Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Dumbing Down of the American People (St. Patrick's Day edition)

Best wishes on this St. Patty's Day.

I found this video from a news report about a leprechaun in Alabama. I am not sure what is more stupid and disturbing: that the people in this news report actually buy into the fact there my be a real leprechaun or the fact there is a news director that felt this warranted a 2 minute spot on the local news.

As my friend sptmck would say, "Stunning".

Raise a glass of Guiness or Jameson in honor of St. Patrick.

Erin go bragh!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


This post is my Republican bashing one. I waited to post as not to jump the gun. But, I waited and waited for the media blitz and onslaught regarding this item, but it never came.

Let me clarify. This weekend, conservative political commentator Ann Coulter spoke at the American Conservative Union meeting, about Presidential candidates. Coulter’s words when it came to Democratic hopeful John Edwards, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot." 

Excuse me?!?!?!!? Did I hear you right, Ann? Come again?

I could not believe my ears that someone who has the ear of the people and is on television, and is a supposed living breathing human being used that word on TV to describe someone who is running for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination.

In light of the recent Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame’s recent public flogging of using the “N-word”, I waited to see what kind of punishment the media and public would heap on Ann.

CBS and other mainstream news outlets did sound bites on it, but really nothing has come of it and here it is Tuesday evening and this happened on Friday. These items were merely blips on the media radar.

ARE YOU SERIOUS!?! I mean, Richards, while I am not defending his use of a word I l-o-a-t-h-e, was being verbally attacked during a performance and out of anger, verbally struck back, but in a wrong and racist way. Richards couldn’t have found any place in the world to hide from media cameras. He tried to publicly apologize to the African American community and explained how he was provoked, but was hounded for many days after and made headlines of even small, local newspapers and newscasts. Richards’ career as a stand-up comic and actor is barely salvageable at best.

Other pundits, including other conservations like Alan Colmes, on web blogs and news shows, have questioned Coulter. Republican Presidential Nominee hopefuls Sen. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have even said she was wrong, but the outrage has never caught on like that of the Richards’ incident. And she still has a job … on TV!

Why? Is 1% More Conscious’ better half in her Outrage of the Week entry right? Are we already feeling a Dem-overkill months before the primaries so no one cares? Has the media been so over saturated with Hillary and Obama’s doings and feuding that people just don’t care? Or is it deeper than that? God, I hope not.

Let’s get something clear. Hate speech is hate speech. Coulter is trying to say she was joking. PLEASE! A joke makes people laugh and not nervously. Everyone, whether they know it or not, knows or is related to someone who is gay/lesbian. As an educator and a mother, I teach about tolerance and the fact that certain words need to be eliminated from their vocabulary. Ann, you are not helping fix the ignorance that is in this country.

If Ann is going to say these things and get away with them, I think she needs to go balls to the wall and show her true colors. She needs to go to her attic, open that dusty trunk, get out her white sheet and hood, and wear them. Hey, that’s who she is – a bigot who shoots her mouth off without having all the facts, doing as she please because she “knows” best, and is superior because of (in this case) her sexual orientation.

Hopefully, people will realize who and what Coulter really is (a crazy egomanic), and give her the boot to the curb.

I hope this is not a sign of things to come for the 2008 elections. Light a candle…

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Inconvienient and Hypocritical Truth

When it comes to politics, I study the information and make a decision based on that study. I am not a registered Democrat or Republican – I am an Independent.

I am considered liberal with my views on issues such as birth control and a woman’s right to choose. I am a conservative when it comes to education.

So, this entry is no way a Dem-bashing session. I want to clarify that. Plus, my next entry will show how I am an equal opportunity basher when it comes to ignorance and double-talk.

My son wants to save the world. He has been a Creature Crusader, wanting to save endangered species since he was three and found out what endangered species are and why they are endangered. As he got older (he is 12 ½ now), he realized in order to help he creature friends, he need to do his part to save the planet.

When Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth came out on DVD, I bought it as a family Christmas gift. We watched and my son was even more inspired and convinced that his mission is life was to help find a way to save everyone and everything. (I am hoping he does, patents it, and takes care of me in my old age.) I also found the statistics and evidence of global warming interesting and stunning.

I cheered for Al as he won the Oscar this year for Best Documentary. Prior to his winning, the Former Veep announced The Oscars were Green this year and making an effort to “reduce its ecological footprint”. Gore went on, with Leo DiCaprio, noted Hollywood environmentalist, by his side that The Oscar’s website could furnish folks in the viewing audience with tips on how to do their part. Awesome! We are all for that and for coastal New England to not be flooded by the melting Polar Icecaps.

But does Al walk the walk? No, according the Tennessee Center for Policy Research’s findings, Gore’s yearly utility bill was $30,000 in 2006 which means he used nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours, more than 20 times the national average.

The Gore Camp scoffs at these finding, saying yes they do use this much energy, but they work out of their home and they are working on installing solar panels. Ummm, yeah and what are the Gores doing about the heated pool, the electric gate, and other things he and his wife use. Solar panels... yeah, we need more of an effort Al

I have a problem with Al being toted by Melissa Ethridge (who actually looked as she may jump him at the Oscars) et al. as the “Environmental Messiah” when it appears he isn’t making a conscious effort “to do his part”.

Al, you want people to take you and global warming seriously like my son who is part of the future generations you talk about who will inherit this environmental mess of a planet – walk the walk.

Or better yet, make another documentary showing us all how difficult it is to make lifestyle changes in order to be more environmentally friendly. It isn’t easy, especially when most of American do not make tens of thousands of dollars of speaking engagements nor are making millions off of their new Oscar-winning documentary.

Try and get a grip on reality Al.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I Got a Case of the Mondays (on Thursday)

After to talking to my colleague over at 1% More Conscious, I felt like raging here about office politics, or, as I lovingly call it “Office pol-i-dicks”.

So, here I sit, feeling like the guys in Office Space when they know they are going to get screwed, and wanting to rant and rave about it.

Then I visited one of my fave websites for a giggle and got one from what I was thinking about – Office Space. A parody of it over at (sorry the blog here doesn't "like" the link; so copy and paste the URL, then scroll down to find the Office Space clip) cheered me up and reminded me of two things: to laugh in order to keep perspective and what comes around, goes around.

So, I post this clip in honor of my colleague and friend at 1% More Conscious. Bud, we will live to fight the good fight tomorrow. Keep the faith…

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anatomy of a Society (or a small part of it)

Sorry for the delay folks – work, illness, work, problems signing in here, work, etc. – you know how it is.

I have also been weighing the Britney and Anna Nicole situations. Tragic is the word that comes to mind for both situations.

But, not in the way you may think. While I would not wish ill will toward either woman, I am also a firm believer in “you reap what you sow”, in other words, karma.

The true tragedy is that these two women’s lives, and in one case a death, are microcosms of what is going on with many of our young women in our society of late.

Both Brit and Anna Nicole started their careers out using their “innocent but sexy” qualities each had. Brit became a household name when she flitted around in her provocative Catholic school girl uniform in the music video for “… Baby One More Time”. Girls as young as seven were eating up what Brit had to offer, dancing along to her music videos on MTV with Brit-matching midriff shirts and micro miniskirts. She was a self-proclaimed virgin, having fun growing up – nothing too dirty, slutty, or hair-raising.

Anna Nicole, nee Vickie Lynn Hogan, began her career as Playboy model, claiming she wanted to be the “next Marilyn Monroe”. The former Red Lobster waitress parlayed her 1993 Playmate of the Year moniker into a series of respectable modeling contracts. Despite getting her start at Playboy (which, by the way, is the only classy gentleman’s nude magazine), Anna had great aspirations and she was nothing to be ashamed of at the time.

Both women started out with good intentions, wanting to display their sexuality in a strong fashion like their WWB idols Madonna and Marilyn Monroe respectively. They courted the public and paparazzi’s attention and love to help nourish and further their careers. But a funny thing happened on the way to the pop culture stratosphere…

The thing is, dear readers, is that 1) you have to be careful what you wish for and 2) how you obtain said dream. Both women, as their lives and careers went on, has to go to further lengths in order to keep the public’s adoration and center stage in the media. Why? Because both women here did not possess the talent that their idol does/did.

No one helped Madonna become the icon she is today. Yes, she has a manager, etc. now. But, before she was a legend, she hustled the streets of NYC for every break she could. She was and is involved in every decision in her career. As she pushed the envelope while her career grew, she did it in a provocative way that was a character, not what her private persona is/was. She experimented, trying to demonstrate what a WWB (see previous post) is – intelligently discovering her sexuality and place in the world, saying that what she did was not necessarily right for everyone.

Marilyn, like Ms. Smith, began her career at Playboy. She wanted to become more than the stereotypical dumb blonde, so she sought out Lee Strasburg, one of the premiere acting coaches. Marilyn left Hollywood to learn to be better at her craft. She also developed her own production company, something very few Hollywood women had in the 1960’s. She also was a WWB.

Now, both Brit and Anna Nicole went off the road somewhere in the recent past to make them the ludicrous media stories they are today. Britney pushed the sexual envelope, but she pushed it with pre-pubescent girls in her audience (no one ever saw a 7 year old at a Madonna concert, at least not that I am aware of). She pushed sex for the sake of it because T&A sells records, products, etc. People tuned in to see what Britney would do or how little she was wearing, not for her singing or thought provoking lyrics.

Anna Nicole married a man more than twice her age for money. Making her the butt of many jokes. She made films, but instead of honing her craft, she produced and starred in anything that came her way. Quick! Can you name one Anna Nicole film? See, it isn’t easy…. She spent more time in court than anything.

Brit and Anna’s big misstep was their reality shows, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic and The Anna Nicole Show respectively. They erased the line between public and private personas. They literally let it all hang out on television; the “innocent but sexy” morphed into “straight raunchy and rude”. Because of this, many naive and/or uneducated people felt it was cool to be doing these things because celebrities are cool, these two women are celebrities, and therefore, it must be okay and cool.

With these shows, young girls felt it was okay to display sexual behavior of a 25+ year old. If you don’t believe me, read Middle School Girls Gone Wild editorial and see for yourself.

Brit and Anna were clearly crying out for help at this point. Yes, it is too late for Anna, but Brit needs a serious session or too with Dr. Joyce Brothers or someone. These women pushed and pushed things in the media that now, for the same level of attention, they needed to do these shows. Now, it has come out that both have/had to have sex in order to feel loved and when they don’t, they feel worthless, lonely, and anxious.

I see this in teenage girls. They cling tightly to a relationship, doing anything to make it “WOW!” as the media blitz of celebrities is everyday. They bend themselves in any direction to please their “man”, including having sex, oral and otherwise, in various public places such as school auditoriums and buses. And yes, this is sadly true. Some young girls are defiling themselves as Brit and Anna do/did to numb the pain, whether it be with drugs, alcohol, meaningless sex, tattoos, etc. Some follow Anna Nicole into a death too early all because they couldn’t live up to the hype.

Our society needs to begin to take a hard look inward and figure out where our young women are heading. Tragedy is where my friends. Because if we don’t do something soon, your local mall, the Mecca of teens, may begin to resemble a shady strip club from the Vegas strip.

Food for thought…

Sunday, February 11, 2007

How Did He Do That?

I am EXTREMELY pressed for time this week and beyond tired, and I did not want more than a week to pass between posts. Therefore, my post today is a video of a Japanese magician who does the most mind-blowing trick. It takes a few minutes to watch and most of the language is Japanese, but you will get the idea.

Here is my question though: If this man can take the time and determination necessary to master this amazing trick, why can't politicians, heads of state, etc. sit down and talk rationally about solving some of the problems in today's society?

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Coincidence? I think not...

Well, I have to hand it to myself. I love when I talk about things and then the rest of the world catches up and/or agrees. My students know that this happens to me. Do you remember (if you live in SE New England) the cloudy and dreary November and December we had? Some of my students were reading Macbeth at the time as I explained how much the weather dictated the goings-on in Scotland. The weather turned for the better as soon as we were finished… but I digress…

Call it luck coincidence, dumb luck, kismet … whatever, but these things do happen often to me.

So, this AM after schlepping to the local grocery store for my typical Sunday ritual of getting food shopping done before the masses awake, I hunkered down with the Sunday paper. I pulled out the comics first, as I have done since I was old enough to read.

After giggling about the goings-ons with Opus and Dilbert, I turned the pages and read Doonesbury. Man oh man! If Trudeau isn’t a god already, now he is channeling me! ;) I mean come on! It is about the teenage girl in the strip (the name escapes me) wondering what she has to do to become like Paris Hilton.

Go to The Doonesbury Website

Check it out – but remember it was Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007’s comic. If the link doesn't bring you to the above described comic, I believe if you click previous, you will get to it.