This is America…Not.

March 23, 2008

A cheeseburger restaurant in Philadelphia posted a sign saying “This is America. When ordering, speak English.” And The Commission on Human Relations found the sign doesn’t violate the city’s fair practice ordinance. AOL is doing a survey right now. So far, over 90% of the surveyed think it’s not discriminatory. And among all the surveyed, only 9% said English is not their native language.

From a legal perspective, I think the city council’s judgment is right: the restaurant is not likely a state actor, so 14th Amendment doesn’t apply even if the restaurant has clear discriminatory policy. To me it is more an issue of logic and arrogance.

I agree that if I had a restaurant in the US, I would want my customers to speak English, or Spanish, or at least the language that the person who’s taking the order can understand. Yes, it would give me headaches if a person orders in some language whose name none has even heard of. It is simply impractical to hire linguists as my restaurant staff. But if I had to put up a sign, then “Please order in English” is good enough. There is no point putting some fake patriotic language, a bald eagle and a star-spangled banner on the sign, which is exactly what the sign look like in the news.

What has America to do with speaking English anyway? Does it mean it is “unamerican” to speak a language other than English? It is “unbritish” if it has to mean anything.

The funniest thing is that the owner of the restaurant said that he did this because he is concerned with increasing immigration issues. Unfortunately he’s not a Native American, which makes himself a bona fide immigrant.


Real Simple?

March 21, 2008

I notice there is a sidebar function here with some instructions about RSS. I didn’t know what that stood for, nor did I remember the three letter acronym. I only remember this small orange cubic with one third of the radiation sign in it. And I remember that it seems to be everywhere on the web and whenever I click it, it just brings more instructions that give me headaches.

Today, I was surprised and ashamed to find out that the acronym stands for “Real Simple Syndication.” If that’s so, it must mean that I’m real stupid or outdated: I never find it simple; I never know what’s that for. I feel fed up with this “web feed” thing. It makes me wonder if the fact that I find it difficult has anything to do with the fact that I still don’t know how to use Outlook, which I tried a dozen times but always stopped at the first few steps: too complicated, for me.

Now I realize that my biggest fear is not that one day my future kid(s) would  loathe me for not understanding web 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever. My biggest fear is that when the machines are taking over the human race, like in The Terminator, I might not be able to understand how that happened from the very beginning.


I hate to admit it, but…

March 18, 2008

So I was in the library, trying to catch any annoying undergrads who try to do anything stupid like walking downstairs in their noisy sandals. I opened my iTunes, and decided to check shared music. You know, you gotta know your enemy’s mentality. And the best way is…. to know what kind of music they listen to.

And it’s awesome. Some songs they listen to bring back so many memories about my junior high. It’s a time when you don’t really talk about politics to make enemies because you are more interested in beating some stupid video games than beating your neighboring country. It’s also a time when I wasn’t worried about looking for a girlfriend at all. (I guess I am kind of slow to grow up.)

Then I came across the songs by a brand named M2M. Almost all the songs are like high school (or college to the best) dating stories told from a girl’s perspective. Unbelievable. I think that’s extremey stupid. And, I have to admit that,…, I used to listen to them when I was in high school. It really made me want to invent a time machine and go back in time and punch myself in the face: “how can you listen to something like this!!!”

Well, I guess I have to admit it’s called growing up.