Monthly Archives: March 2014

Introducing New Contributor: Lady In Red–The Dance Floor Is A Grind-Free Zone

Lady In Red is your cute, sexy new neighbor in town.  Her wit is matched only by her ability to accessorize.  She will be giving ModCon a feminine touch by chronicling politics, fashion, social trends, or all three combined.  Pop culture is smart again!  -The Modern Conservative

 
I go to these conservative social events every now and again. Some have amazing dancing, and to my surprise the people really killing it on the floor tend to be older. A silver haired fox and her Older Bear always gravitate towards the center. Modern Conservatives to the core. They move effortlessly around the floor without any direction, but once in the center, the real dancing happens. Something just Clicks. They lose sight of everything around them and just pull out all the stops.
 
Dips. Turns. Rock and roll. Jaws on the floor, mentally at least.
 
Why does my age range not keep up? I’ll tell you why: If you wanted to dance as a young kid from Generation Y or younger, you did so in the hypersexuality of a night club. Black Lights were your introduction to the ethereal landscape of the dancefloor; a dim, seedy world of scoundrels and self destruction. What a letdown. Watching the electricity of young adults dance on TV with just their shoulders in the 80’s, or to the choreography of the 70’s, or with the depth of the 60’s–we all had high hopes. And then all bets were off. Each nightclub in college looked less like Soul Train and more like Caligula.
 
In a nutshell, Grinding happened.
 
Was it always this way? Maybe. I know every generation believes the next generation will Undo It All. This idea of interpreting music and social experience and distilling it into gyrating against a stranger was the new norm. I would have to live with it, if I would ever fulfill my weekly dreams of dancing the stress of the workweek away with my friends or a beauhunk. That’s what I kept telling myself, but then I became a boss and learned to never settle. You want to grind? Fine. You can have your EDMecstasybisexualorgy. I am more interested in the Vibe.
 
You know it. We’ve all felt it. When the right groove hits on the floor, it’s palpable. My first experience with the vibe was at an Usher concert in high school. At a certain point in “Take Your Hand” Harmony happens, and it’s a wild ride to hold onto. Too much harmony, and it sounds artificial. Too little, and it becomes noise. The Vibe went up and down, more chaos/less structure, less chaos/more structure, and then at a certain point you had MORE chaos and MORE structure. Minds exploded. I was never the same after that. I tried convincing my parents to allow me to go to other concerts, but Usher was a stretch to begin with. The fact that the next three tours through our little big city were a caricature of hip hop’s most wanted probably didn’t help. My parents raised us to roam, but they had standards.
 
The next time I felt the Vibe was with a group of girls. Exams were over, and we had the best intentions to get dressed up hot and hit the town. From dinner to bar to house party, we always knew we were going to end the night at CoolGuy’s houseparty. He was totally brotastic (in a bad way), but he had a pool and his parties always felt like a sequel to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Once there was a marching band that came for his birthday. All of his friends were cool. They would always have dancing inside, and this night he had hired a DJ. Nelly came on and my friends and I looked up from our pretty girl dancing and went. Freaking. Nuts. It was a hive of people throwing their hands in the air. Time stood still.
 
It’s the best with a partner. Keep the right intensity, and the rest of the world just melts away. Wherever you started your night, it becomes the best night you’ve had in a while. The story becomes YOUR story. The Vibe permeates your existence.
 
I’ve long since cut the nightlife grinding out, and I enjoy everything else just a little bit more. From this day forth, I’m taking a firm position on boycotting grinding establishments. Twerking, too. Focus on our hips, not our orifices, I say. Sexy is so much better than slutty.
 
So that’s where we’re at, Gentleman. Ask a red fox out today and make your night exciting.
 
Addendum: I don’t have any issue with grinding used in the sense of “Straight Grinding.”  Or even if you’re grinding with a naked, consenting adult. Just don’t do it at the club. Can we have Grinding be used only as an indicator for kicking ass and taking names at work? Jay-Z version, not the Ginuwyne version. And do not even get me started on the encroachment of slow jams into the club, people…seriously…

Introducing New Contributor: Doctor Anonymous

It is time you met someone who can bring the discipline and method of science into your personal philosophy.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the blog Doctor Anonymous, who will be reporting to you on the rigors of technology, design, and human progress…-The Modern Conservative

 

Thank you, The Modern Conservative, for that beautiful introduction.

Alas, my friends, we have been lead astray by the extremism of our current generation. The conservative commitment to growth is still genuine, but it has been tainted. Warped, even. Through the lens of short term gains and nostalgia for days past, we have been steered away from the core tenet of conservatism: calculated, directed growth.

Without a doubt, I believe that growth is the most important issue for humankind. It defines where we are headed as a nation. As a species, even. If we are to believe science, in our lifetimes humankind will experience changes that encompass all tenets of modern society. Family, faith, technology, and institutions are being shaken from the ground up. As an advocate for the sciences, I know this. In addition, I would bet that you, and everyone around you, knows this too. This feeling of electric change is almost palpable. It is not a slogan to be used at political rallies, but an overwhelming force in our current era. It is happening, and it cannot be stopped. As modern conservatives, we need to undersatnd that this is inherent to our reality. Change is a constant, and it is our responsibility to direct it towards the benefit of all mankind.

We as a society must understand that the direction of space-time is moldable. Manageable. Conquerable. Although the different permutations of the future are infinite, noble ideas and excellent followthrough have the ability to ensure a future that is grand for every human being. We are living in a time of unparalleled scientific breakthrough, with each new day bringing disruptive technologies that rival the impact of the printing press or the atomic bomb or even the internet. Humanity must be vigilant in these times, as the future depends on us in this crucial checkpoint in history. In these times of increasing complexity, we must decide as a species which fundamental direction we want to go: The beginning of growth? Or of stagnation? Worse still, destruction?

I believe that modern conservatism is necessary in this new world. Modern conservatives understand that the path to our future needs a complex mix of freedom and constraint. In regards to our direction as a society, to choose any and all growth is a simple answer to a complex question. In contrast to liberalism, we conservatives know that not all growth is considered equal. Each parent wants their child to grow into a model of human society. But does ANY growth bring us to this end? No. The cancerous cells that grow inside of a young boy’s bones is not the same as the cells making him a man. No, the former growth is inherently wrong, and we should make a concerted effort to end this growth. In every vice of human nature that is to be allowed, it should be managed. Whether that vice is sickness, or any of the evils that pervade mankind that exist in this reality, it is our role to manage them like weeds in a well-kept lawn.

I am realistic. Any scientist will tell you that they will never completely cure this society or species or universe of all ill. The darkness that exists can never be truly eradicated from this world. There will always be problems. We are human, and even as the dominant species on this planet, it is fundamental to reality that to be human is to err.

However, we can try.

And if we are to be a part of that effort, we as modern conservatives must lead the way in the exploration of scientific endeavors.

The fundamentals of the scientific process are inherently conservative principles. Testing hypotheses and confirming results have been not only a modern conservative principle, but a HUMAN principle. It is in our very DNA to judge the outcome of a decision. To be fair, as a political party, we have not been lacking in judgement. Judgement surrounds us when perusing conservative media outlets. However, we have forgotten that to make accurate judgement requires accurate sources of information. We must classify and understand our world if we are to determine what is the correct decision or direction. We as a species must observe, form a hypothesis, and then create a judgement on that hypothesis. To miss one step is to miss all steps.

Science can not answer all questions. In those areas, institutions of faith, philosophy, love, and the soul are important. However, whether we like it or not, our future as a species is inherently tied to American technological excellence. Whether we like it or not, we Americans are steering the ship.

And science, the best science, is just one tool that we NEED in our arsenal.I plan on espousing a direction in which conservatism and science can move together. I’m half man, half robot, all awesome.

I’m Doctor @#$%ing Anonymous, and I’m here to drop some science bombs on that dirty little brain of yours.

Let’s drive this rocket ship like we stole it. In the right direction, of course.

UP.

To TED or Not to TED

The New York Times recently profiled Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of TED Talks: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Under Mr. Anderson’s leadership, the lecture events have spread all over the world live and all over the internet virally. The talks were not always available for public viewing, but today the online library is viewed 1.9 million times per day.

Yet, defending the TED brand is an ongoing battle. Critics believe the 18 minute talks dumb down complex matters for the sake of mass entertainment. Supporters believe they provoke thought and study on important topics that listeners might otherwise not hear about, even though they may be directly affected.

TED indeed creates intellectual communities and outlets for engaged citizens. Therefore, its mission is blazingly realized. As a participant in TEDxJacksonville, I know that TED talks are meant to start journeys, not be them.

Millennial Shift

A new survey about generations was recently discussed in the LA Times. The Pew-conducted survey found that in general, Millenial adults (those born between 1980 and 1996) are more socially liberal than their predecessors.

Some findings:
*Millennials identify as politically independent but vote Democratic.
*They favor an activist government.
*They are optimistic about America’s future, but are less likely to call themselves “patriotic.”
*They overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage: almost 70%.
*40% of millennials are non-white, a much higher percentage than in older generations. But both white and minority millennials are more liberal than their parents, so the liberal trend cannot be explained away by minority voting patterns.
*Millennials are less attached to institutions: religious affiliation, marriage, nationalism.
*57% say their views on social issues have become more liberal over time.

The last point in particular holds true for me, a 1986 millennial. As I have become economically independent from my parents, I have become much less supportive of social restrictions that I see halt others’ economic independence and progress. I have also seen what institutional loyalty has done to the baby boomer generation: layoffs from companies who had sworn to never forsake its employees of 30 years, unhappy marriages, loss of retirement money after large-scale financial scandals. I think many millennials saw their parents fall from grace, and have since soured on the laissez-faire policies that they think led them there. What do you think?

Trauma Recidivism

If you have spent any amount of time in any real city, you may have noticed that violent communities have a disproportionate share of healthcare traumas.  Reducing trauma recidivism is a potentially ripe model for controlling health care costs through public health and public policy.

Much violence is caused by poverty.  By simply repairing trauma victims and then sending them back into violent communities, the underlying problem goes unaddressed, and many victims unfortunately return with further injuries. This is one area where the government may need to step in afterall. Aside from it being the right thing to do, hospitals and taxpayers are on the hook for preventable healthcare costs. No one hospital or community likely has the resources or incentive to tackle long-term gang or drug-related violence, so some public, even federal, intervention makes sense here.

Yes, you read that right: ModCon resists the urge to be reflexively anti-government. The government has its place and has done some really awesome things before–things no one would have otherwise done.

So, what policies can help violent communities? We will explore this in later posts. In the meantime, we welcome your ideas in the comments.

Olympic Wrap-Up: Sochi 2014

So the latest Olympics wrap up yet again–this time from Sochi, Russia.

I can’t be the only person who likes the Olympics mainly for the pageantry–not the competition.  The athletes’ profiles of struggle, the lush camera shots of the host country, the opening and closing ceremonies that literally parade cultures before us.  Olympics really are the last bastion of pure culture, which is why I resent the infringement of politics.

NBC put a wet blanket on their otherwise wonderful coverage by inserting out-of-place conversations about Russia’s politics.   For instance, take the opening ceremony’s video interview with Pres. Obama.  His message was purely vanilla: go USA, we are proud of you.  Yet, the NBC hosts pressed him for views on Putin and on Russia’s laws targeting gays.  It was out of place for the viewer, but de rigueur for the journalists.

I recommend journalists resist their bosses’ insistence on creating controversy.  Is it necessary for ratings?  I don’t know, but I’d like to find out by having some pure events and seeing how they fare…

PS: A lot of (internet) ink has been spilled over decorated US skier Bode Miller’s post-race interview with NBC reporter Christin Cooper.  It was made unnecessarily painful and awkward by her pressing on about his dead brother.   I for one think she had several chances to ease off and chose not to: a direct result of our sensationalized media disease.  What did you think?

A Coke Ad and the GOP

Michael Gerson recently wrote a wonderful op-ed in the Washington Post about a Coca Cola commercial that celebrates America’s multiculturalism. It was met with a minor furor by some tea party conservatives, who felt that it threatened traditional American values, such as the dominance of the English language.

There are many conservatives who don’t feel this reflexive fear of immigrants.
Yet some conservatives do, and they are in the political discourse, and in our Capitol.

This blog is meant to be an outlet for the silent majority and a voice of moderation. Maybe one day our goals will be more, but for now this is the mountain before us.