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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Tuesday 15 July 2003 (Day View)

15.07.2003Tuesday 15 July

Mum woke me and we drove into town, where she got five more DVD’s, “Sword Fish”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Amelie”, “A Few Good Men” and “Moulin Rouge”. Not really what I’d have got myself, but it’s interesting to watch things other than what I’d normally see. I’m often surprised when I end up enjoying something which I didn’t think I’d like. I bought my customary thick shake from the Mad Cow and Mum and I shared some nachos, so now I’m very full.
Internet Hysteria
“Internet hysteria” annoys me. In today’s news, a former US marine has flown to France with a 12-year-old British schoolgirl, and his family says he was under the impression she was 19. They met in an “internet chatroom”. Let’s face it, when you’re “on the internet” you spend most of your time behind a monitor, safely at home, far from the “dangers” of the net. That’s a lot safer than going to school or into any town at night.
The media has done a very bad job at portraying nearly everything – especially the internet. Stories like this, while presumably true, fail to mention that there are many, many more similar events that are totally unrelated to the internet.
I know a lot of people who spend a lot of time on that evil thing known as “chat”, which is where all these evil deeds supposedly come from. I also know young people who are computer savvy, but who’s parents are either terrified or plain uninterested in computers – which means that the parents do not know what their child is doing, and people who are scared stiff of the “big bad internet” and who think it is quite bad or dangerous to allow kids to access it. I disagree. I’ve had my fair share of people “warning” me – mainly after some high profile sex/rape/murder story on the news that mentions some “chat room”. A quick visit to a “teen” chat room could be quite enlightening if you’ve never been. They’re the online equivalent to a cross between a nightclub/pick-up place and a brothel. Of course, most people don’t run away with other people and a lot never even meet – they’re probably lacking social skills, that being one of the reasons why they’re online in the first place, but you may be sure that a lot do meet. What I’m trying to get at here is the impression that people who don’t know seem to have – that the internet is either evil, destroying society, out of control, not a place for kids, dangerous, full of murderers etc. and at the same time that things like this are isolated incidents. Both are untrue – I firmly believe an average school is much more “dangerous” to a child, especially in a moral sense, and on the other hand while most online 12 year olds aren’t running away with 31 year olds, a lot of 16 year olds are trying their hardest to meet anyone they can for a bit of a good time...
I have a website and an online journal that contains enough information for anyone to find my precise location at a given time, and you should see the reaction I get when I tell some people that. Somehow, I’m just not concerned about crazy axe murderers from the net hunting me down, or my daughter running away with a paedophile she met in a chat room, but I’d sure be worried she might get involved with the wrong crowd at school.
I’ve messed up my website and struck a problem and now I don’t have the motivation to fix it so it’s back to flat-file HTML until I get that motivational urge again. I think the large lunch I had today may have something to do with this. My site is getting large now, 118 megabytes, 834 plain hypertext markup language (html) files, 121 cascading style sheets, 3594 images, 34 JavaScript files, 191 hypertext pre-processor (php) files, 10 server-side include (shtml) files, 43 text files, 69 plain extensible markup language (xml) files, 45 extensible style sheets and 5 schemas. All up I’ve got 5836 files and 289 directories in various states of disarray and confusion.
I’m now tired and off to bed. I am so sick of hay fever. I’ve had it almost constantly since I’ve been up from Brisbane. It’s not too bad, it’s just annoying and my nose is starting to get sore. Mum and I watched “Gandhi” tonight. At over three hours, it’s quite a long movie, and even has an intermission; however I feel that every minute is worth it. Some movies just don’t fit into the hour and a half that seems standard nowadays. I’d have to say I think this is a brilliant film. I’m no expert on Gandhi so I can’t vouch for its accuracy or otherwise, but it’s very believable and enjoyable throughout. I was engrossed from start to finish and thoroughly enjoyed the entire movie. Truly an epic movie and an epic story well told. I’d recommend “Gandhi” to anyone. I also ate some of my dark, rich peppermint filled chocolate and opened a packet of sour cream and chive chips, which, coupled with the good movie and an enjoyable chat online afterwards, made for as pleasant a night as any. Soundgarden’s “Spoonman” from their Superunknown album isn’t such a bad song either: “Oh, hmm, feel the rhythm with your hands (steal the rhythm while you can), Spoonman. Speak the rhythm on your own (speak the rhythm all alone), Spoonman. Spoonman! Come together with your hands – Save me! I’m together with your plans – Save me!”

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