02.17.11 – a thursday

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word

bollix [bol-iks] v. 1. to so (something) badly; bungle (often followed by up): His interference bollixed up the whole deal n. 2. a confused bungle

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Margaret Truman (1924), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Jim Brown (1936), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Larry the Cable Guy (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Joe Armstrong (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

“They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

That’s how Central Bucks East High School teacher Natalie Munroe described her students in a post on her personal blog. Some of those students, the aforementioned “lazy whiners,” somehow discovered the blog and reported it to school officials. Shortly thereafter, Munroe was suspended with pay.

What’s bugging me here, and I hope I’m wrong, is that she’s going to end up on the losing side of this situation.

Munroe is essentially spot-on with her analysis of modern teens. Most of these kids nowadays lack anything resembling strong character traits. And that’s mainly because they’ve never had their asses properly kicked, either metaphorically or actually. They’re punks in the truest sense of the word, products of a flawed system that made sure none of them went home without a trophy in tow, even when they failed to perform something as simple as hitting a motionless baseball propped up on a T.

What’s the point in excelling when the dipshit who comes in last gets the same recognition as you?

Don’t get me wrong. When I was 17 years-old, I was as disengaged and lazy as was humanly possible. Some of my high school teachers remember me as one of the most frustrating students they’ve ever had. I got in trouble more than most, futilely argued my misguided points and was an overall gigantic pain in the ass.

But I understood the rules, even when I didn’t play by them. When I was in the wrong, I didn’t always admit it but I always knew it. I rarely went to my parents and tried to convince them I was being unfairly persecuted and the few times I did, they laughed me right out of the living room. My mother and father knew I knew better because that’s how they brought me up. To this day, my parents love me unconditionally, but, for the most part, they’ve never let that love get in the way of me owning up to my wrongdoings. Growing up, most of my friends had parents conducting affairs in a similar fashion.

These days, though, it’s rare that parents are willing to admit the faults of their children and that’s primarily because it would mean admitting their own. And that’s altogether the reason Natalie Munroe is most likely screwed.

I seriously doubt something as effete as free speech is going to possess the sufficient weight to mount a fight against something as tenacious as a few hundred pissed-off parents who, instead of seeking therapy, opted to have kids instead.

To paraphrase Han Solo, “Good luck, Natalie Munroe, you’re going to need it.”

quotation

Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense. ↔ Mignon McLaughlin

tune

“Saints” isn’t likely to be embraced by most females out there. And, while I don’t truly agree with the lyrics put forth by indie rock band Army Navy, it’s still catch as all get out.

gallimaufry

I attempted to watch the movie version of The A-Team last night. I turned it off after 20 minutes. Hollywood, one last time, I’m begging you to stop incapacitating my childhood cinematic chicaneries. Bigger complaint is the guy that played Murdock looked more like Dirk Benedict than Dwight Schultz. Put some effort into it, fellas.

→ Hey, Len Lesser, we’re going to miss you. If there actually is a heaven, give it a great big, “HELLO!” on your arrival.

→ For whatever reasons, you may have missed the final results of The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Hickory, a Scottish deerhound from Virginia, won the whole enchilada. After the victory, Hickory’s handler, Angela Lloyd best summed up how Hickory was feeling: “She’s not used to lights, cameras and noise.”

11.24.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

ancillary [an-suh-ler-ee or, especially Brit., an-siluh-ree] adj. 1. subordinate; subsidiary 2. auxiliary; assisting n. 3. something that serves in an ancillary capacity: Slides, records, and other ancillaries can be used with the basic textbook

Note: A friend of mine used “ancillary” in a sentence the other day, and I was ashamed to admit, while I determined the word’s meaning from the context, I was unable to accurately define it.

BIRTHDAY

Bat Masterson (1853), Scott Joplin (1868), Dale Carnegie (1888), Lucky Luciano (1897), William F. Buckley Jr. (1925), Paul Tagliabue (1940), Pete Best (1941), Ted Bundy (1946), Dwight Schultz (1947), Linda Tripp (1949), Denise Crosby (1957), Edgar Meyer (1960), Keith Primeau (1971), Colin Hanks (1977), Katherine Heigl (1978)

STANDPOINT

Man! Everyone is going batshit over the recent release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

And, I mean, my guess is all the praise is warranted.

It was, most likely, a great movie. All the inferred twists. All the supposed turns. The brooding guy with the wall of hair was expected to be really good. The rest of the cast seemed superb, especially those dudes who turn into werewolves. The one scene, where the one werewolf is chasing some girl across a backyard toward a house and, then, some guy shows up on the porch, and he starts running at the action, but once he nears the sprinting young lady, he jumps over her while becoming a werewolf himself, taking a defensive stance as if to suggest to the werewolf who was originally in pursuit, “Hey, dude! You can’t eat her. I’m kinda digging on her. You cool with that?” 

Maybe he was cool with that. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he was annoyed because this guy liked the girl who was running. Maybe he was annoyed because this guy liked every fucking girl he ever saw who was running. Maybe he’d finally had enough. Maybe he decided, right then and there, in that backyard, he was going to take a stand. Maybe something happened after that where the girl miraculously lived. Maybe she tragically died.

I’ll never know. I’ve only seen the previews. And that’s all I’m ever gonna see.

QUOTATION

If you don’t like doing something, but you still spend most of every day doing it, then you’re cheating yourself. If you hate your job – and you probably do – and fantasize endlessly about quitting, then you should quit. Quit the job you hate. I’ll say it two more times: Quit the job you hate. Quit the job you hate.Ted Rall

TUNE

 So, something great someone can do is introduce you to quality music that, otherwise, would’ve never come your way. Two nights ago, I was with an (increasingly) good friend playing Scrabble (the result of which was a draw, no question), drinking red wine and listening to a guy named Joe Pisapia on the stereo. Solid stuff. Try “River Song” and you’ll know I’m right. Like I’m right about this supposedly dubious Scrabble outcome.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ When reading online news, I rarely smile. However, reading about Oprah ending her “talk show” brought on an ear-to-ear grin that almost hurt my cheeks. OK. Not really. But I am psyched about it.

→ I’m encouraging everyone of you to take a serious look at every book in your house after I read about a London family who’d no clue there was a first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species sitting in the bathroom for the past 40 years or so.

→ OK. You caught me. I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I used to. I apologize for the fact I’ve recently rediscovered that, after a year hiatus, I’m allowed to have a life. Awww. I can’t stay mad at you folks. I’ll update as much as I can. Thanks for reading. Seriously.