this is the sound of your mobile bill rising

Phone rings.
Hmm, that's an unfamiliar country code. Odd.

Me: "Hello?"
Navy friend: "Hey!"

Ah, that explains it.

Me: So, what country are you in today?
Friend: South Africa, and I want you to know, it is beautiful!
Me: And do you know how high my cell phone bill is going to be?
Him: Nooo, I'm calling you, I pay for the call.
Me: It's a cell phone, I get charged either way.
Him: Want me to call your house phone?
Me: I'm not actually home.
Him: Oh.

I then remember how many times we've had this conversation over the past seven years, given his penchant for calling me internationally and talking for hours at a time.

Me: *facepalms in the middle of the store*

The movie tome whose time has come.*

Enough of this, Hollywood. Enough of the cute girl with the asshole boyfriend who is fully aware she's dating a jerk.
She's constantly apologizing for his mistakes, arrogance, meanspiritedness, or violence. She recognizes the generally desirable, non-jerkish qualities of the protagonist, and even wavers in her loyalty to the asshole, but never intervenes more than shouting "stop!" while her boyfriend kicks the protagonist's ass, keys his car, gets him fired, or otherwise messes with him in generally socially unacceptable ways.

Please, enough of this. A good woman- a good girlfriend, friend, or random observer, for that matter, is good enough to do SOMETHING about violent injustice happening in front of their eyes. Even if it's nothing more than calling (or at the very least threatening to call) the cops.

You do not want her, protagonist, and even if you win her over by the end of the movie, which you probably will, she's not worth your time. Unless you don't mind her amicable but useless nature. In which case, I hope the two of you are happy together, but do the world a favour and don't spawn. Adopt.

But only if you must.

*This rant brought to you by Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, and every other movie and tv show and miniseries and novel that does this exact same $%!ing thing. ARGH. Do not want.

We will help in any way we can!

America says:
If your people are without proper food and water and medical care in the wake of a natural disaster, we will rush to your aid. (As long as the cameras are rolling and the world's eyes are on us.)

And by virtue of silence and inaction, we also say:
If your people are without proper food and water and medical care every day of their lives and there aren't a hundred reporters pointed in every direction, don't hold your breath.When the rest of the world doesn't care enough to put your plight on the front pages day after day and shame us into acting, why should we?

Those who are dying every day from lack of supplies, clean water, and the most basic medical care told me to tell you, America, "What about us?"

So many of the people I see right now getting do-gooder hardons from donating a dollar or two to Haiti are the same people who stare right through the homeless, or step over them like you would a pile of garbage on the street. Why is it so easy to care for faceless people thousands of miles away when you treat those around you in desperate need like they're a piece of bothersome gum on your shoe? Why spend days rallying money for disaster relief in some trendy tropical place when spending an hour at a local soup kitchen is so far below your radar the idea's never even occurred to you?

I swear, I don't understand people.