Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trouble in the Water

I'm waiting to see the film when it comes to the DIA around Halloween. It's a bird's eye view of New Orleans and the after effects. 3 years later and the place is still not ready. That says way too much about our priorities as Americans and as humans.

Here's the trailer from You Tube.

As the man says at the end of the trailer, "Katrina is still going on." Amen.

Check out the article by Andrew O'Hehir about the film. Also, if you're troubled about the continuing issues in the Gulf Coast region, go to Color of Change and support their effort to get a bill passed to help rebuild the region.

Monday, August 18, 2008

6 Reasons Why I Like Senator Obama for President

I typed this up originally as a Top 5 list, and they're in no particular order. It was first posted on a friend's website - Caring Bridge - who is fighting cancer. So here it is in its unamended form:

I was looking over the top five lists and decided I
could add a couple of my own:

Top 5 reasons I'm voting for
(in no particular except that they came out of my head in this

1. I love how he can blend faith into his politics w/o seeming
overbearing, arrogant, and exclusive.

2. He seems to be sincere in his
attempts at uniting the nation when we are at the zenith of our divisions over
the war, class, rights, and... (something escapes me...), oh yeah, race.

3. Building on that last theme, he is willingly wading into the race
issue with those big rubber boots that come up to his armpits and will hopefully
help America heal the wounds that have festered in the sun. I hope he's not just
paying lip service to this; I don't believe he is.

4. He's inspired me
to believe in the political process again b/c of the way he has motivated huge
numbers of kids, teenagers, 20-somethings. These guys are more engaged in the
process than I have ever seen - but of course, those of you who have seen the
Kennedys have seen this. The Millenials weren't motivated for John Kerry in 2004
- just another tired old boring white guy who's pretending to be cool. That's
why they didn't show up to vote. These kids are the future, and Obama is a great
example for them.

5. He has an energy plan (unlike the current
administration who's been promising one for 8 years - I think it's lost with
Cheney's notes from the Energy Task Force or got shredded in the Enron
documents). He has a plan to do something with Iraq as opposed to just staying
put (or joking about bombing Iran). He's actually willing to use diplomacy to
solve problems instead of drop bombs. Appeasement? Fooey. Talking doesn't mean

6. Sorry - I can't help this one - he knows how to use the
Internet and a computer.

I didn't mean to get up on a soapbox and
preach. Couldn't help it when I start talking about the inexperienced one term
senator from Illinois who's seeking the highest office in the land. Speaking of
which, here are my five favorite presidents:

1. Abe Lincoln

2. Teddy Roosevelt

3. George Washington

4. Franklin Roosevelt

5. (undecided)

These are my reasons so far in a off-the-top-of-my-head fashion without editing or anything. More to come.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Pornogrification of Our Children

I know that I've resisted this trend with my daughter, and other, more erudite writers than myself have taken on this subject with much more tact or humor than I have, but I'm beginning to notice images about women and young girls on TV more and more that are disturbing.

First, tweens and elementary school girls: (K-6)
Don't turn my six-year old into a skank! - That's what this section should be called. Check this video out from Good Morning America:

via (click on link to activate). This is a lame embedded video.

I've read parts of Celia Rivenbark's book and had a great laugh but also cringed at some of the more truth to power moments when she nailed the permissive parents for giving in to their daughters who wanted to dress like a hoochie momma. I highly recommend this book, and no, I'm not getting paid for this endorsement.

I saw this article on Salon's Broadsheet page this morning about HSM panties with the logo "Dive In" emblazoned on the front. Didn't anyone in the Disney production or marketing process say, "WHOA! Hold on a minute here! Do we want little girls wearing panties that say 'DIVE IN!" on them?" Apparently not.

MSNBC covers one more story in the long list of the decline of world civilization: when is it a good time to allow your daughter to get a bikini wax? I kid you not. Mothers are bringing their daughters in to have their eyebrows, legs, bikini lines, upper lips (and even one, the young girl's back). In the case of the girl's back, the girl didn't have a problem with her back hair but the mom did. One salon in NYC that perform these waxings will give discounts to girls 8 years and up b/c their "virgin hair" can be removed permanently removed, thereby fewer waxing visits in the long run. Short term pain, long term gain. To be fair, this is just one salon in NYC, but their owner did tell an interviewer from the New York Post that waxing should begin in 1st grade.

There's also a new book out there called So Sexy, So Soon by Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne. I'm very familiar with Kilbourne's work, especially Killing Us Softly, a video series that we have used in our 10th grade English classrooms to discuss the toxic effects of advertising on women's self image and what it can do to men's expectations for beauty/sex/friendship and everything else. In essence, advertising infantilizes and objectifies women - something many thinking people already know.

More later. Duty calls.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Obama or Clinton?

So now we wait.
It's a virtual deadheat between the two presidential precedents, both history-makers not budging or willing to give an inch. I believe their tenacity was what brought Obama and Clinton this far (gee, what a brilliant observation, Geoff! You'd have to really want the Presidency badly to go through the media bushwacking to get this far and not give up). Democrats now must wait after Mississippi decided for Obama and what looks to be certain victory for Clinton in Pennsylvania. Florida has decided to forgo a do-over and make the nomination process just that much more complicated.

Could it come down to Michigan? Clinton has called for a re-vote in both states - states in which she has both won where her name was the only one on the ballot, but states in which she might win an ever bigger number of delegates if the primary was redone: Florida has a large number of Hispanic or Latino voters who have (so far) stuck with her in the process; Michigan has a large union contingent which could swing Obama's way and some African American voters but not a large number of voters. Clinton might get more of the white, middle-class male vote. Why? God only knows. Maybe b/c she reminds them of their mother.