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WinterSoldier

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Everything posted by WinterSoldier

  1. Those look really good! Makes me wonder what might have been if that line had lasted longer. I like the trooper especially - so fresh and new, and yet so nostalgic.
  2. That kinda sounds like Monster Force. It was terribly short-lived, but it's still the first thing that comes to mind when I think of monster themed shows from the 90's.
  3. I always wondered about that, I guess Target has higher standards. It's getting pretty ridiculous. That reminds me of an article I saw last year: No Jobless Applicants I think eventually something's going to give. The more they raise the bar, the more people are going to reach for the new standard. It creates a perpetual cycle. I had to laugh when I read that particular article. I can't help but wonder why anybody would want to hire somebody knowing they spend their days surfing the want ads looking to jump ship at the fist hint of a better deal. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it just seems odd on the employer's end. I guess that's the main thing, the night shift is only cool as long as you're not missing out on something else in the process. And if you get to deal with fewer people at night too, otherwise having to deal with people like you would during the day just ruins the whole point. I guess I stand corrected. Much respect to the night shifters here.
  4. I know a guy who once got a job as a store manager at Walmart with a BS in Marine Biology. I thought that was pretty awesome. It makes me wonder how important picking a major really is though. It seems like all kinds of selection processes are getting more arbitrary these days. Back in my parent's day you could still get by with an associate's degree, which is what my mom got, but my old man went as far as a bachelor's. Now it seems like you need at least a master's degree to make decent money. I can't help but wonder if in twenty years they'll invent a whole new degree once having a doctorate becomes the new standard for success. Maybe at that point the guy serving you at the local McDonald's will have a master's degree in anthropology. He wrote his thesis on Ronald McDonald as a postmodern cultural icon. Assuming one has the resources, I sometimes wonder if maybe it might be advantageous to get a bachelor's in whatever interests the individual most and then get a master's in something more practical. It might add a bit of balance at least, unless you're looking to get into a really specific career field. And apparently I'm the only one who loves working overnight shifts
  5. Health issues, especially weight gain, are a lot more complicated than the media might suggest. Some people gain weight and some people don't gain weight for a lot of reasons that might not always be related to diet. Recently prenatal/neonatal factors like birth weight of the child and age/weight of the mother during pregnancy are receiving more scrutiny for their relationship to lifelong health problems like diabetes and heart disease which are also linked to weight gain, or a lack thereof. It could be that she just has good genetics, it could be that other factors are at play too. If her mother was under the age of 25 when she was born and she was around seven pounds at birth, or even eight pounds, that could tip the scales a little and result in her being biologically predisposed to better health. There are a lot more factors involved that we really don't know enough about at this point. Most of what you hear is just educated guesses based on statistical analyses of various longitudinal studies which may or may not be legitimately indicative of anything. If you've got a decent genetic structure and you stay active enough it can take quite a while for dietary effects to catch up to you. It might not catch up until your 30's, or maybe your 50's, or maybe even not at all. Off the top of my head I know that fat intake for most children should be about 30% of their daily caloric intake to facilitate adequate physiological development. Hell, we know smoking's not that good for you, but we also know George Burns smoked cigars for many years and still lived to be 100. Personally, I don't eat a perfect diet but I'm still in decent shape. Supposedly I can burn about 2,900 calories just by sitting still. I have relatives that eat much better diets partly due to food allergies and they have a lot more health problems than I do. It's just a really complicated issue. As for the girl in question specifically, her type of condition is currently being explored as a distinct psychological phenomenon. I know Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh have somewhat recently explored this issue: Picky Eating At this point, assuming the girl has such a condition, there's probably not too much the parents could have done even if they understood what was going on. I don't even know if there are any effective cognitive-behavioral therapies available for this yet. The obvious social implications, like negative reactions from others, have brought more attention. Until recently these types of behaviors were simply considered to be sub-clinical variations of conventional eating disorders that didn't warrant much concern unless there were weight problems involved (under or over).
  6. I think maybe it's just a form of compartmentalization that guys are prone to. I think that's why Batman is so popular, honestly. That whole Dark Knight/Bruce Wayne duality is basically the quintessential man. I remember being so full of hope and confidence as a kid. The outside world was like a playground offering all kinds of new experiences. When I got older, around the time I was in middle school, I used to play football after school with a bunch of guys from my neighborhood. There was a public park on the next street over that had a path leading off of it to a clearing in the woods that served as an all-purpose sports field. They kept the grass cared for and there was a little shelter off to the side with a couple of picnic tables under it. It was kind of private because most people were at the main playground with their kids. We had a blast playing there until the day when some guy was killed in the parking lot during a robbery attempt. After that we started playing at our old elementary school a little farther down the street in the opposite direction. The grassy field there was in plain view of all the houses that surrounded it and there was always bound to be somebody's parents around. I think facing the reality of the world we live in is tough to balance with the need to be the children we once were, and the adults they were supposed to grow up to be. It's like one day you wake up to see a stranger in the mirror you never would have recognized as a child, and the ideas we embrace through our hobby are the faint echoes of what we've lost, or at least what we have to hide from time to time. It's one of the last vestiges of innocence we have left to hold on to. I stopped collecting for a little while when I first enlisted. It was a bit of a tumultuous transitional period and I wanted to keep my life as simple and as minimal as possible for the time being. Eventually I started again though, I was so frustrated with the environment that it helped to have Spawn figures around as a reflection of the anger I felt, and GI Joes to remind me that perseverance is perhaps the soldier's greatest virtue. Of course, seeing so many people come and go because they couldn't hack the lifestyle, especially during my first two years, was pretty motivating too. I think having little plastic representations staring back at you just makes it more real somehow. It's hard to find untroubled quiet time, though I found it became a little easier after I separated from the military. I hope you'll be able to find the same at some point.
  7. Thanks man. I just can't help but pick this stuff apart in my head. I've always been fascinated by human behavior and there's so much of it that's so hard to explain at times. I think at the center of it all we're all just wrestling with our existential issues in our own way. It's always nice to know that other people think about the same things the same way.
  8. I think I'll continue collecting until something else comes along that fulfills the same function. Which may or may not ever happen. Whenever this issue comes up I always think of a book I read called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". The author made the argument that as we grow older we're increasingly indoctrinated into a world that's largely focused on left-brained function. A practical example she used was asking a child if they can sing, or draw, or dance. A lot of children will say "yes" with little hesitation because to them the world is still a large and new place. They simply haven't learned to define things as narrowly as an adult. Adults, by contrast, will say "no" to the questions because as we grow older we're taught to define ourselves and our world in terms that are much narrower and much more concrete. While this phenomenon does have certain pragmatic virtues, it's also very stifling. For me, the real value of the things we all love isn't monetary, it's the chance to feel the same sort of right-brained sense of optimism and self-possession that I felt as a child before I had to adapt to a very cold and impersonal world. We live in a time that's increasingly more focused on labels and numbers than anything else. I've always loved Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" because it illustrates a very similar truth. Life isn't defined solely by simplistic quantitative measures that appeal to our linear reasoning, it's also defined by the qualitative aspects that appeal to our abstract reasoning. The things I collect don't just represent fictional characters, they also represent ideas and ideals, and memories of how I used to view and experience the world. I could probably go on for days about the benefits of stimulating the right side of the brain. When I was going through public school I had a few teachers along the way who pointed out that participation in the arts usually had a generalized affect on a student's grades across the board. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that there's a link between the decline of the action figure market in favor of video games, and the current decline in scores on achievement tests nationwide. I think there's an argument to be made for the benefits of toys which encourage abstract reasoning in terms of the positive impact on cognitive development. I guess these things just provide a type of cognitive stimulation in a way that few other things do.
  9. Alderaan shoots first! And I wouldn't be surprised to see ewoks suddenly popping up in the background shots on Tatooine and Cloud City in the first two movies a la Boba Fett.
  10. Thanks Devil Bat. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I think that's one of the things about adulthood, or even childhood for that matter, that nobody can really prepare you for. We think of growing up as this grand progression toward something better and we never realize how much we lose along the journey until we stop and look back much later. I've been lucky enough not to lose any immediate members of my family yet, but I lost a close friend suddenly in the middle of my freshman year of high school and I've experienced several since then including close friends, cousins, and aunts. I think it's something that really changes you and defines the way you experience life after. In developmental psychology you often hear about a lot of the big names like Freud and Erickson who had their own theories, but my favorite is a lesser-known psychologist from Poland named Kazimierz Dabrowski. He created a theory of human development he called "positive disintegration". You can read a little more about it here. The basic idea is that life is a series of relationships between ourselves and other entities that are constantly being created and destroyed, and in the process we have the potential for greater development and personal awareness. What you describe as sentimentality, Dabrowski called "overexcitability". Some people connect more deeply to things in life than others and when those connections are broken it can affect them more, pushing them to greater levels of personal development in the process. People with a greater capacity for overexcitability are also more prone to closely examine their relationships. Supposedly, the key to it all is understanding what's happening so you don't feel like you're losing your mind so much. I think as we grow older it just feels like the world is taking pieces of ourselves along the way. Sometimes I feel like there's somehow less inside of me than I started with, and I find it helps to focus on what is still there that's worth preserving. Comic books and toys are a part of that. I just finished a class on diagnosing and treating childhood disorders and one of the therapies we discussed involved creating stories that cast the child as a superhero who uses their powers to confront whatever fears they're struggling with. I think we start getting beaten down when we lose that capacity as adults. As children we can look at the world and see endless possibilities, but as adults sometimes we only see our own limitations. I think it's all about maintaining a constant connection to our own innate potential.
  11. An old friend and I used to be pretty heavy recreational drinkers. We were talking about it at work one day years ago and he pointed out that the reason we liked drinking so much is because you always know what you're going to get out of it. You always know the price you have to pay to get what you want, and you always know the option is there. Even though I don't drink much these days, I think his sentiment is still true about any hobby. If you watch sports you know that no matter how badly your team does they'll always be back next season as long as you are, if you hunt you know that if you take care of your gun it'll be there when you need it most, and for those of us that collect action figures we know that anything we buy will always be around as long as we keep it around. That's always been a big draw for me. In certain professional fields like clinical psychology there's often a significant emphasis placed on professional ethics because clinicians often provide for their patients a certain kind of consistency in their lives that is otherwise missing and that can create a strong sense of attachment that can be easily abused. I think people are naturally inclined to form the same kind of relationships with their hobbies and that's why we question our commitment from time to time, and perhaps when it comes to companies like Mattel, why some get so angry when they feel that relationship is threatened in some way. I think in these modern times where divorce rates are so high and layoffs so common it's only natural to seek solace in something more stable, while at the same time questioning how far that should go. I think everybody needs to step back and take stock of their relationships on occasion, no matter how trivial some of them may be. I'm the same way man. For me, sometimes if I find something I've been obsessing about for a good price and in good quantity I have a tendency to buy multiples. I've got about a half dozen each of MOTU/DC two pack Skeletor, wave 3 POC Duke, and JLU Captain Atom simply because they're favorite figures of favorite characters that I found on sale or on clearance for a good price. In the back of my head I feel like the more copies I have of my favorite figures, the greater the odds that I'll still have a couple of copies of that figure a few decades down the road. Usually it's only when I find extra copies of figures stashed away somewhere that I forgot I even had that I start debating about the wastefulness of my habit, but since I only cherry pick from most lines I collect and I only buy multiples when they're relatively cheap it usually doesn't affect my habits any. I think any hobby tends to draw out people's eccentricities though.
  12. Yep, it's Arashikage and it's real. Well, either that or he just keeps reapplying it, but I'm guessing it's real. I had forgotten he even had it until I saw that pic. And to add my two cents, I'm not worried about GI Joe just yet. I've been seeing some of the newer stuff pop up occasionally over the last couple of months. I could be wrong, but I think Hasbro is afraid of having anything still coming down the pipeline when the next movie starts gearing up, I saw a lot of GI Joe stuff popping up in closeout stores last year and this year, and I can't help but wonder if it had something to do with offloading extra product they couldn't get out fast enough before the last movie hit.
  13. This was what I was sort of getting at with "everyone needs role models" and "promoting diversity". Characters like Wolverine and the Punisher are trained soldiers so they live like soldiers. I would say off the top of my head that most of the superheroes are civilians who were created by civilian comic book writers and therefore have strong civilian attitudes and beliefs. I'm not trying to knock that in any way. I think it's important to have characters like Superman and Spider-Man who embody a sense of innocent idealism that often appeals to certain target demographics like children. But I also think it's important to have a little variety. I would like to think there's room for everybody to have a hero who reflects their attitudes and beliefs. The strong military themes embodied by characters like Wolverine and Punisher are refreshing for those of us who have some sort of military affiliation that makes more civilian-themed characters less relatable and therefore less accessible in some ways. At the moment I'm taking college classes at the local military base and it's a comforting feeling when I show up in my Wolverine t-shirt and find a couple of other guys wearing Punisher and Captain America t-shirts. It's a little heartbreaking to hear personal stories from some of them explaining that they have to sleep in separate rooms from their wives because after doing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan they still wake up in combat mode sometimes. Being a part of that world in some way can make it difficult for some to relate as strongly to fictional characters who haven't been a part of that world in any way. Ironically enough, a big part of the reason those guys are taking classes on base is because there is a pretty noticeable difference in the environment when you're surrounded by military versus civilians. Most of us take classes for two years at the local community college and then transfer to the university on base to save money. It's always funny when somebody brings it up because everybody hates the experience. It's not just a military thing either, most of the professors are there because they prefer dealing with active duty and veteran military members over civilians. It's just a big culture clash is all. A bunch of us toured a local mental health center as part of a school activity a while back and the head counselor who gave us the tour and briefed us on what it's like to work there put a pretty fine point on it. He told us that one of the biggest problems they have with new workers is that when they see one of the children who are patients there sitting alone and looking sad their first impulse is to hug them in an attempt to provide comfort. The problem is that most of the kids there have been physically or sexually abused in some way so being touched by a stranger, or any adult, can be a very difficult ordeal for them. He summed it up by saying that you have to ask yourself: "Am I doing this to make them feel good, or am I doing this to make me feel good". Most people aren't part of specialized microcosms like the military or mental health professions where these particular types of considerations are most often made so their assessments are easier and simpler like "hugging feels good, therefore hugging is good" or "killing feels bad, therefore killing is bad". For people who are a part of those worlds fictional characters who embrace the same simple judgments can be inherently alienating by their nature. Personally, I suspect that if not for the strong civilian bias in most levels of society we wouldn't call characters like Wolverine and Punisher "antiheroes" instead of more neutral terms like "military-themed heroes". I'm not saying there's anything wrong with civilian sensibilities, I'm just saying that those of us who aren't or haven't always been civilians like to be included too.
  14. It seems like the tilting of the "o" is significant, I'm thinking maybe we're supposed to see the "o in dom" and think of the reversal: "domino". But that's just my guess.
  15. I think this is usually the point where Arrow would make some clever quip about taking up real estate in people's heads rent-free He definitely has a very blunt manner to his communications, but despite any difference of opinions between us I've never felt like he intended anything to be taken personally and I respect the guy for that much at least. I've noticed that he does seem to like having the last word, but I see it as showing deference to his seniority. But that's just my perspective.
  16. Yep, it's from "A Date With The Booty Warrior" from season 3. Apparently the "booty warrior" is based on an actual guy from a special on msnbc or something. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9WClv4U5B8
  17. I totally agree. Like probably most guys who were kids in the 90's, I was a big X-Men fan. Wolverine was my favorite and I'm sure it owed partly to the fact that he was a short meaty guy with dark hair and a square jaw. I also liked that in his early years he was often portrayed as a beaten down world-weary alcoholic who managed to struggle onward and came through for his friends when it counted. Definitely my kind of guy I also liked how diverse the team usually was at that point as well. I've been quite fond of Bishop since I was about twelve or so. The fact that he was voiced on the old cartoon by the same guy that played Charlie on Highlander just makes him that much cooler. I like to think that a natural function of diversity is to break down barriers and bridge the gaps that can separate people of different cultures. That should just be a matter of rational application, I think, rather than anything overtly political. Unfortunately there will always be people who try to unjustly politicize everything. For example, I like Psych. I think it's a pretty great show. The lead actor, James Roday, is half Mexican. His birth name is James Rodriguez but he changed his surname while retaining the first three letters because that's a fairly common name. Believe it or not, he's drawn criticism for it, often from folks of a certain political persuasion, because the new surname doesn't "properly emphasize" the Hispanic portion of his heritage. I think the reason diversity can be such a touchy subject is because no matter how well you handle it someone will always find something to complain about.
  18. I think Batman: The Dark Knight does a good example of this. From what I remembered, Gotham police had to hide Harvey Dent's identity as Two Face since if word got out that he was eliminating other crime lords, a lot of the positive things that Dent worked hard for will crumble, and therefore would probably release some of the criminals that Dent has placed in prison. I also agree with people view themselves in a positive light and see themselves as the superheroes in comics. That is why there are people out there, myself included, who wants to see a more diverse spectrum of Superheroes with different, yet positive personality trait and of different ethnic groups. Not to sway away this topic into a race one, but people, especially, needs role models even in american comics. That includes having people of different ethnic groups and sexual preferences. Those are good points. It'll be interesting to see what the next movie is like now that Batman has taken credit for Two Face's crimes. And speaking of Batman, I've always liked Frank Miller's original version from The Dark Knight Returns. I never found it plausible that criminals would fear a guy who would jump out of the shadows only to slap them around a little and leave them for the cops--but if he were the kind of guy who'll put out the Joker's eye to save a hostage while still honoring his "no kill" code, that's a bit more effective, and interesting, in my opinion. I've long been drawn to characters who will dirty their soul a little for the sake of others, it seems like a more selfless kind of sacrifice to me. I think that gets lost sometimes with the proliferation of violence in comics. One of the most powerful lines that I think I've ever heard in a cartoon series was on the Justice Lords episode of the JLU series when Batman accuses his ruthless counterpart of seizing power and the other Batman replies: "and with that power, we created a world where no eight-year-old boy will EVER lose his parents to a punk with a gun!". I think it's easy for both writers and readers to overlook the fact that for some heroes, fictional or otherwise, killing is an act of honest heartfelt compassion. I think the team-oriented books are a good avenue for promoting diversity. Like you said: everyone needs role models, and there's the added advantage of also introducing characters who might look different on the outside but have admirable character traits that people across all cultures and social groups can embrace and identify with enough to see the value in those who act or think differently as well. youre missing the point with batman. theyre not afraid of just getting beat up,, theyre afraid because no matter how many shots they fire, who they hire, what they try...they cant kill him. besides, if a guy could beat you and 9 of your buddys effortlessly, while breaking your legs, arms, and jaws...you wouldnt want to run in to him again either. I think the devil is in the details, so to speak. Are we talking ten guys who are sneaking into a warehouse in the middle of the night to steal something to make ends meet? Or are we talking a full-on home invasion crew? I think it can depend on the extent of the criminal's pathology. More violent criminals will need a little more "persuasion" than less violent criminals. It might work on some guy who has simply fallen on hard times and is running out of options, but if we're talking criminals who have no qualms about hurting other people then any effect on their behavior will likely only last for as long as they think they are being watched. Or to put it another way, there are plenty of guys who like to get drunk and get into bar fights, and no matter how many times they get beat down or get put in a drunk tank sooner or later they'll be right there in a bar again. Even if it's one guy beating up them and nine of their friends. The other detail is that, in my experience, there are many times where there aren't a lot of specifics made clear about the extent of the injuries received from the beatings Batman hands out. Miller's "Dark Knight" made these details clear with lines like "he's young, he might actually walk again" suggesting that there will be long term effects from the beatings that will be more likely to yield long term results. But that's not to say that they should necessarily be showing or mentioning compound fractures being forced through the skin either. I think it's the kind of thing that has to be tailored for whatever age group the intended audience fits into.
  19. I think Batman: The Dark Knight does a good example of this. From what I remembered, Gotham police had to hide Harvey Dent's identity as Two Face since if word got out that he was eliminating other crime lords, a lot of the positive things that Dent worked hard for will crumble, and therefore would probably release some of the criminals that Dent has placed in prison. I also agree with people view themselves in a positive light and see themselves as the superheroes in comics. That is why there are people out there, myself included, who wants to see a more diverse spectrum of Superheroes with different, yet positive personality trait and of different ethnic groups. Not to sway away this topic into a race one, but people, especially, needs role models even in american comics. That includes having people of different ethnic groups and sexual preferences. Those are good points. It'll be interesting to see what the next movie is like now that Batman has taken credit for Two Face's crimes. And speaking of Batman, I've always liked Frank Miller's original version from The Dark Knight Returns. I never found it plausible that criminals would fear a guy who would jump out of the shadows only to slap them around a little and leave them for the cops--but if he were the kind of guy who'll put out the Joker's eye to save a hostage while still honoring his "no kill" code, that's a bit more effective, and interesting, in my opinion. I've long been drawn to characters who will dirty their soul a little for the sake of others, it seems like a more selfless kind of sacrifice to me. I think that gets lost sometimes with the proliferation of violence in comics. One of the most powerful lines that I think I've ever heard in a cartoon series was on the Justice Lords episode of the JLU series when Batman accuses his ruthless counterpart of seizing power and the other Batman replies: "and with that power, we created a world where no eight-year-old boy will EVER lose his parents to a punk with a gun!". I think it's easy for both writers and readers to overlook the fact that for some heroes, fictional or otherwise, killing is an act of honest heartfelt compassion. I think the team-oriented books are a good avenue for promoting diversity. Like you said: everyone needs role models, and there's the added advantage of also introducing characters who might look different on the outside but have admirable character traits that people across all cultures and social groups can embrace and identify with enough to see the value in those who act or think differently as well.
  20. Cognitive dissonance often plays a significant role in all of this. Most people have a need to view themselves in a positive light of some sort and they fulfill this need by establishing rules that define what is "good". The dissonance comes into play because rules are usually kept simple to make them easy to use (i.e. "no killing"), but this also makes them inherently inflexible, limiting the scope of their relevance. Trying to apply simple rules to a reality that is endlessly complex creates conflict. Sooner or later there will be a collision between the reality of a situation and the rules meant to govern the behavior of the individuals involved in it. When topics like this are discussed it often involves heavy usage of self-aggrandizing terms like "noble" or "heroic" because it's not so much about an objective sense of reality as it is about an individual's morality as an extension of the self. For the Justice League, being a very public organization, they have to maintain a sense of connection with the public they claim to protect within the confines of their fictional universe, as well as with the readers they entertain in order to secure their continued cooperation respectively. Among either population the number of people associated with organizations like law enforcement or the military that would adequately prepare an individual for the rigors of the environment that superheroes would ostensibly face are likely to be relatively few, so the rules they follow have to be tailored to keep this in mind. For such a public organization to do otherwise would likely severely frighten the general populace at the very least. It would be akin to transferring a middle school student into a college-level engineering course; entering certain situations requires a certain set of skills and a certain amount of preparation and conditioning that not everyone can or should necessarily have. It's not so much about elitism as it is diversity, and it's the primary reason that any organization capable of using lethal force in the execution of their duties is generally subject to oversight by civilians of differing psychological orientation. One of the more interesting comics I've read in recent years involved Wolverine reflecting back on one of his earliest encounters with Captain America. During the course of the story it was revealed that while Cap was busy punching bad guys to entertain the public, Bucky was sneaking around and "eliminating" bad guys behind the scenes to make sure that the self-absorbed idealism of Cap's methods didn't endanger further lives down the road. As much as we need heroes like Captain America to model desired behaviors we also need heroes like Bucky to reinforce those same behaviors. Everybody has their skill sets and roles to play (i.e. model vs reinforcer) for the betterment of the human condition, it's diversity at its finest.
  21. I always just assumed it was a Craps reference, like he's such an ultimate badass that his presence always meant bad luck for the enemy.
  22. You could just do what I used to do: tell her she's got a point--you've been "wasting" your money on "junk" for years when you could be putting it toward something worthwhile like cheap whores and expensive booze.
  23. @lol@ That was the first thing that popped into my head too when I saw this thread. Sometimes my brother and I like to say "Shenanigans!" at random and inopportune times to make each other laugh. The second thing that popped into my head was this article: Coke vs Costco It's over a year old now, but still somewhat relevant. It seems like the prices have been seriously fluctuating for the last five years or so. In my neck of the woods the manufacturers and the retailers have a sales rotation of sorts. Each week a different store will have a different brand of soda on sale for a dollar a two liter. One week it'll be Pepsi products at the grocery store and the next week it'll be Coke products at Walmart. Or sometimes vice versa, they're always changing it up. While I prefer Coke I'm not terribly picky so some weeks I end up drinking Pepsi or RC Cola, but sometimes I buy a little extra when the Cokes are on sale to last me until the next sale hits. Recently I've been drinking more Mountain Dew though, in part because one of the local grocery stores has been having "3 for $9" sales on their twelve packs every few weeks. Sure, it's probably not the healthiest substance to subject myself to, but it's probably not as bad as some of the chemicals I was exposed to when I was a mechanic.
  24. I agree with the first sentence here, and disagree with the last for the same reasons. I think it is harmful and that it does send the wrong message. I don't think these guys would have had the problems they've had if it were otherwise. I think in the end these guys made bad decisions that got them bad results. I agree that it's a natural instinct to want to bed as many women as possible, I think every guy has that in them to some degree, but I don't think that's any reason for an individual to allow themselves to be so dominated by it. I think that's a clear decision some guys make, and some guys pay the price for choosing poorly. I think about it this way: they're not making the choice to have encounters with these women out of some noble or honorable intent so there's no reason to expect any from the women either. To me that's just common sense. I think they should be aware of the risk they're taking beforehand and be aware of the consequences those risks might have. They're perfectly free to start making better decisions at any time, there's nothing stopping them but themselves and for that I have no sympathy for them. I do have some sympathy for guys like Magic Johnson though, he got dealt a rough hand. I think we all make questionable decisions at various points in our lives and we all should face the consequences for them so that at least we have the choice to learn from them if we wish to do so. Whether or not we wish to do so is another matter, and probably a much more serious one in environments that exalt other qualities more than intellectual prowess. If contemporary reactions seem stronger than they might have been in previous times, I think it's at least partly because attitudes have been affected by the social changes that occurred in previous decades. Thanks in part to the "free love" culture of the 60's and 70's STDs have become deadlier and more prevalent to the point that now it almost seems like you have to wrap yourself in a tire before you can even touch a woman. It's for that very reason that I still giggle a little whenever I see the "full body condom" scene in The Naked Gun.
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