieber’s entire career was based around greed and exploitation. His career started when his mother uploaded a video of him singing a Ne-Yo song on YouTube, which was eventually spotted by a record producer interested in signing him to record label. Once the kid became a success, everyone started milking it. Even his parents didn’t seem to mind. In fact, I think they had the most to gain from it.

Naturally, he became a celebrity, but also a darling of the teen pop industry. However, the success went to his head, and now he thinks he’s better than everyone else. Perhaps he was tired of the fact that he making the same hollow pop music for so long that he acted out. Perhaps Justin wants his career to end, and he doesn’t really care how he does it.

Of course, his fans aren’t having any of this. Millions of fans are talking about it, and there’s even a campaign which aims to free Justin Bieber from jail. Personally, after all he did to music, I think he should stay in jail, because it would prove that being a pop star doesn’t give you special treatment from the long arm of the law, and in the long run, this is better for us than we realize because it could mean the end of horrible pop musicians being treated like gods.

Don’t fall for McDonald’s Monopoly Fortunes

monopoly fortunes

This post is about my 6-year long frustration with the whole “McDonald’s Monopoly” thing. Since I first heard of it in 2006, I’ve been buying into it because of its devilish promise of winning £500,000 (£50,000 as of 2012). Imagine what my 12-year-old mind must have been thinking.

kid with lots of money

I so wanted to have all that.

For six years, I would keep trying, and every year, I failed. How does the game work? You basically put stickers on a mock Monopoly board, and if you get all stickers of a certain type, you win a prize. The only time that has ever happened in my life, is when I won an iPod Shuffle from the game in 2011, and I never used it on the basis that it was made by Steve Jobs.

But, wait a minute. You’re paying for a meal hoping to win prizes (or money) with every purchase. Doesn’t this technically amount to gambling, especially because luck is involved? Before you say anything, luck is involved. There’s a random chance of you ever getting all stickers of a certain type. McDonald’s would often say that there’s a “1 in 3 chance” of winning. That’s bullcr*p. Since those are pretty big odds, then if there really was a 1/3 probability of winning, then I’d be rich by now. There is probably a different set of odds for winning the large sum of money.

In this regard, this makes it the exact same scam as the lottery. Every time the lottery comes up (which is every week), you go out and buy lottery tickets for a pound or two, hoping that your numbers show up on TV, and when your numbers don’t show up (and we all know they won’t), you’ve just gave the Lottery organization your hard-earned cash, which they then redistribute to the next jackpot, that may be won be someone else. In essence, that makes the lottery the ultimate Ponzi scheme, because it’s perfectly legal.

I’m probably not the only one who’s failed to win the huge sum of cash from the McDonald’s Monopoly game. I’m pretty sure that across the UK, there were others in my position, sharing the same frustration (though I’d really like to meet the kid who actually won the money).

Before you say anything, Monopoly Fortunes is the exact same game as “Best Chance Monopoly” (2009), “Monopoly Millions” (2012), and “Monopoly Triple Play” (2011). Therefore, Monopoly Fortunes has the exact same rules as the games before it, and that means the cash prize is still rigged. Yes, I’ve failed so many times that I actually suspect that the cash prize is rigged, so I only one person (10 as of 2012) in a year can have it, saving the McDonald’s corporation a lot of money.

And that is why I believe that you shouldn’t fall for the Monopoly Fortunes game, and it’s also why I will never participate in any similar contests. If you’re attempting to win the cash, don’t bother, because it’s all a big scam. I guess the moral of this story is that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

Why I don’t trust organised charity

charity hands

With Comic Relief in full swing, I think I should raise my opinion of charity. The major charity organisations always release the same ads every year? Years ago, I saw tons of charity ads airing on my favourite cartoon channels, and they tried everything to guilt trip me into giving me my hard-earned cash.

The funny thing is, I’ve been seeing these ads for about a decade, and those issues have still not been resolved. I must wonder, what’s going on?

Well, as it turns out, most charity money does not actually go to charity. When you give money to charity, only about 20% of it goes to the needy. The other 80% goes to paying the staff, equipment, and making the bosses rich. When they say you’re doing a good thing by giving to charity, it is, unfortunately, a tragic lie.

The worst part about it is that the near endless stream of ads launched by global aid charities basically amounts to poverty porn (when the media exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate sympathy and donations), and they aren’t even ashamed.

Being that this is the day of Comic Relief, I think I should shed some light on that. The TV and radio companies charge £1 for every text made to them, and 70% of that £1 goes to the Comic Relief organisation. The other 30% (30p from millions of people is a lot) might go the people who need it. Think about it, 70% of your £1 for Comic Relief is keeping the BBC rich.

Given all that, are Jesse J and 1Direction really doing the right thing? Maybe they’re paid to believe the delusion.

1 way or another

Just awful. Even worse considering the Comic Relief scam they’re serving.

When I was a kid, I kept seeing ads for NSPCC (and I still do today), and they guilt-tripped me into wanting to donate. On my mom’s advice, I didn’t anyway. When I learned of how much a scam the big charity organisations are, I now dislike NSPCC, because they manipulate people’s emotions, and hide behind a noble cause to make money, indifferent to all charity organisations.

But there’s something odd. If you’re a good old fashioned con artists, society frowns upon you, and paints you as an immoral monster. However, if you’re the head of a charity organisation, society loves you, and views you as a saint. The thing is, charity organisations and con artists are really no different, but if you don’t give to charity, and openly admit it, society either views you as an idiot, or a complete monster.

I guess society just picks its con artist. Sadly, the Christian-influenced notion of charity is ingrained into our culture, and in a capitalist society, that leads to tons of companies appearing ready and willing to exploit our sense of guilt in order to get filthy rich.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the idea of helping others, but donating to an organised charity will not help much. In fact, all the money accumulated by big organised charities could have been used to cure AIDS or cancer, end poverty, or develop a way to go faster than the speed of light.

Capitalism hasn’t failed, it’s just been mishandled

capitalism

Oh grow up will you?

Capitalism has had a pretty bad reputation lately, and this is mainly because of vocal opposition by liberal celebrities, and naive university students who know nothing about economics. I’ll admit, I don’t know even half about economics, but that doesn’t mean I have no opinion on capitalism.

Obviously the reasoning behind this vocal opposition has come along due to the financial crisis of 2008, with millions losing their jobs, and many companies going under. Many people now think that capitalism has failed, and that a new system should be put in place. In reality, they couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, capitalism is a concept, created by humans. Therefore, it can’t really be put at fault for when it goes wrong.

If you’re thinking: “Well if it’s not capitalism, then who’s fault is it?”

I think I can tell you with a straight face. It’s not capitalism, it’s the people who exploit the system in order to be super-rich. The bankers, the CEO’s, the war profiteers, they are all the one you should blame. Why? They took all the money. They wanted more money to buy things that they really didn’t need to begin with, and look what that’s done. If you want to blame anything, you should be blaming corporate greed.

I’m sure the government knew full well that if the plethora of corporate conglomerates were allowed to commit sleazy business practices, then the world would go to hell. I’m also sure that they also knew how to stop them, just that they have been bribed by various corporate lobbyists. What’s a lobbyist? It’s person hired by a corporation to persuade politicians to act in their whim. Corporations use lobbyists to alter the decisions of politicians against popular opinion, and thus corrupting our political system, and damaging the integrity of democracy itself.

What I’m trying to say is that capitalism hasn’t quite failed. Yes, capitalism is quite a bad system, but the question is, what could be better? Communism has seen Asian countries turn to dictatorships, socialism hasn’t been fully tested, and I don’t quite trust anrachism, nor the anarcho-syndicalist commune.

dennis

But then again, this guy isn’t really the best advocate.

Capitalism can be good, it just takes plenty of competent regulation, whether or not it comes from the government. Even if it did, then who cares? Government complacency allowed this mess to happen, and if they want us to have faith in them again, then maybe they should be teaching the big corporations who runs the country. That’ll make us happy.

All I’m saying is that if the big corporations are guilty of extremely immoral acts, then they should be punished. We need to bring an end to their reign of pillaging and exploitation. Regulating big business may not sound comfortable for those who really value freedom, but it’s either that, or we allow history to repeat itself again and again until civilization collapses under the weight of our unchecked mistakes, all while the greedy cash in their ill-gotten paychecks. I assume we don’t want that.

Scrooge: a portrait of human bitterness

A-christmas-carol1We all know Ebenezer Scrooge. He is the main character in A Christmas Carol, the selfish old man who never gave to the poor and was visited by three spirits who teach him the meaning of Christmas (albeit, from a 19th Century perspective), as well as the error of his ways. Though, I think it’s inappropriate to call him the villain of the story. He’s merely a flawed character.

However, most people think he is the villain because Hollywood has done a very good job of altering the complexity of his character. Putting him in family movies has done a number on his human character, rendering him into a mere sourpuss designed solely to be redeemed. I looked around to find the most dumbed down version of Scrooge’s character. Perhaps the worst I’ve found is A Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001). In there, they have Scrooge send someone to evict some tenants and send them to a debtor’s prison. This was solely written in to make Scrooge look unnecessary more evil. This is the result of somebody who has never read the book being allowed to take the creative helm of an adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

When looking into Scrooge’s character, it’s important to remember that the book was released in the year 1843, where the poor were extremely disadvantaged. In the book, Scrooge was a money lender, a person who offers small loans at high interest. He’s also shown to be an old man, living a cold, bitter, and lonely existence. Remember that days in England during the winters in that era were very cold and full of snow. You’d die if you stood out there for long enough in the night.

I also understand that Scrooge is quite hated within the setting of A Christmas Carol. Let me put it this way: if you were in the year 1843, doing a job that everyone hated you for, if your living alone in the cold of London, with only a fireplace to keep you company, how would you feel? Would it make you question your very existence? Because that’s the kind of world A Christmas Carol is set in, a world that’s as sour as the people it fosters.

That may actually make Scrooge sound more sympathisable. However, given the number of Hollywood depictions distorting and simplifying his character, the name “Scrooge” has come to be synonymous with anyone who is miserably selfish (though this term is usually used against the rich).

With that said, Merry Christmas everyone. I’ll be back on December 27th.

Why gambling is stupid

Let me clear one thing up: I have no problem with games of chance. Sometimes, they can be fun. Other times, they can annoying, and often can tear families apart.

mario party

Mario Party – the cause and enabler of some of the worst arguments in the modern family.

Otherwise, games of chance are pretty much harmless. But all that changes when money is put into it, then you have what’s known as gambling.

Gambling is when you bet money, or anything of value, on the uncertain result of an event. This usually happens in the form of specific games like bingo, poker, blackjack, roulette, etc.

There are always three factors in bets:

  1. How much money you bet
  2. The predictability of the event (for example; 30, red)
  3. The odds that the players agreed on

It can be said that most gambling is done for fun, but if you do gamble, you can’t have any moral high ground. If you win, you are taking someone’s money, and whatever possessions are also bet, which is morally wrong. If you lose, it will hurt you financially. The reason you can’t take the moral high ground whilst gambling, is because it will hurt you financially by consistently losing in the name of morality. But it’s still highly immoral to take what isn’t yours through gambling.

Many religions have a mixed opinion of gambling. However, many Christian denominations will condemn it entirely.

reverend

“Gambling, the eighth deadly sin”

What exactly do Christians have against gambling? According to them, the bible doesn’t exactly say anything on gambling, but it “warns readers of the dangers of loving money”. That’s fine, but let me rephrase it:  the bible says nothing about gambling. Keep in mind, this is the same book that says nothing on abortion, stem cell research, nor Harry Potter. I may agree that gambling is bad, but I think that the Church was just finding a new way to crack down on happiness so they can convert more of the downtrodden.

What do I think of gambling? What would you say to someone who bets his car, or his house, and anything precious to the family, potentially dragging his family to the poor house just to try and fail to win a game of chance? I would call that person pathetic scum, because he puts a game of luck ahead of his family, and letting it control his life.

I have a question that any kid can ask: if they know it’s so bad, why do they do it? This same question applies to smoking, and alcohol. In the case of gambling, I think people keep doing it because they’re stupid. I mean, what kind of person says that “you don’t stop when you’re on a hot streak”? That is one of the stupidest things to teach your children.

facepalm

It’s kids like him that parents never listen to.

Also, parents try to use everything to teach their kids that gambling is wrong, while covering up the fact that they may have gambled recklessly in the past (if they have). I honestly don’t see how something that can destroy lives is still legal? But I think I know how: corruption.

The US government literally bathes in funds from casinos (especially Indian casinos), leading to numerous reports of corruption. Currently, gambling is legal, and is the fastest growing industry in the world, and it’s always been glamorized by the media.

Gambling facilities like casinos are far too widespread, making it available to many people. The casinos, and the governments who swim in their money, try their hardest to depict them as harmless fun. The reality is that it’s more destructive than tobacco, alcohol, any illegal drug could be, and with the power of advertising, getting into an addiction is a hell of a lot easier, especially when you consider that they aren’t giving the same lectures they would normally do in the case of smoking and alcohol. And with no public safety videos discouraging gambling having been aired at any point in history, nobody has ever been scared away from gambling.

Imagine how much of an effect gambling addiction has on your career, your physical and mental health, or even your marriage? It’s a known fact that gambling addiction is a one-way ticket straight to the ghetto. Naturally, once the gambler realizes he’s poor, he’ll naturally want a way back up. So guess what, he goes straight to the nearest place where he can receive welfare from the government. Who has to foot the bill? Us, the non-gambling taxpayers!

casino

My God, it’s the birth of an evil empire.

Because gambling is legal, they have the power to exploit the poor and desperate. It’s a simple formula: a poor person needs money to get out his hellhole of a life, and gambling has the probability to give him enough money to make that possible, and all he has to do is buy casino tickets, and play the slots. Naturally, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll win at all, so when the poor gamble, they stay poor, whether they like it or not, and all because they odds are designed to keep the poor in the ghetto.

And all of this happens more and more because gambling is still legal.

Ladies and gentlemen, how long can we continue to defend the morally indefensible? Gambling is bad, and there’s evidence all around us that proves it. It costs governments millions, maybe billions of dollars, and it exploits the poor, which is already an unfathomably immoral thing to do. And as long as it’s legal, the cancerous grip of gambling will continue to destroy our society. Which means the solution is obvious: gambling should be illegal. If we care about our poor, we need to take down the gambling industry. The first step is criminalization. But people will still try to gamble even if it’s illegal, so criminalization is not the only way. The second step would be to reduce the number of what would become newly-criminalized gambling facilities. The third step would be tough enforcement of these laws.

My point is this: you can continue to defend gambling by abusing the “freedom” card all you want, but I’m going to stick to my gut, and my brain, and make what I firmly believe is a rational choice, because once you start gambling, it’s hard as hell to stop.