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.”

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02.18.10 – A Thursday

word

crepuscular [kri-puhs-kyuh-ler] adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct 2. Zoology. appearing or active in the twilight, as certain bats and insects

birthday

Andre Breton (1896), Enzo Ferrari (1898), Jack Palance (1919), George Kennedy (1925), Toni Morrison (1931), Yoko Ono (1933), Dennis DeYoung (1947), Gary Ridgway (1949), John Hughes (1950), Cybill Shepherd (1950), Juice Newton (1952), John Travolta (1954), Vanna White (1957), Greta Scacchi (1960), Matt Dillon (1964), Dr. Dre (1965), Molly Ringwald (1968), Jillian Michaels (1974), Ike Barinholtz (1977), Regina Spektor (1980)

standpoint

Last night, I rediscovered RetroJunk, a website featuring lots of videos from the past. My favorite section was the PSAs (Public Service Announcements) Some of which I will share with you right now.

Obviously, Clint hates crack cocaine. The contempt on his face and in his voice is palpable.

Apparently, Gizmo had his own instructions. But the video footage is deceiving. Is Gizmo supposed to keep teenagers off drugs and alcohol or his fellow gremlins?

Cementing what Han Solo knew along: C-3PO was a fucking buzzkill. Let the little dude catch a smoke for crying out loud.

Two issues here. First, why are the kids sitting in the boat in the first place? Did they run aground? Second, why are they completely unfazed when Swamp Thing comes out from behind the stump? Shouldn’t they run for their lives?

Make sure to visit RetroJunk to find some of your favorites from yesteryear.

quotation

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.Philip K. Dick

tune

I find it fascinating when I go back and listen to a song from my past and realize it could’ve been written in the present. “Scarecrow People” by XTC is one such tune.

gallimaufry

Well, that didn’t take long at all. Cheating dirtbag Tiger Woods will break his silence on Friday. Some will laud his statements. Some will still hate him. But he’ll still make millions of dollars by year’s end. And all will be right with the world.

→ If after reading Mark Morford’s “Why Are You So Terribly Disappointing?” you experience difficulty understanding what the article is about, well, just never mind. It’s just not for you, I guess.

→ Olympic Update time. I still think curling is god awful. And it’s messing with me watching the hockey games.

01.19.10 – A Tuesday

WORD

burlesque [ber-lesk] n. 1. an artistic composition, esp. literary or dramatic, that, for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity 2. any ludicrous parody or grotesque caricature 3. Also, bur⋅lesk. a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus adj. 4. involving ludicrous or mocking treatment of a solemn subject 5. of, pertaining to, or like stage-show burlesque v. (used w/object) 6. to make ridiculous by mocking representation v. (used w/o object) 7. to use caricature

BIRTHDAY

James Watt (1736), Robert E. Lee (1807), Edgar Allen Poe (1809), Paul Cézanne (1839), Minnesota Fats (1913), Jean Stapleton (1923), Tippi Hedren (1930), Michael Crawford (1942), Janis Joplin (1943), Shelley Fabares (1944), Dolly Parton (1946), Robert Palmer (1949), Desi Arnaz, Jr. (1953), Katey Sagal (1954), Paul Rodriguez (1955), William Ragsdale (1961), Drea de Matteo (1972), Frank Caliendo (1974)

STANDPOINT

As you must all ready know, last Wednesday a major earthquake devastated Haiti. And everyone, and I mean everyone, is doing what they can to help out. Of course, the American Red Cross and the U.N. are spearheading the efforts, but I’m impressed by what some less likely sources are contributing.

Ben Stiller, who’d already been helping the children of Haiti through his website, STILLERSTRONG.ORG, has, as of yesterday, raised over $130,000.

→ NBA stars Alonzo Mourning and Dwayne Wade have created The Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti and have all ready contributed $800,000.

Lady Gaga, having all ready promised to donate all the proceeds from her upcoming show at Radio Music City Hall to the effort, announced yesterday she’d created a Haitian relief t-shirt, the sales from which will also go to the effort.

Fucked Up, a hardcore punk band from Toronto, is even getting into the act, is auctioning off its upcoming collection of singles, Couple Tracks, with, you guessed it, all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders.

That’s just a short list of what some people are doing to help.

What are you doing?

QUOTATION

I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field controls my destiny.Han Solo

TUNE

I continue my unabashed love for Fountains of Wayne, a band dismissed by most indie hipsters as “too poppy.” Well, that may be true but I just can’t help myself from digging on songs like “Radiation Vibe.”

GALLIMAUFRY

Hey, all you people who piss on Twitter, get this: it can actually be used for some kind of good. When a plane full of medicine from Doctors Without Borders was blocked from landing in Haiti on Sunday, Twitter users flooded the U.S. Air Force’s Twitter account and the plane was allowed to land shortly thereafter. Pretty cool, huh?

→ In what promises to be a couple of months full of great new music, another one of my favorite bands has announced an upcoming release. Matt Pond PA will release The Dark Leaves on April 6th.

→ Who says Taco Bell is bad for you? The company’s founder, Glen Bell, died Sunday at the ripe old age of 86. So there.