Sunday, February 25, 2007

About Those Celebritiy Spokespersons...

Did you ever happen to notice how many celebrities had bad, impoverished or abusive childhoods? It's not that all of them came from these background, but enough of them have to pose some questions.
Does an unhappy childhood push someone to achieve acclaim or notoriety in terms of acceptance? (Tom Cruise, but you could even look further back to people like Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe or Liz Taylor)
Do those who had such childhoods, then turn and perpetuate this situation by overly indulging their own children to the point of benign neglect? ( a parent, Nicole Richey, Paris Hilton as children for example..)
Is the "stage mother" or "stage father" stereotype an exception or the rule within high levels of entertainment? And by that I do include professional sports, which although people might not like to consider it as such, is supposedly entertainment and not a lifestyle choice.
Now, having asked these questions, which to an extent pose some doubts on the emotional and psychological stability of some people within the entertainment industry, should WE the taxpayers, the middle of Americans that live between the extremes of both coasts financially, emotionally and intellectually, be listening to celebrities and allowing them to shape our opinions in regards to national issues? While I would agree that a celebrity has every right to express his or her opinion, the media circus that exists today places a heavier veracity upon the opinions of celebrities over common people.

To refer back to history, in Ancient Rome, the vote of a patrician (celebrities, rich, wealthy-those above the rules) counted more heavily than that of a plebian (working class stiffs). When people hear celebrities touting a political candidate or view, the easiest route is to capture some of the glitter by taking on some of the same attributes or attitudes. Rather than researching causes or issues, people rely far too much on the reflected brilliance of a celebrity over their own common sense. This has to change. Empires have risen and fallen on the actions of mobs that choose to believe the Big Lie over their own common sense. Now more than ever , we need to be a well informed electorate that makes choices based on what is good for the country overall-not just one narrow issue or political view. As we move more and more into the political season, keep these facts in mind.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Signs You Are A Moral Idiot

This is a very insightful and well researched piece. I highly recommend you read it. Those of you that may be liberal, I suggest you take a valium first, or possibly have someone tie you in a chair and read it to you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What Color Is Your Brain?

Your Brain is Purple

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Friday, February 09, 2007

It Is Not Noble... go to work or school sick. I don't mean with the sniffles, I mean those of you who come with the flu, strep, mono or any of a number of other diseases that offer not only immediate infection but also wonderful side effects. Our state mandates that students must be in class 90% of the class days. That's all well and good, but these same students that will wander off on the first sunny day in April, will come to class sick as dogs. And they spread their germs. I am home today dealing with my third go around with strep this year. I have gotten in eight times in the past three years, resulting in increased susceptability and a heart murmur. For awhile last year, I had no sense of smell due to the lingering side effects. I have done all that my doctor and I can reasonably do to avoid infection. I wash my hands frequently. I use and make available hand sanitizer to my classes, I take vitamins, I avoid crowds, I eat in my room rather than the cafeteria. But all these steps do NO GOOD if kids come to school sick.

This is a phenomenon I have noticed for awhile. Many times there are two factors at work. With younger kids, it's the need for parents to have daycare no matter what. Although we have school nurses, they aren't equipped in terms of staff or facilities to quarantine your sick kid from the rest of the students while you go to work. Part of a parent's responsibility is to take care of their children and make appropriate arrangements when they are sick. I would like to add that some employers encourage this type of irresponsible behavior by their intransigent attitudes towards working parents and especially toward single parents. Nevertheless, sick children should be at home. My own kids ended up with chicken pox when a child returned after ONE DAY'S ABSENCE with the virus. The only reason they found out was he wanted to show me his "chicken pops". In my high school classes, there are kids who will goof off and miss school for stupid reasons and then find themselves in the position of having to be in school. Even if I send an obviously ill student to the nurse, they are just as likely to remain in class as to go home. The domino effect occurs as more students contract flu or strep or whatever bug is going around and they either stay and infect others or miss days due to one student's lack of due diligence.

The same situation plays at work. Employees show up sick and some employers encourage this irresponsible attitude by complaining about loss of efficiency. How efficient is it for one employee to infect ten others and for each of those people to miss work days? Schools force the issue as well with misguided awards for perfect attendance. Some districts make a big deal out of kids who haven't missed in their whole school career. The law of averages is that those kids were sick but in attendance at some time in their 13 years in school. I don't consider that worthy of an award. I consider that self-serving and egocentric. The time has come for people to get over the weird notion that sacrificing oneself by showing up sick for work, or school or events is a virtue. In this day and age with viruses mutating and antibiotics increasingly becoming obsolete, it's foolish to maintain this kind of macho hubris.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Celebrity Status

I will admit, I was not one of the Popular Kids growing up. In fact if anything, I was the Anti-Popular Kid. I scorned their superficiality and their obsequiousness. I hated that adults didn't see through their Eddie Haskell shells into the steamy pit of hypocrisy that was high school. I think now when we look at celebrities, the old images kick in. It's easy to hate the pretty girl who gets caught (finally) doing dumb, dangerous things. It's laughable to see the pretty boy get busted for possession or abuse or littering. It's an easy target and one that most of us are unwilling to defend.

Here I will digress. I was never a fan of Anna Nicole Smith. She seemed every bit the shallow, stupid, sex goddess that everyone assumed she was. And I suppose that in itself was her downfall. She left a small town in Texas to model for Playboy. That's not exactly a positive environment for a dumb small town girl. I am sure she was used and in that step learned to use her assets to her best advantage. She married a hideously old man for money. Had a baby, lost a son and died in the same twelve month period. As I posted elsewhere, this is like a Greek Tragedy on speed. While it's easy to dismiss her as just another greedy dead blonde bimbo, I can't help but wonder how much of this entire scenario was due to her experience as a celebrity. I can't help but wonder if she had stayed in a small town, married the boy next door, had normal kids and a normal life, if she wouldn't still be alive. You may not have liked her or her image, but she brings too mind too many broken starlets that seem to share the same shattered end. Marilyn, Judy, Liz, how many more people is the Hollywood machine going to chew up?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Beware the Ecology Nuts in Sheep's Clothing

Three years ago, I noticed the radical shift in Democrat rhetoric to a strident tone. When I was trying to find the source, I found it in the Green Party's platform. I invite you to visit their website and compare their goals with those of the Democrats. There's virtually no difference. The Greens have managed to manipulate a great deal of Europe into a type of ecological fascism that is founded more on supposition and hyperbole than on actual science. While we should certainly use our resource prudently and make changes in order to conserve, the more liberal of the left wing would have us return to the days of horseback and outdoor plumbing. That's simply unteneable in this day and age. These same people cite humans and cows as the main source of ecological harm. What about the larger scale events such as pesky volcanic eruptions? Those are not caused by global warming and indeed do in and of themselves provide ample greenhouse gases and debris to the atmosphere.
Yet I see little being done to cap those babies.

While these advocates have embroidered the past with images of vast expanses of green pastures and thick forests, the reality is that we have more trees on the north American continent now than we did 200 years ago. And while we are at it, if using gasoline powered engines is bad for the relatively moderately spread populations of the developed world, does it really make sense for the densely populated areas of India and China to get on board with fossil fuels? And that is where I depart. Because although there are certainly many good reasons for conserving fuel, converting to alternative fuels and recycling, the Greens in their guise of Democrats at Large want us all to give up everything in order to provide services to nations that could not care less if we survive. At that point, the arguement is no longer ecological, but political. And being that the Democrats, like their mentoring Greens, are absolutists of the n-th degree, that means all or nothing. We will see what litmus tests come up in the next twelve months, but I am betting that none of the truly viable options that will let us maintain our standard of living will be part of the platform mix.