On Thursday, the campaign launched a web video titled Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed. The video featured Democrats who support John Kerry making negative and baseless attacks against the President. Interspersed in the video were segments of two ads that appeared on a website sponsored by MoveOn.org - a group campaigning for Kerry - in January. On Friday night, John Kerry's campaign denounced our use of these ads, and called that use "disgusting." The Kerry campaign says, "The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong."This can't be right. It's almost funny, it's so disturbing. The Bush people use images of liberals basically associated with the Kerry campaign comparing Bush to Hitler, and Kerry goes off on them for using Hitler images. Does anyone see the dishonesty here? Oh, it gets better. I see now that the Kerry campaign took this to their people in an email, as reported at Oxblog. bq. Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.
Thus begins quite a week for Yankee fans. Subway Series this weekend and the Red Sox during the week. Will the House that Ruth Built still be left standing at the end of these two series?
I’ve explained the difference between the Yankee/Met rivalry and the Yankee/Boston rivalry before. Or at least my take on it. I hate the Mets with a broad, sweeping hatred that knows no depth nor width. It is endless, black and unforgiving. I hate the Red Sox with a vague sense of loyalty to my team and a certain yawning complacency that comes with having the upper hand in a rivalry for so long.
I do prefer to rumble with Sox fans rather than their Met counterparts. Met fans are like little children. They stick their fingers in their ears when you confront them and they can often be seem having ugly tantrums. They are also less likely to give an inch when discussing baseball. Boston fans will grudgingly admit to the greatness of one Yankee or another. Met fans will chant Jeter Sucks for as long and hard as New York Ranger fans yell chants about retired-ages-ago Denis Potvin. Two peas in a pod, those Met and Ranger fans. Sucks is about as good as their insults get.
Sox fans are good to argue with. They come right at you, they are relentless. And they know how to throw down. I always enjoy a good spar with a Boston fan. A spar with a Met fan just leaves me feeling like I kicked an infant.
So here I begin my ten days (The Yanks head to Shea the weekend after this to finish off the Subway series) of antagonizing Met and Red Sox fans. Sure, the results of either series may cause be a bit of regret in being so obnoxious, but I’m a firm believer in having fun while you can. And this is fun.
What a busy week. I was going to apologize for the lack of posting, but Treacher told me to never apologize for not blogging and I generally find it good practice to listen to him.
So I was going through my archives from the wayback machine. Thank jeebus for that thing. There's so much from this site (pre-asv domain) that I just didn't have. I'm trying to copy everything from archive.org over to Notepad so I can finally have full, complete archives.
In the process, I came across a few things I had been looking for, and some I had forgotten about. There are a lot of you who weren't around in the early days, so maybe you'll enjoy these. Let's face it, I have zero blogging mojo tonight. Hey, it can be like a clip show! If The Simpsons can do it, so can I. So welcome to the first ASV clip show/flashback episode.
The first is a conversation I overheard a few years ago (and the post I was specifically looking for), brought to mind when Lileks penned this column at the Backfence. He wanted to know the things that "get your goat."
So I poked around trying to find this post, which I did not find, but did now. Anyhow.
(Sept 2001) Overheard at the PTA conference today:
lady1: man, that really gets my goat.
lady 2: you don't have a goat
lady 1: what?
lady 2: you said it gets your goat. you don't have one. and even if you did, why would anyone want it?
lady 1: christ, it's a figure of speech
lady 2: yea i know. But..goats. you know?
lady 1: man, that really gets my tits
Speaking of overheard conversations, this is one of my favorites:
Conversation overheard between a kindergarten boy and his father, while waiting for DJ to come out of school:
Dad: What did you do today?
Boy: The same. Looked out the window.
Dad: What did you see?
Boy: The same. Giraffes.
Dad: What were they doing?
Boy: The same. Eating the clouds.
Boy: That's why it was nice out today. I made them eat all the clouds.
Dad: Good boy.
And this conversations:
woman 1: this coffee is giving me a stomach ache
woman 2: go poop. you'll feel better
woman 1: yea. I'm gonna go drop some bombs on Afganhistan. Be back in a few.
Ah, I found the Price Club episode called Killing the Queen. I added it to the Best of ASV by posting it as a backdated entry. Oh. Lightbulb. I can do that with all of them!
Ok, I was just kidding about the clip show. This is all I'm going to subject you to.
Allah said in the comments last night (see how handy the new comment permalink has become already!):
I've always pictured you that way. Late 1970s, beat-up car, proto-Benatar haircut, maybe a cigarette between your lips -- and "More Than a Feeling" coming through so damn sweetly on the 8-track.
Sometimes I imagine you're wearing a baseball shirt with a decal of the Boston album cover on it. It depends.
Well, I didn't drive until 1980 (didn't turn 18 until summer after graduation), but Allah sort of sums it up.
First car: 1973 Oldsmobile Omega. Beat up, dented and a hideous shade of space-age blue. I think I did a pass on the Benatar haircut, as she had that frizzy/curly Flashdance thing going on in 1980 (three years before Flashance even came out. Trendsetter!). What I was going for was pure Joan Jett, which was really like a feminine version of the Joey Ramone cut. I guess it worked because people often told me I looked just like Joan Jett. Although if they were really drunk, they mistook me for Joey Ramone.
Damn, I was so cool with those bangs plastered down to my face, cemented there by virtue of hair gel or, when the hair gel was empty, toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. Did wonders for that sleeked down look. Interestingly enough, in the mid 80's toothpaste would be used to spike up hair, ala Billy Idol. Such a versatile product. Did you know that you could use white toothpaste to remove green ice pop stains from your kitchen counter? I kid you not.
Big digression. Sorry.
Anyhow. I was a big fan of the baseball jersey band tees. They made up about 90% of my wardrobe. I loved the way the iron-on pictures would crack after two or three washing, giving the shirt that lived-in look so no one would ever guess that you were a new (poser) fan of a band; the cracks in the shirt made it seem like you were there from the early days. You know, back when Joan Jett was a Runaway. Even though the only thing you knew about the Runaways was from the gossip you read about them in Cream Magazine, because there wasn't a record store within forty miles that sold that kind of music. Heavy metal? Yep. Disco? Sure. Bleach blonde tough chicks? Think of the children!! Damn. Cherrie Curry, Joan Jett and Lita Ford. I know some men who would give up their lives for a few minutes alone with that trio.
Where was I? Oh, the car. Granted, the Omega wasn't such a "cool" car but that's ok, because it didn't last long. When I was teaching my younger sister how to drive, she obviously forgot that a red light means you should stop, so she did not stop. Unfortunately, the woman coming at us from the right knew very well that her green light meant go and go she did. Right into us. We held a dignified memorial service for the Omega and I held a grudge against my sister for years.
Oh, I was wearing a ZZ Top baseball jersey the day the Omega was murdered.
I actually did have a jersey with the Boston album cover on it. It was one of those thick, cumbersome iron-on decals. Not the kind that cracked easily; it was the kind that never faded, never wore out. When you moved, the decal moved, as if it were an entity apart from the shirt. When you sat down, the decal would cause your shirt to sort of pop out, so it looked like you had boobs at your midriff. I could often be seen trying to push the decal part of the shirt up a bit, so I would appear to have some kind of bosom. I teased the boys with the warped spaceship of the Boston album cover. Anyone trying to cop a feel would only get a handful of iron-on.
Yea, I had no boobs back in the day. They used to call me flatsy, which was better than what they called my neighbor, who also had no boobs to speak of (hey, she's a carpenter's dream: flat as board and easy to screw!). Well, that was in junior high and my neighbor eventually grew a nice set of ta-tas that looked suspiciously like wadded up tissues. Me, I waited until the 90's to get my share of breasts, after I had kids. I might have been a really late bloomer, but at least I didn't go by the name Kleenex for years.
So what does all this have to do with anything? Nothing, really. Just reminiscing and wondering if it's too late in life to go get that Joan Jett haircut again.
ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Russia gave the Bush administration intelligence after the September 11 attacks that suggested Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was preparing attacks in the United States, President Vladimir Putin said Friday. ... "After Sept. 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, the Russian special services, the intelligence service, received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside it against the U.S. military and other interests," Putin said.That's Putin, who opposed the war in Iraq and therefore has no self-serving reason to be propping up Bush at the moment. Yet, the typical response from the left: Putin is lying. It seems to me that every time something comes out in the press that might stick a pin in one of the lefts' balloons, they trot out the same line: It's a lie. No refutation, no back up, no facts to support their theory. Oh, that's not true. He's making it up. It's a lie. Don't believe it. And, of course, liars are terrible, immoral people. Unless you're Bill Clinton. Then your're admired. My patience is gone. This would not be a good day to antagonize me. Just saying.
So... You've brutally and systematically killed your small daughter. You've been disbarred. You've spent 17 years in jail for manslaughter. And now, you are finally being released from prison. What do you do now? If you're Joel Steinberg, you get a tv show. Steinberg will be employed by none other than Sidney Biddles Barrows - the Mayflower Madam - and her husband Darnay Hoffman. Hoffman, an attorney, was the lawyer for subway "vigilante" Bernard Goetz. Not suprisingly, one of the first features of Barrows and Hoffman's new show, New York Confidnential, will profile Goetz. Joining the cast of this show in addition to Steinberg will be ODB himself (Ol' Dirty Bastard of Wu Tang Fame), a man incarcerated so many times he uses Rikers Island as his main address, a man who has so many children he lost count - and refuses to pay child support for any of them. What a stellar cast.
He opened the geography to study the lesson; but he could not learn the names of places in America. Still they were all different places that had different names. They were all in different countries and the countries were in continents and the continents were in the world and the world was in the universe. He turned to the flyleaf of the geography and read what he had written there: himself, his name and where he was. Stephen Dedalus Class of Elements Clongowes Wood College Sallins County Kildare Ireland Europe The World The UniverseJoyce was my inspiration; Stephen Dadelus was the charm that held that inspiration close.
One concept, two readings:
Natalie says: Whoo! I'm done with junior high today!
Mom says: My daughter is starting high school three months.
My. Daughter. High. School.
Fear strikes my heart. Thoughts invade my brain.
It's a mantra that's been haunting me for weeks and now it's just like one big word that invades my brain every time I try to sleep. And when I'm not fearing the future, I'm mourning the passage of time. Can someone explain to me how three years can feel like one day?
Natalie's whole stint in junior high has been documented right here. Maybe that's why it seems to have gone so fast; I've been writing this weblog even longer than she spent in that school.
Some of you have been around here since the beginning and thus, you've watched Nat grow up. Together, we went through the trials and tribulations of her first boyfriend, her first smackdown, her cell phone poetry, the frank sexual discussions, her Katie Ka-Boom tendencies and everything in between.
On her birthday this year, I wrote:
But oh, how right they are. Believe it when they tell you that time goes so fast your head will spin. Everything goes by in a blur; trying to recapture all the moments is like trying to catch all the scenery on a car trip while you're doing 80mph. Vroom. Swooosh. Firststepstoilettrainingnurseryschoollongdivisionpubertyhighschool.
When she was crawling, I wished that she would walk. When she was walking, I wished she would stay still. When all she could do was cry, I wished she could talk. Now I wish she would just stay quiet for ten seconds at a time. When she was four, I couldn't wait until she was older so we could stay up late drinking tea while she told me about her first date. Now, I wish she was four again.
Yes. I want it back. I want all that time back. The days spent lounging in the backyard looking at clouds. The mommy and me classes. The story hours at the library. Sesame Street. Disney on Ice. The lullabyes. The walks with the stroller and the fussing in the car seat and the crying in the middle of the night. The scrawled Mother's Day cards, the lopsided pigtails, the innocent questions about everything.
I'm sure that four years from now, when she's graduating high school, I'll be waxing nostalgic about the present time. Well, maybe. How much can one miss the Great Eye Roll, the snarky remarks, the sarcasm, the feeling that no matter what you do, you'll just never please your child?
Ok, so there are the good things about my child getting older. She's more independent, she doesn't need me as much as she used to.
Wait? That's supposed to be a good thing? Then why does it make me feel so sad at times?
Fear of high school keeps me awake at night. The fact the she doesn't fear it all and, in fact, can't wait until September fills my dreams with the monsters known as Boyfriends and Peer Pressure. Nevermind the SATs and regents exams, at least those she can study for. There is no guidebook for dealing with sweet talking high school boys or friends dangling beer bottles and cigarettes in front of you.
I know, I worry too much. It's my job to worry, though. I can't help but look at this:
and feel my hair blow back as the woosh of time rushes past me.
I suppose I should take a lesson from myself. When she was five, I lost sleep over sending her to kindergarten. Each rite of passage brought new fears and more hand wringing. Three years ago, when she graduated from elementary school, I was terrified of what fates awaited her in the dreaded middle school. She seems to have gotten out of there ok, and most of my fears were unfounded, products of reading too many alarming articles about what teenage girls are up to these days.
I look forward to her future with uncertainty, I look to her past with a twinge of nostalgia. I need to do some deep breathing. Relax, let the summer unfold and September approach without all this overwrought trepidation or teary-eyed reminiscing. I hear the concept of living in the present is a pretty good one, if done right. I just might try that. I just might concentrate on who she is today and grab those few moments where we are getting along and enjoy them without those fears or regrets or nighttime monster sharing the stage.
I should take my own advice: Pictures, videos, memories. Hold them all dear because one day they are sleeping soundly in a crib and the next they're getting a job and you need something to keep track of all the days in between.
That's kind of hard to do when you're spending so much time fending off the future. So I hereby vow to concentrate on today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. At least for the summer.
From Maybe I Think Too Much:
I'm fed up with Hollywood elitists thinking they can publicly mock our President, Christianity, and values that Middle America holds dear without ever being held accountable. They are certainly entitled to their opinions, and they should still be able to fund candidates and organizations, appear in movies of their choosing, and say whatever they want to whomever they want, but they should also experience the consequences and repercussions of their words and actions.
This is why I propose to reestablish the Hollywood Blacklist.Any celebrity, having been verified saying something objectionable, after today (Saturday, June 12, 2004) about an elected official, the American military, a religion or religious leaders, about people living in "flyover country", or in any way impugn the religious or moral values held by the majority of Americans to the press, in media such as television, movies, radio, CDs, books, newspapers, magazines or web sites, will be added to the new blacklist and I encourage everyone to cease renting or purchasing products that they appear in or promote. This includes their movies, their television shows, their CDs, their magazines, their books and those of the products whom they are spokespersons for.
What a soundly terrible idea. It mocks everything America is about, as well as gives credence to the left's mantra that conservatives and/or Republicans want to crush dissent and block free speech.
While I think it's disengenous to call Bush Hitler, for example, I don't think anyone should be "held accountable" for doing so in terms of being blacklisted.
This is why I don't join boycotts or throw out my Beastie Boys CDs. America is the land of the free and that includes free speech. If you don't want to watch movies or listen to music made by actors or musicians whose views differ vastly from yours, more power to you. However, I think calling for a Hollywood blacklist does more harm than good to your cause.
There is a difference between an entertainer facing the repercussions of his statements via monetary loss if a whole bunch of people just decide to stop purchasing his products and being a victim of a group-think movement to outright stop his career in its tracks.
For instance, a person writing to UComics and telling them that they are upset that they print Ted Rall's comics and will no longer put any of their own money into supporting UComics is fine and a great expression of your freedom to show dissent. However, gathering your forces to get UComics to drop Ted Rall from its roster (please note, as much as I despise Ted Rall, I never wrote to any of his syndicators to ask them to drop him) is engaging in tactics that can be construed as crushing of someone else's dissent, which is not very American.
Perhaps it just the term "blacklist" that worries me. The connations of that word are dark and evil and make me think of smoky back rooms where giant men with cigars dictate the lives of others. To whitewash the entertainment industry so that only those who voice your own opinion are left standing is dishonest; it creates an environment where only one lone voice is heard. Michael Moore may not speak for me, but he certainly speaks for others and to make any attempt to blacklist him or to strong arm movie theaters into not showing his film it to take away other people's freedom to listen to Moore and see his works. Who are we to decide what other people can see or hear?
I get nervous whenever people talk about silencing others and that, in essence, is what a blacklist purports to do. Oh, the left has their own blacklists as well, as does every major political movement. They just don't always make it public. No matter who is doing the blacklisting, it is bad, bad policy.
The dictionary defines blacklist this way:
A list of persons or organizations that have incurred disapproval or suspicion or are to be boycotted or otherwise penalized.
Penalizing someone for speaking their mind, no matter how insane or contrary their views might be, is inherently un-American. Organizing a boycott among like-minded individuals is fine, stating publicly that you don't not support Actor X because of he trashes the president is fine as well. But a blacklist is equivalent to trying to shut someone up.
Sadly, I fear that this will end up being nearly all media as we know it, but given the trash that floods into our homes and theatres passing as entertainment today, it is probably a good thing to lose, especially if a boycott of these products will drive home the point that these Hollywood elitists cannot continue to insult their audience and still expect to get rich. Please note that this blacklist will not punish those in the entertainment media for civilized dissent. If an actor says something along the lines of, "I plan to support Senator Kerry in his campaign because I believe strongly in his vision for America," demented as that may be, it's not objectionable and insulting, and doesn't warrant blacklisting. If instead, the actor says, "Bush means Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, and all these fucking crypto-fascists are gonna get in and start carving up the pie and handing in all their markers to the Republican Party that's been itching to get back into power." (John Cusack, otherwise one of my favorite actors.)
The problem the author of this blog faces is that he assume that the audience is made up solely of people who have the same views of him. ...these Hollywood elitists cannot continue to insult their audience and still expect to get rich. Not all of the audience is insulted, just as not everyone is as insulted or horrified as I am when Ted Rall talks about Reagan roasting in hell. Also, the author is specifically defining what kind of dissent is appropriate, as if he has a right to determine the proper way of voicing your opinion.
Again, it's something about keeping a list that bothers me, that invokes the spirit of Communism (yes, ironically, blacklists in Hollywood historically kept out the Communists). The thought of someone fastidiously writing down names and checking them against their statements, then deciding if the statement was good dissent or bad dissent according to their own definition gives me the creeps.
I expect that there will be plenty of argument on this subject and many of you will rush to point to the fact that I often take celebrities to task for the policital things they say; that I am often seen deriding Michael Moore or Ted Rall for their commentary. While I do believe they deserve my ridicule, I also believe they deserve their time on their soapboxes because they are Americans and therefore they are born with the right to speak their mind, no matter how deluded that mind might appear to others. For every person like myself who thinks that Moore is insane, there is a person who thinks he is a genius and I have no right to take away that person's ability to listen to Moore.
[link via Dean Esmay]
Update: I knew this post would be like letting a swarm of bees loose. Honestly, my biggest problem with the blacklist idea - and I know this is not the basis for a good argument against it - is the useage of the word blacklist itself. I probably associate it too closely with the McCarthy blacklist era and thus all my feelings towards this are very negative.
Also, in the comments Allah states:
There was a lot of talk after 9/11 about Americans being prepared to sacrifice in times of war. You seem to be saying that despite the presence of people here at home who, casually or not so casually, are doing what they can to undermine that war effort, being asked to sacrifice part of your CD or DVD collection is simply a bridge too far. Doesn't leave much left to the concept of "sacrifice," I don't think.
I don't see how throwing out CDs and movies I bought years ago makes any sacrfice towards the war on terror. I'm willing to wait longer in airports because security is tighter, I am willing to give up certain freedoms and rights if it means that I am better protected for it. I just don't get the concept of throwing out entertainment in the name of fighting terrorism.
I do my best to call these people out, to bring publicity to their mostly idiotic feats that try to undermine our success in this war. I think it's a bit dishonest to make the implication that I am not willing to sacrifice anything for the war on terror. Just because I still have my Smiths CDs does not mean I hold Morrissey up as some great icon of truth. Morrissey the artist, I am still a fan of. Morrissey the person can kiss my American, freedom loving ass. But I do keep in mind his right to say the things he does, and I keep in mind my right to make sure everyone knows what he is going around saying. And please note I am not talking about speech that can be qualified as treason. That's a whole different ballgame. When someone, like Ted Rall, tells troops to start shooting at each other, that's a bit different than saying Bush is Hitler. One is poisonous, the other is just stupidity masquerading as protest.
Perhaps this makes no sense to you. It does to me and I cannot explain myself any better than I already have. I just really resent the implications in the comments and from some email I received that because I think Michael Moore is allowed to exercise his freedom of speech, I am therefore aiding and abetting anti-Americanism. Please tell me how an almost twenty year old copy of Beastie Boys album sitting in my CD player is doing just that?
It's very early on a Sunday morning and I'm sure there are plenty of holes in my argument against blacklisting that will be brough to light; holes that might be better filled when I've had more time to think about the subject. But that's what the comments - often filled with raging dissent - are for.
Perhaps this is the wrong way to go about things, but it's my blog and my chosen topic at hand, so I'll make up the rules.
In the great debate over the best cartoons - which started out as a WB/Disney debate but now includes all the HB stuff as well as some other viewer chosen cartoons - here is how I decide which reigns supreme: How have said cartoons impacted my life in terms of pop culture references?
Silly? Yes. But we are talking cartoons here.
When I say references, I take into account the following:
* Have I ever dressed up as one of the characters for Halloween?
* Did I ever have any household accessories (bed sheets, etc.) with their likeness?
* How many times have I quoted any of the characters?
* If any of the characters break out into song, can I recite those songs from heart?
* How many of the theme songs can I sing?
* How many times in my life have I referenced the cartoons when talking about a completely different subject or used any of the cartoons to make a point in a discussion?
* How much of their "stuff" do I own?
* How many childhood-young adulthood memories involve any of the characters?
* How many episodes of a show can I recite nearly word for word?
There's more, but that should suffice for now.
After careful review of the criteria, it seems that Disney cartoons (remember kids, we are talking about television cartoons and not the Disney movies) had very little impact upon my career as a pop culture referencer. Yes, that's a word and a career. Just made it up, but that does not make it any less real.
It wasn't until the later Disney stuff, after I had children of my own, that had any kind of impact on my daily living and that's only because I now like to walk around saying Let's Get Dangerous! at random times. Darkwing also had a slew of opening lines he used when he appeared in a puff of smoke to save the day, such as I am the surprise in your cereal box! I like to use these sayings at times, though not as randomly, as there is a place and time for each of these quotes.
The terror that flaps in the night singlehandedly saved Disney from being relegated to "not culturally important enough" status in this debate. We had Darkwing cereal bowls, beach towels and t-shirts. We even got his autograph when we went to Disney World.
Darkwing was part of the Disney Afternoon block of cartoons that started airing in 1990. The original incarnation of this series included animated Gummi Bears, which struck me as inane. Talking cats and ducks? Fine. Talking candy? No. There was also Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers, Ducktales, Talespin, Goof Troop and Bonkers. Other shows were added later, but at that point my kids had switched from The Disney Channel to Nickelodeon (save for Gargoyles, which was a pretty neat show) and we missed out on such grand fare as Shnookums and Meat.
I hated Ducktales, mainly because I hate Donald Duck and every single Disney Duck except for the aforementioned Darkwing was really just Donald in a different outfit. Well, at least Scrooge McDuck wore coattails to cover up his genitals. Actually, it's pretty odd the way they handed out clothing to these ducks. Some of them wore pants, shirts, shoes, the whole bit, while others still went around with shirts and no pants. I'm sure there is some biting social commentary to be had here, but I do not want to digress more than I already have.
Enough of you favorite 90's Disney fare, you are saying. What about the stuff from your childhood, or do you just live vicariously through your children all the time?
Well, the two do meet ,you know. Aside from Darkwing Duck, the only other Disney Afternoon show I liked was Goof Troop. This stems from my unhealthy fascination with Goofy that goes back to my childhood. Goofy was the only Disney character I really liked. Perhaps I related to his awkwardness or his ability to turn every attempt at doing something good into a farce.
One of my favorite Goofy roles was in Lonesome Ghosts, pre-cursor to Ghostbusters.. Do you know how I watched that episode? Not on tv. Nope, I watched it with my handy dandy Fisher Price cartoon viewer. Wow! I actually found a photo of the cartridge. Excuse me while I go into memory shock overload. I can literally hear the clicking noise the viewer made as you cranked the handle. [Hold on....someone has it for sale on eBay! Which means I have to get the other computer hooked up today as I don't have my eBay password on the laptop and there's already twenty bids!]
Back to Goofy. While he may not have been quotable or even sourceable, he certainly was loveable and that's a good "able" to be. I believe Goofy was my first introduction to real physical humor, but I always worried about the guy, wondered how he could get into so many mishaps yet always remain happy, healthy and, well, goofy.
So it came to be that I would watch Goof Troop with my kids and eventually, every time, I would find myself alone in the living room laughing at the antics and the strained father-son relationship between Goofy and Max as my kids headed for another tv where they could watch Power Rangers or whatever else was on at the time. I think they even preferred Barney to Goofy. There's no accounting for taste.
What are we left with here? Goofy, Darkwing Duck and some memories that are going to cost me a pretty penny at eBay. I suppose if the thought of Lonesome Ghosts could send me running for my wallet, Disney cartoons must have had some impact on me.
End of Part 1. Feel free to use the criteria above to come to your own conclusions.
Yesterday marked Donald Duck's 70th birthday. How did I ever miss this incredible cultural milestone? How did I let the day go by without commemorating this stupendous event?
Oh, that's right. I hate Donald Duck.
I look at Donald in the same way some people look at Crispin Glover. There's just a wrongness about him that makes my skin crawl. I suppose, to be fair, I shouldn't blame it entirely on Donald himself. I feel the same way about any animated animal that doesn't wear pants.
Why bother wearing a shirt if you aren't going to put a decent pair of trousers on? Even shorts or a bathing suit would be better than letting your genital-less nether regions hang out like that. It's just wrong, I tell you. The fact that Daisy refuses to wear a skirt or pants either just makes it all the more horrible to look at.
Do you let your kids watch Donald Duck cartoons? You shouldn't. No one should have to stand for Disney's veiled attempt to pass partial cartoon nudity onto our children. Where are the warnings? Where is the PG rating?
It's not just the no pants thing that bothers me. Donald's whole personality, in a word, sucks. He's selfish, obnoxious and a really bad role model for his nephews. He's got a worse temper than Tommy Lasorda. I wonder just what goes on that we don't see with those nephews. Ten to one he's hit them more than once. Probably with a belt buckle or a shoe. He's also a miser, as seen here and here. This stuff is documented, people. I am not making it up.
He is continually jealous of Mickey's good looks and luck with women. But no, nothing is ever Donald's fault. He just sits around and bitches about Mickey and Goofy and how easy they have it. Not once does he try to better himself or his life. Instead, he chooses to complain about how life isn't fair. The dude has a chip on his shoulder larger than, well, Chip. And that Daisy, she's just an enabler who continues to try to soothe Donald's frail ego every time he does something wrong. Hmm..I wonder what goes on with them behind closed doors? I'm willing to be the sex includes a lot of "I said turn over, bitch!" and such. She takes whatever he gives her, and what he doesn't give her, which is respect and proper attention. Dumb bitch. Eh, what can you expect from a chick that doesn't even have the decency to wear at least a thong in public? No wonder the girls today dress like they do! They've been raised watching pantless animals!
And what's wrong with Disney, expecting us to be entertained by Donald's long line of failures and defeat? I may not like the duck, but I would certainly back him up if he were to go to Eisner and claim exploitation.
It is my contention that Donald Duck is in serious need of some medication. Perhaps Zoloft or Prozac, something to help those mood swings and control his passive aggressiveness.
But what Donald really needs is a pair of pants. I keep looking for his duck dong; not because I want to see it but because it's pretty damn obvious that if Donald is wearing no pants, his thing is going to be swaying around. I suppose this is one for that scary group of folks known as furries to answer for me. Too bad I won't let myself get within ten feet of one of those folk. Do the folks at Disney think we're that stupid, that we are supposed to believe that ducks have no dicks? Then again, maybe that's why Donald is so angry all the time.
Well, happy birthday anyhow, Donald. You're 70 now. Calm the hell down, put on a pair of slacks and give Daisy some lovin'.
[I am well aware that this is clearly the stupidest thing I have ever posted here.]
I spent an hour or so last night discussing my negative feelings expressed in the post below with my husbad. We both came to the same conclusion. Bear with me while I get to it.
When it comes down to it, it's not the book deals or celebrity status that bothers me, and it's not jealousy or bitterness that is giving rise to my exasperation with the story. It's about women and girls and the way we view ourselves.
I probably would not have written what I did last night if I were not still reeling from what I read at Joanne Jacobs's site the other day.
Friends with 'benefits': "Hooking up" -- a no-strings sexual encounter that may range from kissing to oral sex to intercourse -- is more common than dating for affluent suburban teen-agers, according to a New York Times Magazine story. Girls in eighth or ninth grade perform oral sex on boys. Kids don't like commitment. Some go to online sites where they can "post profiles, exchange e-mail and arrange to hook up" with strangers. The trend toward ''hooking up'' and ''friends with benefits'' (basically, friends you hook up with regularly) has trickled down from campuses into high schools and junior highs -- and not just in large urban centers. Cellphones and the Internet, which offer teenagers an unparalleled level of privacy, make hooking up that much easier, whether they live in New York City or Boise.
Basically, these young girls hand out blow jobs like candy. No relationship, on hand holding; just some teenage girls giving relief to horny boys. What do the girls get out of it? I can't figure that out. Do they get the satisfaction of a job well done? Do they get some deep down pleasure at having fulfilled their friend's sexual needs? If so, why? Why would a young girl give of herself like that so freely?
Do you see where the two stories are connected? Actually, there are two ways I connect them. The first is that the media loves girls who put out. Apparently, that holds true whether the girls are fourteen or grown women.
My daughter is fourteen years old. This is not what I want her to learn about sex. It's not a commodity. It is not a bargaining tool and it is not to be used as leverage.
What ever happened to self-worth?
One of the things I talk to my daughter about when we have conversations about sex is self-esteem. I emphasize this: If a guy says to you "if you really love/like me, then you'll do this for me" the best thing to do is run. Fast. Never, ever let a guy make you feel that doing sexual favors for him is how you prove your feelings. It's a lie. Remember that you are worth more than what your hands or mouth can do for him. Respect yourself as a person and demand that whatever boy you are with does the same.
It's my contention that girls who give in to boys who are only looking for a short burst of pleasure and nothing else will end up with little self-worth and a warped view of sex. Trust me on how I came to this conclusion. It was not an easy lesson to learn and I'll be damned if I am going to let the same things happen to my daughter. I certainly don't want it to happen to your daughter, either. The only thing a girl gets out of a quickie behind the school playground is a bad reputation and small rip in their self image. The more the girl continues to be a playground toy, the larger the rip becomes.
Do you know what your daughters are doing? Do you know what your sons are doing? I wonder how many parents of boys give them the same talk as girls are presumably given, that females are more than their breasts, more than the sexual pleasure they can give you? When I was a teenager, it was standard procedure for the girls to get the burden: boys will be boys, so it is up to girls to say no.
So what's different today? What has the sexual revolution brought us? Not much, from the looks of it. Girls are putting out a younger age. The definition of sex is fuzzy. Half of the girls that are in junior high today will end up with a lot of regret some day.
I'm not saying sex is bad and teenagers should never think about it. It's part of human nature, especially in the early teen years. I don't want my daughter to ever think of sex as something inherently bad. But I don't want her to see it as a tool, either. Giving a friend a blowjob is not having sex in the full meaning of the word. For most girls - one can presume this after reading article after article about middle school sex - it's just currying favor, which makes the giver a bit of whore.
So how many of these girls who are doing "favors" for male friends or putting out to prove their devotion to a boy are going to end some day like Jessica Cutler, putting a price on their booty or using sex as a way to get what they want, be that money, fame or a husband? Is that the way you want your daughter going through life? Hardly.
Self-worth is sometimes all one has. To have that taken away, little by little, just so some boy who was never taught by his parents to respect girls can have a few moments of orgasmic bliss is a very sad thing.
You can blame the media, which goes to great lengths to give the sluttiest women the most coverage. You can blame the fashion industry, which seems to believe that little girls should dress like the sluts the media thinks they are. Or you can blame parents who teach their kids the basics of sex, but don't teach about the emotions and necessary respect involved.
This is not well thought out, it's simply off the cuff comments stemming from a very depressing conversation last night.
If you are a blogger who supports the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom, then you've come to the right place. To participate in this challenge, which will run from June 5th - July 9th (18tir), all you need is a blog and the desire to unite with thousands of other bloggers from around the world, who all believe in the Iranian people's right to be free from the tyrannical hell that is currently imposed upon them. Your objective, as a blogger, is to try and recruit as many fellow bloggers as you can, to join the 'BLOG-IRAN' Coalition. If you aren't currently a member of 'BLOG-IRAN', don't worry, you can join the coalition right now, and begin competing in this challenge immediately. Recruit your friends, family or even your noisy nextdoor neighbors! As long as they blog and they support the Iranian people in their struggle, then they meet the requirements for 'BLOG-IRAN' membership and can begin competing in the challenge. Every time a blogger you've referred joins the 'BLOG-IRAN' Coalition, you get 1 point. Throughout the challenge you will be able to view the current scores set by yourself and other bloggers. On July 9th, the competition will end, and the top 10 bloggers who have tallied the most recruits will receive 'GotAMullah' Coffee Mugs, 'Free Iran' Bumper Stickers and will be permanently placed at the top of the 'United Blogs Directory!I really don't want to win anything, I just want everyone to click on this link daily and keep updated on what is going on in Iran. For instance, this week they are "hiring" potential suicide bombers. Also, read Michael Ledeen regularly. While the mullahs recruit a death squad, I'll do my best to help freedom-loving Iranians recruit Blog Iran coalition members. Go here to join Blog Iran.
Iraq - Coalition soldiers questioned two news media cameramen and a reporter after a roadside bomb exploded near a Coalition convoy two kilometers north of Mosul June 3. The media, who were at the scene prior to the attack, told soldiers at the scene they had received a tip to be at that location prior to the attack and they had witnessed the explosion. There was minimal damage to a Coalition vehicle, a cracked windshield, and no serious injuries. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers requested the media accompany them to a base camp in Mosul to answer questions as witnesses to the incident. The news media representatives left the base camp in the mid afternoon.
The Committee on Arrangements (COA) for the 2004 Republican National Convention is considering the option of creating an on-site bloggers station at this year's Convention from August 30 through September 2 in Madison Square Garden.Do I need to say how great this is? Update: Oops, got so excited I forgot to give out the info for interested bloggers. If you have any questions or for more information, please call Megan Mollman or Ryan Connolly in our Communications Department at (212) 356-2300.
Bloggers would receive credentials to all four days of the Convention and would be outfitted with a centrally located workspace in Madison Square Garden. The close proximity would provide additional accessibility for bloggers to connect with surrogates, and to provide additional multimedia (photos, videos, et cetera) to their audiences.
I dragged Natalie to Wal-Mart with me yesterday to pick up some odds and ends. We stopped briefly in the electronics department to see if they carried the thingie that I need to transfer my photos from camera to computer, as the one I own is packed away somewhere in a box that must be buried under boxes we intended to not open for years.
They didn't have what I was looking for, but they did have three giant bins filled with DVDs! Three for Five Dollars! While Supplies Last! Of course, we had to look. I know I will never, ever find anything I want in these bin sales, but I look anyway, always hoping that one day the corporate heads at Conglomerate Central will decide that their store should no longer carry any Gary Oldman movies and I'll be able to complete my collection cheap.
No such luck. There were some Tony Danza movies, a couple of Part IVs to movies that should have never had a Part I and kids videos that were all mean to cash in on the Barney craze way back when but never had quite the impact that the grown man dressed up in the polka dotted lion suit hoped for.
As I gave up hope of finding anything interesting (and after explaining to Natalie that Monkeybone was not worth even $1.75), I was smacked in the face by nostalgia.
Baby Songs. Oh, not a good thing to see while I'm suffering through a raging battle with PMS. No, not the kind of PMS where I want to tear someone's heart out, but the complete opposite, the kind that makes me cry at the mere site of orphaned kittens or little babies or an old couple holding hands.
When Natalie was wee tiny, someone bought us a few of the Baby Songs tapes. I scoffed, as I was not going to be one of those parents who stuck their kid in front of a television. In fact, I vowed that Natalie would not even know what a television was until she was older. Perfect Parenting 100 begins with the mantra Kill Your Television.
We listened to music instead. Natalie was strangely soothed by the harmonious melodies of the Traveling Wilburys. I have a video somewhere of Natalie in her little bouncy seat, having one of her patented screaming fits. When she had these outbursts, she was unconsolable. She didn't want to be held. Didn't want to be fed. Nothing could calm her down. But in this particular video (and why we were taping her screaming, I have no idea), she's at fever pitch; arms flailing, feet flying, head spinning 360 degrees with pea soup flying out of her mouth and suddenly she stops. Just dead stops. She cocks her head like a cat listening for the devil. And you hear it.
Been beat up and battered 'round
Been sent up, and I've been shot down
You're the best thing that I've ever found
Handle me with care
The tears stop, her face lights up. I zoom in close with the camera and I swear she is smiling. Smiling! and thus began the beginning of the end of my infatuation with that Wilburys song. After five days of using it to stop the crying jags, I never wanted to hear it again.
One time, not too long ago, I put the song on just to see if Natalie remembered it, or if she would have some subconscious reaction to it. Nope. She just said "Hey, I know this song, dad has this CD at his house," which left me a little mad that he has something I think belongs in Nat's baby box.
So Natalie's savage mood swings were soothed by music, and this bode well for one very tired mommy. I was able to put her in the swing or the bouncy seat, switch on the stereo and everyone was happy. Mommy could do some cleaning or read the paper and Natalie would bounce and swing and make little baby attempts at singing, which some people call cooing, but when your child is obviously some kind of genius, it is singing, damn it.
Then the stereo broke. Just stopped working, just like that. Now what? The crying jags came back. The red face and balled up fists were like powerful magic, turning me into a stressed out, frenzied mother who wanted nothing more than to not be a mother whenever Nat was struck by these moods. Music, had to have music.
There was the television. Staring at me, just daring me to turn it on. But...but what about my Perfect Parenting score? What would the other women in the Mother's Group think? Won't my baby immediately turn into an idiot if I put her in front of the tv?
Well, it was just music, after all. I just needed music. So I hesitantly put on MTV. The crying coming from the monster baby in the swing stopped. The cooing/singing started. Yes! This had to be worth the points I would get taken off my Perfect Parent license. I took Natalie out of the swing and put her on my lap, right in front of the tv. I was losing control over my ability to perfect parent! Maybe I was going to become the idiot, not my baby.
It didn't matter because the MTV fascination lasted as quick as the Prince video we were watching. They segued from Prince into Guns N Roses and, let me tell you, there has never in fourteen years of Natalie's life been anything that frightened her more than Axl Rose. It wasn't just an aberration that Welcome to the Jungle was making her cry that day. It turned out that no matter where we were, whether it was on the tv or a radio, GnR never failed to pitch Natalie into a crying frenzy. [Then there was the video for Live's I, Alone, which caused Natalie (at a much later age) to have a recurring nightmare about Ed Kowalczyk eating her for dinner.]
It was at one of these Perfect Parenting meetings that I broke down and confessed I was a bad parent who tried to use television to make my child stop crying. The other mothers took turns chastising me and using a cat-o-nine tails on my back while I had to repeat over and over again that I was a bad mommy and would never, ever turn on a television again. Points were taken away. Tears were shed. This was worse than the day I confessed that I wasn't signing Natalie up for Gymboree. Or the day the other mommies noticed that my child was not wearing Baby Gap clothing.
After the de-scoring ceremony, I left the mommy group feeling dejected and horrible about my parentings skills. As I walked to my car (points off for having a Mustang and not a mini-van) a small, meek woman approached me. She was wearing a trench coat and dark sunglasses and furtively glancing around.
I have to make this quick, she said. I've been banished from the mommy group for letting my kids watch television and for not having soy milk available in my home. She then reached into her deep pockets, pulled out a video tape, and whispered two words into my ear: Baby Songs. She confessed that she had been letting her twins watch the tapes since they were old enough to see straight. She related the story of the day one of the lead mommies came to her house for a suprise visit and saw the twins propped up in front of the television, all smiles and giggles, watching a video. She tried to defend herself by showing the ruling mommy how happy the twins were, but the mommy just said they were the smiles of idiots, not happy babies. She immediately turned off her tv, and offered the lead mommy a snack, but the lack of soy milk did her in. Banishment followed immediately.
The trenchcoated woman explained the importance of the Baby Songs tapes. How they soothed her children, but were educational, too. How the tapes gave her time to unwind, read the paper, have coffee, do a load of dishes without having to hold or entertain the kids.
I gave in. I took the tape from her and to anyone looking on from the shadows, we must have appeared to be two desparate housewives making a crack deal to aleviate the boredom of our lives. She offered the crack. I took it and ran.
It was nothing short of a miracle, this tape. The second the music cued up, Natalie did her little hand-waving, foot-wiggling act. She smiled. She giggled. I think she may have applauded.
I was able to make dinner peacefully. I dusted and vacuumed. I read a chapter of a book. All the while, Natalie cooed and sang and never once approached the danger zone of the whimpers that would lead to a full on tantrum.
Yet, I felt guilty. The tv was on! How terrible! So I fought with myself.
She's happy, you're happy.
No, no, she's not happy, she's just smiling an idiot's smile!
Look how much you got done.
But what good is a nice dinner when your child is losing IQ points?
These songs are so cute!
The Mommies are going to take away your membership card!
I had this image of the Lead Mommy looking very much like Angelica Huston in The Witches. Would I be able to hide my dirty deeds at the next meeting or would she just know, just by looking at me, that I was a hideous creature, a mother who dared to let her child watch television and wear K-Mart clothing?
Then Natalie clapped. Really, truly clapped. With delight. I sat down in front of the tv and put Nat on my lap, rewound the Baby Songs tape and started from the beginning. We watched the whole thing together, me laughing and her singing and clapping. Angelica Huston be damned, my kid was happy. She was not crying or thrashing about or turning red with kiddie rage.
The next day I went to my Perfect Parent meeting as usual. When it came time to sit in our circle and take turns airing our parenting gripes in a non-confrontational, non-judgmental manner, I quietly took my place on the floor. After listening to a few women bitch very non judgmentally about other (non Perfect Parenting) mothers who don't enroll their babies in vocabulary enhancement classes, it was my turn. I stood up - even though standing up was considered a threatening, aggressive move -and told the other perfect, wonderful mommies that my child was enjoying watching television and furthermore, I was enjoying the fact that she was enjoying it. And, even furthermore, I was going to purchase even more videotapes and oh, by the way, I don't add tofu to my daughter's baby food, I think Baby Gap clothes are ugly and overpriced and (looking straight at the Lead Mommy at this point) I have it on good authority that you buy store brand diapers! Well, you can imagine the cacophony of gasps and squeals. I fled the room, ran to the car (cradling Natalie under my arm like a football, which is a big no-no in the Perfect Parenting world) and took off in my non-conformist Mustang, tires screeching, radio blaring some Satan's spawn rock song.
Man, that was one long tangent. Let's get back to Wal-Mart, yesterday.
So we stand there still digging through videos and I start thinking about the Perfect Parenting mommies and wondering how I've fared since I left the group that purported to have my child's best interests at heart. Did I raise her right? Did she turn into a good young adult? Would she pass inspection from the Lead Mommy? What would her scores in self-esteem and individuality look like if her life were a scorecard?
We're approached by a loud group of giggly girls that turn out to be Nat's friends from school. One of the girls is a friend of a friend, one of those clique cross-over girls. She stares Natalie up and down while Nat chats with one of the other girls. Natalie notices this.
What? Do I have a booger on my face or something?
Uhh..no. I'm just like..uh...I hate those pants you wear.
Well, it's a good thing I don't dress to please you, isn't it?
Yea, I've done alright.
The girls left and I grabbed three of the Baby Songs DVDs and showed them to Natalie. Remember these, I asked? And my fourteen year old starts singing, in the middle of Wal-Mart. Mommy comes back, she always comes back, she always comes back to get me. My mommy comes back, she always comes back, she never would forget me.
She remembered. Surely, not from her infant days when I propped her in front of the television; more likely from my second round with the tapes when DJ was a baby. But listening to her sing those words all these years later made my eyes fill with tears. Natalie glared at me. You are not going to cry, mom. Pause. Are you?
I look at her and think of her as a baby, a toddler, a Daisy Girl Scout. It really wasn't that long ago. She's still sort of a kid, right? I'm getting all teary for nothing. I still have years of her childhood left to savor. I go on and on like this for a few minutes, staring at the Baby Songs videos, looking at her, trying to not to break into a PMS crying fit.
Natalie breaks my reverie.
Oh, Mom. Forgot to tell you. I got my high school schedule [for September] today.
Damn straight I cried. I'm crying now, still.
Spirit of America is going to let us all do more. It carries on the work and spirit of Chief Wiggles and Operation Give and countless individual soldiers who have had their families back home send baseballs and frisbees over to give to kids -- but in a big way. They will raise millions of dollars to respond to requests from the streets of Iraq for material such as tools, help with media (both TV and weblogs!), help start microbusinesses owned by Iraqis, and help bring sports back to the Iraqi youth. Eventually, SoA hopes to be a conduit for needs in Iraq and contributions from America. Think of it as open-source nation-building. Spirit of America is already helping. Last week, Kerry put together the shipment of 15 pallets of tools to send to Iraqi.Spirit of America is now embarking on a lofty goal: In the next few weeks, the organization hopes to sign up a million Americans as contributors, volunteers or simply people who are interested enough to pay attention. Be one of those million. There are thousands of things you can do to help SOA. Maybe you have days and days worth of time to give, maybe you only have a few seconds. Whatever your availability is, SOA will have some way for you to help. I can't stress the importance of what SOA is doing. I'll quote Jeff Jarvis again: If we can help the Iraqis build their nation and their democracy and if we can connect with them on a personal level -- if, to be blunt, we can demonstrate that Americans are not ugly -- then we create a foothold for democracy, freedom, modernity, civilization, and just friendship in the Middle East. This is not about pro-war or anti-war. There are no sides in this. There is just doing; just helping one nation reach out to another, making the way for peace and civility to flow between them. You will not stop hearing about this from me. I'm going to do everything I can to help SOA not only reach their goal of one million American volunteers; but I will help them in any other way they need. I think this is the most important thing we can do at home to help win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and make the road to democracy and peace one paved with fulfilled intentions. Get involved.