The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 10, 1996, Page 5, Image 5

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There are a lot of great gifts out
there for Christmas. And there arc
also a lot of stupid ones.
Take a wild guess which ones I’m
going to discuss today....
stupid gifts. It’s
almost a time
honored tradition
to receive one
each year. It’s
also a tradition to
search frantically
for the gift’s
UPC code cm- tag,
not find it and
break down in tears in front of the
family that thinks you’ve gone mad.
The ultimate revenge comes in
giving these same people gifts that
they too will like less than Aunt
Edilen’s fruitcake (or is it really stale
meat loaf?).
For those weird people who have
completely forgotten the meaning of
gift-giving and have reverted back to
ties this year, I offer you “Kasey’s
Guide to Gifts — 1996 Edition.”
First off, you’ll need a gift or two
for Dad, who probably gave you a
package or two of socks.
I recommend you stop by ShopKo
and purchase a “Milk Can Popcorn
Tin.” This decorative tin (upon which
appears an expressionless cow) is
shaped like an actual milk can and
your dad might be fooled into
thinking it’s an antique.
And if of Dad is into fishing, buy
him a game for your Super Nintendo
system that you’ll in all likeliness get
The ultimate revenge comes in giving
these same people gifts that they too will
like less than Aunt Edilen’s fruitcake (or
is it really stale meat loaf?).”
to take back for a better one. It’s
“Bass Masters Classic Pro Edition,”
with which Dad can do something
he’s never done before—catch a
Next, there’s Mom, who probably
surpassed Dad’s lack of good gift
giving style with a few packages of
underwear (of which Dad then took a
I recommend a “Native American
Barbie” Hallmark ornament for the
tree. Not only will she be hanging a
Mattel version of Pocahontas on a
tree limb—she’ll also be making
your Christmas tree more politically
Then, there are the siblings. This
year you can surprise them with any
of a wide variety of lame gifts, as
children’s gifts seem to be getting
lamer each year.
For the little brother of the family,
how about a “Crayola Favorite
Colors” light set. TVue, it’s nothing
more than a regular string of colored
Christmas lights, but he will never
know because it’s packaged in a big
Crayola box.
For your little sister: Barbie gifts!
The only question is—which stupid
Barbie gift?
There’s the “Barbie Answering
Machine Phone,” the “Barbie & Ken
Star Trek Dolls” and “Dr. Barbie”
(who looks extremely professional in
a miniskirt).
And if you have the bucks, go to
Target and purchase the ultimate
stupid Barbie gift: the “My Size
Dancing Barbie.” This is a mega
sized Barbie with which you can
dance. You can also wear her dress
(if you can fit into a girls’ size 4 to
10). Yet for $109.19, you might be
better off sticking to the “Barbie
Minivan” — in fashionable white
and pink design.
For the older child of the family,
go to Target and spend $49 for the
“Electronic Baseball Dart Game.”
This stadium-shaped dart board has
its own announcer and crowd noise.
Gee, makes me wish baseball season
was here again.
But don’t forget Fido. Or Taffy.
Yes the dog or cat of the family
needs a stupid gift too—even if they
took pity and didn’t give you one.
Head over to PetSmart and buy
your pet some cool clothing that it
will absolutely refuse to wear. Some
real crowd pleasers include antlers,
Santa caps and Santa outfits. But if
none of these stupid gifts is good
enough for your pet — I highly
recommend the $19.99 “Hollywood
Jacket.” It is a black satin jacket with
a leopard print collar.
If none of these gift ideas work
for you, and you also happen to be
on a limited budget, there’s always
the dollar store. Just follow a few
guidelines while shopping there:
1.) No buying jewelry for a
significant Other.
2) No buying food items made by
a company called “Edibles.”
3) And no asking for a receipt —
“just in case....”
Otherwise, happy gift hunting! I
know there are a lot of decent gifts
out there — but you can look past
them all and find the bad ones.
It just takes a sharp eye and a
sharp pair of scissors to cut the
receipt off with.
See you in January—when I’ll
probably be the miserable owner of a
“Land Before Time IV” video.
(I didn’t even know they made the
last three!)
Kerber is a sophomore news
editorial major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.,
^•v. • • - ■
Enemy of the people
Internet means the end of life as we know it
Editor's note: This guest column
was written by Dennis Schwartz of
The Independent Florida Alligator
at the University of Florida and
was taken from the U-Wire.
Don’t believe the hype. The
Internet is a junk heap.
Mark my words, if you keep using
the Internet the way you do, you’re
going to suffer. In 20 years, maybe
even 10, you’ll see everyday people
complaining of back pain from
spending their time at home crouch
ing over computer keyboards.
You’ll see everybody walking
around in a slouch. Human beings
will lose the upright posture that
distinguishes us from the apes. The
hands of human beings, home of the
hallmark opposable thumb, will
become cramped, brittle and arthritic
from spending their time typing on
little tiny keys instead of being used
for the old-fashioned activities that
the Internet replaced.
And everybody’s eyesight is going
to be terrible after staring at dim
glowing screens.
Yes, my friends, the Internet is no
friend of ours.
Think of all the time you save
using the Internet, says Joe Webfoot.
No way. Sure, it can be a good
research tool — for now. But if the
popularity of cyber never-neverland
grows any more, your subscription to
the Net is not going to remain a
The hands of human beings, home of the
hallmark opposable thumb, will become
cramped, brittle and arthritic from
spending their time typing on little tiny
keys instead of being used for the
old-fashioned activities that the Internet
valuable cheat-sheet for old-fash
ioned library research — it’ll be a
research standard. That means
deadlines will shrink up because the
information is available too quickly.
The pace of living is going to speed
up, and the collective human blood
pressure is going to skyrocket as we
try to keep up.
Maybe I’m just bitter because I
paid 20 bucks to UF for an address
and nobody sends me mail.
But the 20 bucks raises some
interesting questions. What is the
Alachua Freenet if you have to pay to
get on? It seemed like a good idea at
the time. It was almost ideal—
visions of little kids in classrooms
lined with crayon drawings of
animals on construction paper,
expanding their little minds with
small doses of the Internet.
You know, like the way the world
looks in those IBM commercials. It
looked like it could work. This is the
kind of business tactic used by your
friendly neighborhood crack dealer.
Now, we’ve got a subculture of cyber
; addicts going on the Sally Jesse
Raphael show to tell everybody how
they met their girlfriends and
boyfriends on the Net. Something
sinister is lurking in the shadows of
the Web—something powerful,
cold-blooded and hairy, like a spider
with a doctorate in computer science.
it lures us in with the promise of
friendship and knowledge, and the
next thing you know, you’re sending
enormous checks to some company
to get your fix every month.
Where does the money go? I bet
there’s practically no overhead
involved. Somebody’s turning a
profit on this. But even if there isn’t,
there is some fat cat sitting in a chair
somewhere, smoking our hard-earned
cash in Havanas.
The problem I’m talking about is
the cheapi fication of knowledge. It
used to be that knowledge meant
something. To be learned was to be
respected. Now that everybody’s got
access to the Internet, practically
everything you’d ever want to know
is sitting there at your fingertips.
Now I don’t want you to get me
wrong here; I’m not an intellectual
elitist. I’m all for free knowledge.
What we’ve got on the Internet isn’t
knowledge, itYbits and pieces of l’s
and 0’s strung together in a mono
lithic Tower of Babel.
What do you think will happen
once we get everybody in the world
plugged into a service that could pay
their bills for them, buy their clothes
and food for them, contact their
loved ones and entertain them
endlessly with games and movies?
Not a global community. It would be
a global opium den, with everybody
scarfing junk-food information and
not lifting a finger to do anything.
• * ' - . ; V J*'\ •