Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ramblings for the Evening (11/16/05)

So tired. What's worse is that my wife is having problems sleeping as well. There's nothing worse than just lying there and then hearing, "You awake, too?" Makes me feel guilty.
Best moment of the day? Trying to explain to someone what the term, "Good job," means.
"Is it great?"
"No, it's a good job."
"What would have made it great?"
"Well, no mistakes."
"Wouldn't it have been excellent then?"
"Do you want me to say 'Ok job' chief?"
"Then stop talking and take your 8 out of 10."
Well let's get to it.
So, without further ado: WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?
No Movies in Class:
A buddy of mine sent me
this article, and it really pissed me off. Now, I can see both sides of this argument (which I will show here), but overall this is absolutely stupid. The teacher is showing a historical film. One that is used in college classes to give students an idea of the Elizabethan Era. Yes, it is R-rated, but so is Schindler's List, a film shown freely in most classes, because it deals with a the Holocaust in a frank manner (no pun intended Anne Frank fans). If you refuse to read the article, an English teacher in Georgia showed the film Elizabeth to his senior AP English class. Once discovered, he was given five minutes to either resign or be fired. Where's the choice? No chance to defend himself, just leave or be tossed. However, I said I would look at this objectively, so:

Gives a visual to the Era

Gives an honest look at the Era

Allows students to NOT use their imagination
Gives an honest look at the Era

Beyond that, if you have any students under the age of 17, you have to have parental permission. This can be done with a simple permission slip that is signed by the parents. If he didn't have them, AND he had underage students, the school has an argument, BUT come on. This is a film designed to show how Elizabeth came to power, ruled, and then left power. It's history and helps set up the period writings. We let Herr Schindler go, because it depicts a dark time in a very realistic way. We'll let kids see Nazis kill the Jews, but one naked butt in the Elizabethan period and it's off with his head? If a history teacher ever wants to give visual aid to the McCarthy Era, can she or he no show Good Night, and Good Luck? This would help the students visualize Murrow's struggles. Double standard indeed.
Rap vs. Country for America's Morals:
So I was listening to CNN at around two or three in the morning. Again: couldn't sleep. They bring on this guy (couldn't tell you his name to save my life) to talk about Country Music and the Country Music Awards in NY last night (because New York just SCREAMS Country Music, right?). Anyway, this guy starts talking about how Country Music is American music, etc, etc,
and then he starts talking (no lie) about how Country is filled with moralistic songs that teach people the right way to live, "unlike Rap or Hip-Hop, which teaches kids to be thugs and kill each other." He went on to talk about how Hip-Hop promotes rape and all sorts of other un-American and non-moralistic activities. Fine, that's his opinion. Here's my problem.
I agree that some rap artists promote some not so good ideas (such as killing a guy for his money, slapping your bitch up, etc.), however you cannot say that Country music, as a whole, promotes "totally wholesome ideas."
For every "pimp" that comes out of hip-hop, there's the guy in country who sings a song (oh, let's say Toby Keith, for instance) about a guy who's mad at his girlfriend, so he sleeps with a waitress. Wow, that's chock full o' morals. Just because the Black Eyed Peas have a song called "My Humps" (which is about that part of ladies that most men look at right away) doesn't mean they're destroying America. Last night's big winner was Lee Ann Womack for her song, "I May Hate Myself in the Morning." Essentially, her song is about a woman who is lonely so she decides to sleep with her ex. Hey, that's a great "moral lesson". I'm lonely, so even though I'll regret, I should get it on with my ex.
Look, I have no problem admitting that some Rap or Hip-Hop is not necessarily life-afirming, but neither is alot of Country Music. Don't try to sell me on that.
Tis the Season...Sigh:
I am not a huge fan of the "holiday season." Not because of the religious aspects (I couldn't care less about that), and not, as so many like to believe about people who don't like the holidays, because of my family. No, I hate this time of year because sensible people are infused with mob mentality.
People who normally make sense and act calm will beat each other in order to get that on sale item or get the "COOL, NEW ITEM" such as this year's "it" item: the upside-down Christmas tree. Now, I'm of two minds of this little baby. Part of me says, "Sure it makes sense. More presents can fit (I mean we are a materialistic society), and if you have to put it near furniture, it will take up less room. It's something different from the usual trees, and, if you believe Christmas trees are a religious symbol, this literally turns the religious symbolism upside-down. This tree could be used for Chanukkah or Kwanzaa.
So what's the problem with it? A cheap one costs $300. That's just the beginning. It really IS designed to fit more presents under it. That's not really fitting into the spirit of the holiday, and THAT is my main problem: We have seriously lost the meaning of this holiday. This holiday has become more about finding the perfect gift than anything else. Instead of, "Merry Christmas," we should just shout, "Happy Give Me What I Want Day!"
There are other issues, of course. I was at JoAnn Fabrics over in "The Grove" (That's for you, DeRusha. It is your hood.), and started looking through the holiday aisles while waiting for my pictures I had framed (they were searching for them). There was nothing for Kwanzaa. Ok, because it's a holiday that was recognized starting in 1969, I guess I can understand that, but what amazed me was 1 aisle for Chanukkah. One measly aisle. And in that aisle? Well there were menoras...and...that's it. What surprised me was when I asked one of the associates (or workers) about the lack of Chanukkah stuff.
"Where's the rest of your Chanukkah decorations?"
"This is it, sir."
"There are...(I count) eight aisles of Christmas decorations, and only one aisle of Chanukkah stuff? Interesting."
"Well we do have blue and silver decorations over here."
She leads me to an area with a giant sign that reads, "Winter Decorations" and says, "This should work. I mean, blue and silver are the Chanukkah colors, right?"
I had no answer. What would you say? "Hey, thanks. Good stuff....Yeah."
I just don't like this time of year, because women will trample each other at 6 AM at a Wal-Mart just to save five dollars. The spirit of goodwill seems to disappear very quickly and instead of helping each other, we attack each other.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Little Jimmy Gets Math...and Smack:
A 5 year old kindergartner in Pennsylvania was in trouble when he arrived at school with 8 bags (EIGHT, folks) of Heroin. First of all, I hope that kid was getting good money from the teachers. Ok, ok. In all seriousness, what is amazing to me is not that the kid had the drugs, but the fact that after he was caught with them, the school was unsure of what to do. They waited almost three weeks before confronting the parents. This tells me that the school's lawyer must have been on vacation. You have to feel bad for this kid as well, because he's going to need a Parole Officer until he graduates from college. I work with kids now who are freshman and have P.Os.
And finally:
Sex Bomb:
Tomorrow begins the Sex and So Much More show. There's controversy from people who think it's "just horrible" that this show is occuring. As if, oh I don't know, people shouldn't know about SEX. Eeeeek!
On a separate note, anyone notice how excited (pun intended) DeRusha is to cover this thing? It's a little scary.
Ok, I'm just kidding. Scary is the WCCO commercial with Don Shelby (AKA The Don) drinking organic milk like a fiend. How many takes did he do, I wonder. Did he get bored and whip the milk at someone? Did he diva out?
Ok, I'm out for the night. Until tomorrow.


J. Lamb said...

Just a comment on showing the movie in class. Besides the cons you listed there is the problem of copyright infringement. It has been established in our silly court system that showing the movie at school constitutes "public display" requiring fees to be paid. No kidding. Disney sued a school in Texas for showing one of their cartoon movies. Sad world, ain't it.

Leab said...

Now that's interesting and quite depressing. What about if it is an educational version, such as Super Size Me's teaching version (which comes with materials)?
Disney sues kids. What a great headline that would be.

Jason DeRusha said...

Three notes:
1. No self respecting man should ever write, "I was at JoAnn Fabrics in 'The Grove.'" To hip it up, instead write, "I was at JoAnn in 'The M.G.'"

2. I loved covering The Sex and So Much More Show because in the story I got to say, "When you think of accountants, you think sex, sexy." And "the architects are in hall D, the accountants in B, and the sex show is in the middle. Insert your own joke here." And for some reason-- CCO let me get away with it!

3. Shelby has a permenant organic milk mustache. It stinks.

Voix said...

Hey -- happy thought -- Twin Cities Blogger gathering at Psycho Suzi's on Saturday night. Be there! Post it if you can come!

*mwah* from the Voix.

Admin Worm said...

Hip-hop vs. country: agreed about the sexual aspects, but I've yet to hear Toby Keith sing a song about busting a cap in some cowboy's ass.

Not that I'm defending either, mind you. Crap is crap to my admittedly unrefined ear.

Upside down Christmas tree: Maybe it's the sex story messing with me, but that tree looks like something to me. Hmmmm. Can't put my finger on it. Perhaps that was a poor choice of words. It's on the tip of my tongue. Wait, that's bad too. It's coming to me. Damn, even worse.

Meridita said...

"Give Me What I Want Day"? That's what I call it!!!

And just 'cause: Have ya heard the Fox9 headliner for tonight? 'Co-workers who steal your lunch, and what people are doing about it!' I seriously scoffed when I heard the promo on the radio, and if you knew me, you'd know how dumb somethig has to be to incite a scoff from La Meridita...

Leab said...

"Is your banana being bogarted by your work buddy? Only Fox 9 knows for sure. Make sure you watch...or ELSE!"