the soapbox -- it won't
die unless I do

1996, the Realization

    Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/benturne/public_html/soapbox/1996/index.php on line 59

    Deprecated: Function mysql_numrows() is deprecated in /home/benturne/public_html/soapbox/1996/index.php on line 72
  1. Jan. 1st, 1996 - "Bye, Calvin and Hobbes!"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    "We all opened our newspapers this morning, didn't we? Didn't we?? Okay, well I did and right off I knew it was missing something... The placement of the many cartoons was different -- Calvin and Hobbes were no longer there. Bill Watterson, the man behind what I think is the most hilarious cartoon in existence, retired on Sunday, causing millions to mourn across the globe."

  2. Jan. 7th, 1996 - "New Year's Reviews"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    Reviews of movies and software applications.

  3. Jan. 14th, 1996 - "Government Shutdown"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    "The citizens of the U.S. have had to put up with the bickering in the government about the national budget for the past two weeks. What has happened is that the government has shut down because no budget has been approved. National monuments and parks have been closed to tourists. What effects will all of this have?"

  4. Jan. 21st, 1996 - "Democratic Learning?"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 9]

    "Recently, people have been raising a stink about the said accelerated courses. Apparently, regular children aren't receiving the same advantages and are being held back from going into advanced courses (which usually have better equipment and better materials in general). The regular children aren't being treated equally, parents say, and think that schools are being segregated."

  5. Jan. 28th, 1996 - "Bandwidth in the Future"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    "Ever had to wait forever for a download with a 14.4k modem or less, or even a 28.8k modem? Doesn't it get extremely annoying very quickly? Well, an article in January's Wired says that problem will soon be over."

  6. Feb. 4th, 1996 - "Culture Differences in...Boardgames?"
    [RATING: 6 | VOTES: 17]

    "This week's commentary is based on an article I read a few weeks ago in the Dallas Morning News called "Marketing Board Games is No Trivial Pursuit," written by Michael Tate and Marin Croft. The article's topic is an odd one, but I think the points it brings up about cultural differences is extremely interesting. See what you think."

  7. Feb. 11th, 1996 - "Celebrating the Dallas Cowboys..."
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 6]

    "I'm from Dallas. Our football team, the Dallas Cowboys, just won the Superbowl, perhaps one of the most entertaining annual sports events in the world. So naturally, I, as a Dallas resident and Cowboys fan, should be able to show my appreciation by attending the Cowboys' parade downtown, right? That's not what Dallas officials think."

  8. Feb. 18th, 1996 - "The Latest Bill Proposition for Technology in Schools"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 13]

    "In Plano, there's some discussion going on about the latest bill propositions for the Plano school system which would give plenty of money to schools so that they could purchase better computers and better equipment in general. Sounds good, right? Even I think that at some point, students could be bringing laptops to school and recording whole lectures or hooking into a global university. But in the case of my school system, this bill proposition would be a complete waste of money."

  9. Feb. 25th, 1996 - "The Internet: Declining in Performance?"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 9]

    An amusing whine about how bad the Internet used to be.

  10. Mar. 3rd, 1996 - "Unsung Heroes on the Dallas Cowboys"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 16]

    "The two people I am mainly referring to are Bill Bates and Jay Novacek. Both Bates and Novacek have been instrumental in the Cowboys' success, simply because they get the job done."

  11. Mar. 10th, 1996 - "New Features for the World Wide Web"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 13]

    The amazing Netscape 2.0's new features!!!

  12. Mar. 17th, 1996 - "A Quick Look at Current Events"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 13]

    Soundbites on the current events of the day. Man, I was young then. =P And it showed!

  13. Mar. 24th, 1996 - "Truthful Charity"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    "High school students who seek to get into good colleges are always worrying about grades, GPA, attendance, and what school clubs they're in. But most students aren't in school clubs these days because they want to better their organizations..."

  14. Mar. 31st, 1996 - "Getting Rid of the Robin Hood Image?!"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 9]

    "I stumbled across an article in March 30's Dallas Morning News which was called "No merry men here: business leaders want to shed Robin Hood image.""

  15. Apr. 7th, 1996 - "Lack of Patriotism Leads to Defeat"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    But this weekend, when the States played the Czech Republic, none of the above players (the best in the world) were there. Todd Martin, Patrick Galbreath, Malivai Washington, and the rest of the team had to step up and fill the missing slots. Where were our top players? Are they too good to play for their own country?

  16. Apr. 14th, 1996 - "Cynicism"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    I've already been through my mandatory teenage years of cynicism, and when I use it now, I use it in humor. But some folks live by the misery of cynicism. To them, it's "cool", a little like atheism.

  17. Apr. 21st, 1996 - "Something's Wrong When Our Smartest People..."
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 11]

    No longer do the smartest people in each generation wish to participate in clubs and organizations. They realize that they're better off staying out, for fear of being attacked, wasting time, or losing ground. The smartest people stay out of politics, understanding that they would only lower themselves to the competitors' levels by getting involved. Smart people know how to manage their time, and they know that joining a club doesn't make one powerful.

  18. Apr. 28th, 1996 - "Media Frenzy"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 31]

    Whether it is a war, a massacre, or a heroic event, the media is there faster than you can say, "Damn, the CNN truck's here." In their effort to cover the event, the media stops at nothing to get the dirt, even if it means harassing the victims involved. In Dunblane, Scotland, news teams badgered the town's citizens, turning a small town into an encampment for reporters. These poor people, in a time of grief, had to deal with people trying to make a buck. The same happened in the Unabomber's brother's hometown. Reporters walked up and down the street, knocking on doors, trying to get interviews. Like a neighbor living three houses away has any story to tell.

  19. May. 5th, 1996 - "Sierra Online's 'The Realm'"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    "The Realm started early in the year and I started playing about two or so months ago. Whenever it was, I was one of the first hundred to try it out. The place had a lot of potential and it seemed as if players from The Sierra Network/ImagiNation Network finally had a great place to meet again. But oh hoh, 'twas not to be!"

  20. May. 12th, 1996 - "Happy Mother's Day"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    My mom has put up with me for eighteen years now. She must constantly put up with my clothing, sports, and entertainment expenses. She also has to endure my sarcasm, which gets on everyone's nerves eventually. Sometimes she comes home and the dishwasher hasn't been emptied. She has to stop herself from buying a shotgun then.

  21. May. 19th, 1996 - "The Almighty Book vs. the Newcomer Technology"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 10]

    My family had an argument about this one a few weeks ago. The dispute was if books could ever be replaced by electronic books of some sort. My mom and I said no, while my dad said yes. Keep in mind that my dad knows very little about computers.

  22. May. 26th, 1996 - "Graduation"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    I've finally reached high school graduation. Twelve years of pain, misery, and punishment (oh, and some education) in school, but it's finally over. So why do I feel so ambivalent about it?

  23. Jun. 2nd, 1996 - "Michael Jordan"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    Michael Jordan has single-handedly brought the Bulls back from below-average to the best team in basketball. Sure, he has people like Kukoc and Pippen, but look how they did without Jordan. Jordan's come through when the other players haven't, and has scored big when they HAVE.

  24. Jun. 9th, 1996 - "Individuality: Where is it on the Web?"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    The Web was getting pretty repetitive in 1996, before the money and attention flooded in. It was a bunch of web sites that all looked the same.

  25. Jun. 16th, 1996 - "What I've Gotten from Latin IV"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    This was the final paper I wrote in high school. The class was Latin IV and I was supposed to determine if I was more like Catullus or Horace, two of the more well-known poets in Rome.

  26. Jun. 23rd, 1996 - "Suthun Relijun"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    "What is up with the South these days? The Southern Baptists are crying about Disney's giving health care to homosexuals (out of charity!), Ku Klux Klan members are burning predominantly black churches, and the Black Panthers have threatened the Dallas City Council board into cancelling a meeting!

  27. Jun. 30th, 1996 - "evolution."
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 13]

    "Lately I've been thinking, thinking about height. Man's average height has grown a few inches since the last couple centuries. This is because mainly of improved diets which have maximized our potential for growth. Along with evolution, environmental conditions, and mutation, diet has given us, on the average, taller humans."

  28. Jul. 7th, 1996 - "Why Text is Better Than Graphics"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 13]

    I've gone from a graphical interface on INN to MUDs to newer online games like The Realm to Ultima Online. Sure, INN still is the best online network (it had a dialup network, so that helped too), but MUDs beat them all. Why?

  29. Jul. 14th, 1996 - "The Mercenaries"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 16]

    Now people are logging into the Internet at a mindboggling pace. These are people who may not be completely interested, and who may not see the tremendous potential of the Web. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not xenophobic and I'm not sharing the elitist "we were here first" viewpoints. But there are people who are only here because they're victims of hype.

  30. Jul. 21st, 1996 - "Olympicture-Perfect"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 16]

    So after all this, I don't really see how one can justify claims of the Olympics being fake or boring. Remember, it isn't just about sports and business, it's about mankind as well. This stuff goes much further than money and recognition. But why do I expect the media or uninformed individuals to understand this?

  31. Jul. 28th, 1996 - "I Don't Need Your Love"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    You'll finish reading this and think I'm one selfish S.O.B. You're right. I don't like spending a lot of time with other people. I desire time by myself. Living with a roommate next year is going to be like putting Dr. Frankenstein and his monster in the same hall closet. I've tried, but I dislike being there for someone.

  32. Aug. 4th, 1996 - "fEaR"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 11]

    Our lives are ruled by fear. So much, in fact, that it could be argued rather successfully that all the qualities in a person we admire are merely examples of how much he lets fear get to him.

  33. Aug. 11th, 1996 - "Anonymity"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    Some people are infatuated with becoming popular. Even though there are times I'd like to be a famous author or have Cool Site awards slapped all over my page, I prefer to embrace obscurity.

  34. Aug. 18th, 1996 - "Lower-Mid Life Crisis"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    I'm starting college at UT Austin next week. No longer will I be one of those intelligent teenage kids who has an above-average 'Net presence. I'll be a college kid, I'll be nothing. No longer will I get remarks like "And I always thought you were twenty-five!" No longer will I get cheap compliments just because I'm young and know what I'm doing. Vita, es foeda.

  35. Aug. 25th, 1996 - "Stop Killing the Dang Visionaries"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 8]

    King Arthur got shafted big time. It wasn't bad enough that he had to hide his son, Mordred, in order to keep his reputation clean. No, his most glorious knight, Lancelot, has to go copulating with his wife. Because of this, Arthur loses his invincibility and Mordred attacks Camelot, reducing everything to a chaotic rubble. Love reeks, eh?

  36. Sep. 1st, 1996 - "Freshman Discoveries"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 11]

    So here I am, beginning to settle into my new home in Austin, Texas, after living in Dallas for more than ten years. That's more than half of my life! And now, just like that, I'm attending the University of Texas at Austin. I've yet to figure everything out, of course, as it's all so different than what I'm used to.

  37. Sep. 8th, 1996 - "Melancholera"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    Ah, college life once again. Plenty of women around. But there's one, just one, that I'm interested in. And of course, she's probably taken already. So I'm feeling a tad bit melancholic and feel it's appropriate to post this poem which I wrote last year.

  38. Sep. 15th, 1996 - "Pick Up a Pen and You're a Writer..."
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    And for awhile, I never had to look at my writing and see how good it was. I guess my work is not really bad -- it's just very shallow, only scratching the surface of whatever issue I try to face. Now I'm viewing my writing and seeing it up close and personal. Man is it horrible.

  39. Sep. 22nd, 1996 - "Begone!"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 13]

    Friends are there for each other. Friends talk to each other. Friends, in short, give more than they take. You're like a child at Christmas. You just want, want, want but never give anything.

  40. Sep. 29th, 1996 - "Vulnerability"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 16]

    I figured it out. I don't like being put in vulnerable situations. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid them. Sometimes I'm too much of a strategist for my own good, concocting the equivalent of Alexander's battle plans for use in a skirmish in Iraq. But when I engage in the war we call courtship, I am immediately put in a losing situation. The woman has the man at her mercy and there's no way he can get out.

  41. Oct. 6th, 1996 - "Dear Ben,"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    Dear Ben, This is Ben. Yeah, you know, yourself. What's new? Still procrastinating instead of studying the fascinating intricacies of prokaryote development for your biology class?

  42. Oct. 13th, 1996 - "No More Oppression!"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 11]

    Yes, too long has Time brought us down. Time stops us from having fun going to see movies or read books, he stops us from getting our studies done, he makes us miss important appointments with people, and he causes our deaths. This barbaric tyranny has gone unnoticed for too long but we will take it no longer!

  43. Oct. 20th, 1996 - "Keeping My Distance"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 10]

    Nothing on me beeps. I have no tapes except those which go in my stereo. I share the voice phone line with my roommate. I never had the inclination to get a cellular or car phone.

  44. Oct. 27th, 1996 - "Backlash!"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    Anyway, the Netizens (of which I am a member) are factioning themselves off more and more from the rest of the 'Net population. On many of the newsgroups and forums I peruse, the long-time 'Net users are distancing themselves from the over-hyped and newbie-infested areas.

  45. Nov. 3rd, 1996 - "Gener(e)alizing"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    I don't really see what the big deal about generalizing is. Thank God it's finally become politically correct to be politically incorrect (most of the political correctness was just hype from the media -- I never really saw that much political correctness anywhere). Generalizing has been given a bad rap even though it's so intensely useful and, oftentimes, rather accurate.

  46. Nov. 10th, 1996 - "Belief, O Cursed Blessing!"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 14]

    I don't fit in anywhere. I don't hobnob with the elite. I don't hang around the 'in' crowds. I don't fuck around. I don't wear these clothes, listen to this music, or comb my hair the way I do because I'm trying to fit in anywhere. Why is that so hard to understand?

  47. Nov. 17th, 1996 - "Oh go away."
    [RATING: 8 | VOTES: 13]

    If I had it my way, I'd never have to see any people unless I was friends or family with them. I wouldn't have to deal with peoples' stupidities, endless comments, superfluous questions, or bad personal hygiene.

  48. Nov. 24th, 1996 - "The Funniest Joke Ever Written"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 12]

    Of course, that's thinking into the future. I'm interested in the now, right now. I'm interested in words that kill. Yes, that's right. "Lethal text," as the woman who introduced me to the idea called it. The first thing one thinks of is that Monty Python skit where a man writes the funniest joke ever, and he drops dead after laughing so hard reading it. The police come after they find out he's dead, they read the joke and they die too. The joke makes its way onto TV, where the newscaster dies, and so on.

  49. Dec. 1st, 1996 - "Examining Abstractness While Sipping Iced Tea in a Junk Floating Over the Edge of the World"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 11]

    The Internet has developed just like a frontier so far, if you think about it. This makes the future of the Internet quite predictable, as far as generalizations go. There's already been the great Gold Rush as people heard of the opportunities on the 'Net. A lot of people came and they're getting used to living here (an alternate reality?).

  50. Dec. 8th, 1996 - "Don't You Get It Yet?"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 15]

    I live a life of being misunderstood. I believe I've hinted at this in the past -- I usually settle on the fact that I'm more comfortable being uncomfortable to everyone else. But now? The misunderstandings are getting a little out of control.

  51. Dec. 15th, 1996 - "Your Past Doesn't Leave You"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 11]

    It seems like most everyone I meet has a past. No, not a past, a past, the kind of past that haunts them, that scares them, that changes the way they live. Some have had bad relationships, family instability, histories of drug abuse, and so on. And it's depressing to see, time and time again, because the people I meet usually don't deserve any of it.

  52. Dec. 22nd, 1996 - "Guess We'd Better Get a Tree"
    [RATING: 0 | VOTES: 8]

    Doing all the things at Christmas that I used to do when I was young seems silly now. Putting ornaments on the tree just isn't as fun as it used to be.

  53. Dec. 29th, 1996 - "Two Paths? I Went Through the Bushes Instead"
    [RATING: 4 | VOTES: 16]

    I am alienated from my generation. Not completely, mind you, but I'm worried that I'll lose all perspective of people my age completely. People my age go to big college parties on the weekends, have flings with those of the opposite sex, go paintballing or go to the mall or go to concerts. They just have fun. I do none of those things (although flings and paintball would be entertaining, but not necessarily at the same time at the same place ;)).  click here to start at the beginning
RECENT NEWS (MORE):  Subscribe to my RSS feed! about moods | mood music
12/03/08 MOOD:  (mood:  yellow)