Monday, April 24, 2006

A View Of The TEM Getting The Clutter Out Of Her Head

I'm in a cranky mood this morning. I've had some random thoughts rattling around in my head since last night that need to get out. Make way, here comes the flood:

1) I'm quite tired of all the pandering to overindulged celebrities and their every move. Does anyone really care if Katie Holmes gave birth in silence? Does the phrase "baby bump" make you just want to scream? Will the world really grind to a halt if Jennifer Aniston never gets over Brad Pitt? Just when I thought I'd reached my fill, I came across this picture of someone who is a bit more compassionate and patient than I could ever be.


Bless his heart. I hear he sold a pint or two at the blood bank to get a gift for Baby Cruise.

2) I got a link to a story about Reggie Bush and his family allegedly accepting a home from a sports agent - a violation of NCAA rules. I don't know the whole story. Frankly, I don't care. What does bother me is they way our kids are continually being exploited by the NCAA, by the schools, and sadly by our community all in the pursuit of athletic success. Too often, this pursuit of a physical idea and success (roughly translated as money, fame, and all the trappings of privilege) means that education and academic development is ignored or discouraged.

Wouldn't it be better world if we put as much effort and encouragement into getting our children to pick up a book or exercise their minds as we encourage them to become the next big sports or entertainment star? I look forward to the day when we have an academic draft that's covered heavily by the media or "American Reader" is the top show on TV. This probably won't happen in my lifetime, though, and it depresses me to no end to think that it appears we are more willing to make our children stars of the court instead of stars with a firm educational background. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Check out the book, "The Covenant With Black America," edited by Tavis Smiley, for more on this subject. By the way, this book as been #1 on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller's List (paperback) for the past six weeks. Bet you didn't see that on your paper's front page or as breaking news on TV. It would've cut into the time needed to cover upcoming sports drafts or possible playoff scenarios.

3) I'm currently reading, "Are Men Necessary," by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. It's a fascinating read about the current state of relationships between men and women, the feminist movement, and contemporary women's issues. While I don't necessarily agree with all of her viewpoints, it's an eye-opening take on far women have come in this country and the world over the past 30-50 years. She also has a keen eye on our current political state. The following quote, in a chapter about the current obsession with looking young at all costs, blew me away:

"Millions of American women from their twenties to their eighties are erasing their faces, and freezing their features, some to the point of freakish death masks, by shooting up with the pretty poison Botox, a botulism neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles - the same strain of neurotoxins that is classified as a WMD. (Pretty much all the American weapon hunters found in Iraq after the invasion was a bit of botulism neurotoxin, meaning we went to war, basically over a vial of Botox. Wrinkles of Mass Destruction.)"

Not only are we willing to risk death to essentially freeze time and make nature bow to the will of mankind, we are willing to risk obliterating our society and the world in an attempt to make the Middle East bow to our will. Bush may have said we won our war, but who's going to win the Iraqi civil war - a war our government's actions created - and at what cost? Think about this the next time you go for a $4 fill up at Sunoco.

Another quote in the book reminded me that being a liberal is something to be proud of and is not a source of shame. She interviewed Mary McGrory, former editor of the now defunct Washington Star, and she discussed her pride in being branded with the scarlet "L."

" I still think (liberal) is a respectable word. It's root is liber; the Latin word for free, and isn't that what we (Americans) are all about?"

I sure hope so. Don't you?

There. I got it all out. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to cash in some bottles so I can send a baby gift to all those celebrity babies.

More to come later.

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