April 23, 2010

What sort of a world

What sort of a world is it where a song entitled "Its Hard Out Here For A Pimp" gets a "Most Original Song" Award at the Oscars?

At the OSCARS.

I much prefer FrankenGirl's version.

Britney Spears releases un-airbrushed photos

The photos

Pertinent Thoughts on "Glee"

I am currently watching TV.
This is the first time I have watched Glee. The episode: "The Power of Madonna".

Now, all I know about Madonna is she was a singer, and she is a sex symbol. That is hardly what I would call empowering. But in this episode, Madonna is being held up as a good role model in terms of independence and the message of her songs.

I don't know many of her songs. Independence is a good thing. But the thing is, the independence is completely swallowed by the image.

And the dancing. The women of Glee are, happily, dancing in suits. But there is entirely to much of the bending-over, shaking of the hips, butt and chest to actually focus on any message in the song. Does no one dance with dignity anymore? Any hint of self-respect? Clearly not.

I was made to attend a school pep-rally for spring sports today. It was terribly boring, but I find it entirely offensive that the dance team should dress like they're "going clubbing" (something expressly forbidden in school attire) and dance so that they look like strippers.

You all know what I'm talking about. The slide of the hands down the sides, accentuated by the slow roll of the torso and hips, finished by a hip-thrusting, balanced-one-leg pose. The hip shaking. The chest bobbing. The bending over, legs spread apart, head suddenly coming up followed by the hands in one big, contorted pin-up. The focus on the hips, stomach area, and chest.

At a school assembly, nonetheless.
Where catcalls and whistling followed the dance.

Also: one person in the school on Glee, the guidance counselor, is "forbidden" to have Madonna played in her office because she has none of the "sexual magnetism" that Madonna had/has.

EDIT: Glee has a montage of bedroom scenes between the three 'couples' of the episode. Two of these couples are teenagers. I thought the idea was to not promote teenage sex. To keep people out of the idea that they must have sex. To support the girl who says, "No, I don't feel ready to have sex, I don't want too." to the boy she had a date with that night. Not have her change her mind after an episode filled with Maddona to eventually tell him "I'm ready".
So I am understandably relieved that after the commerical break, it is revealed that none of the couples actually had sex.
Good for you, Glee.

The Feminist Mystique

Short introduction: The book that started the 1960s feminist movement.


It seems as if the 1950s were deliberately conspiring against the woman.

Some disturbing facts:

  1. Housewives in the 1950s displayed the same sort of passivity as those who died in Nazi concentration camps or were Veitnam prisoners of war.

  2. There were compulsory "Married Life" courses in some colleges for women.

  3. Corporate America specifically tried to convince women that they belonged in the home because housewives bought oh-so-many projects.

  4. "Feminity" was really a lack of emotional and mental development; women were literally not encouraged to discover themselves and stay at a perpetual state of childhood.

  5. Psychological papers that refuted the commonly held "feminine" ideal was relegated to the fringe of science and never really reported.

  6. Many college women were at school expressly to "catch a man".

  7. Women who showed any sort of individuality or ambition were conditioned into thinking something was wrong with them and classified as having a "neurosis".

  8. It was apparently impossible to have a satisfying marriage life and be employed.

  9. Sex was the only way for most women to really establish an identity, i.e. "X's wife/girlfriend/lover".

  10. "I wanna be a doctor when I grow up!" "No, honey, you're a girl. You're going to be a wife and have kids, just like mummy." (paraphrased)

  11. So much more...

To make up for the lackluster writing in the last post.

I've been reading The Feminie Mystique for the past two days.


I am so happy I am not living in the 1950s.

Will most likely review before/during/after my post on Are Men Neccessary?.

Back to the Topic At Hand

These posts are going to take up quite a bit less space than anticipated. Partly because it has been nearly a month since LeadAmerica, and my memory has gotten fuzzy.

So there will be a post about the people at LeadAmerica, our Capitol Hill day, our mock Congressional races, and a transitional post about Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd.

So. Capitol Hill Day.
All the LeadAmerica people got to meet with one or two Representatives of their state and one or two Senators. The rest of the time we could just walk around. I would have liked to spend more time in the Library of Congress, but, alas, could not. If you're ever in DC, spend an hour or two there. It's beautiful, even if you don't much care for books.
Did you know: one of the Representative's buildings has a cafeteria and gift shop in it? The LeadAmerica attendees ate there. It was good.
One of my Senator's offices kicked me out without actually holding the scheduled meeting.

I know I don't sound very enthusiastic. Not particularly motivated by this much right now.
Sorry to anyone who was really interested in this.

I was going to resume... but...

The Girl Effect

And this:
Figure: Demystifying the Feminist Mystique

April 12, 2010

Your regularly scheduled programming...still interrupted.

Went to a cool thing this weekend. Gymkana! They're like the Harlem Globetrotters of Gymnastics, if the Harlem Globetrotters were in college and did some Cirque du Soleil-esque stunts.
If they come by your way, go see them.

April 7, 2010

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming

I was looking for an article, and I found things to link.

Students Retain Information In Print-Like Formats Better
I knew there was a good reason I liked books.

What a 21st Century Education Means To You
Something that is actually challenging; and makes sure that people actually learn something. If students do not learn what they need to, they stay back until they have learned it, NO EXCEPTIONS. Also, get rid of standardized testing. It really does no good.

Is the Internet Killing Our Reputations
The thing about reputations and the Internet is that it makes having a good reputation even harder and more important to uphold while making it easier to destroy one. It only takes a little bit of information in the right place to destroy someone nowadays. When so few people can live publicly and keep a reputation, all those who can, in comparison, seem better. But then some right (or wrong) placed words emerge in a place where it is nearly impossible to destroy information; and yet another person goes down the drain.


Symposium on Male Studies at Wagner College
As for my opinion: This whole idea just seems like a stupid attempt to try and make some sort of semblance of “fairness” where one is not needed. Though people should not exclude thinking of males when it comes to planning, organizing, or doing any sort thing in public or private.
I'd probably take this course to see what it's like, though it seems to me that all this is covered elsewhere in discussions on psychology and demographics and such.

Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed
Though The Onion is a satire paper, it hits surprisingly close to home about people's attitudes toward public schooling.

April 4, 2010

Monuments at Night Pictures

So, here's pictures. This is how you should see DC.

Monuments at Night

After Mt. Vernon, we all took an hour break at a mall for dinner and shopping. Then we moved on the DC Monuments at Night feature of the day. I really think that DC was designed to see at night. Everything looks so much more... etheral. Long-lasting. Dignified. Closer to the spirit of what L'Enfant and the Founding Fathers thought of America and DC.

If you ever go to DC, take a tour at night or just walk around. It's much better then.

Pictures next, to prove my point.

Mt. Vernon Pictures

First, a panoramic view of the Potomac.

Then some other stuff...

And a baby goat.

Some more buildings

My absolute favorite...


So after that

The day after we heard about George Washington and his "Rules of Civility", we went to Mt. Vernon. It's a rather big place. You can go in an see the house, though you can't take pictures; and you can see where the Washington's are buried. Every so often there'll be people in period clothing walking around and they hold talks in the greenhouse about George Washington and his life. All the bulidings are still up and they've got little signs in them to tell about what they are and how they were used. You can't go in the buildings, though. There's also a museum about Washington's life on the grounds and this HUGE giftshop/eating area out front, though we didn't stop at that, we just walked through it. There's a nice view of the Potomac from the front (back?) of the house; the side that has the porch, anyway.
You should go.

Pictures next.

April 1, 2010

My inspired rules. Feel free to follow them if you so choose.

Explanation for this last post.

  1. If you have to think about it twice, don't do it.

  2. Be mindful about your body language.

  3. Act mature and exercise self-restraint.

  4. Don't talk bad about people.

  5. Think of others first.

  6. Share Knoweldge.

  7. Think of consequences.

  8. Use titles, like "Sir", "Mr", "Mrs.", "Ms." and "Ma'am".

  9. Never assume a "Mrs." title.

  10. Success comes at a price. Remember it.

  11. Attempt not to assume; first appearences aren't everything but they are useful.

  12. Cultivate an image you can live with.

  13. At the end of the day, all you are is all you made of yourself.

  14. Play impartiality

  15. Practice integrity, and to maintain it, admit when your views change and why.

  16. Make sure there is good reason behind a change in thought.

  17. Keep perspective.

  18. Set an example.

  19. Goals are little wishes. Know what you want.

  20. Live by your standards.

  21. Step down if you cannot do the job. Admit you cannot do it; and delegate the tasks.

  22. Be flexible in changing your plans.

  23. Research and admit when you do not know what you are talking about.

  24. Be conscious of what you are saying.

  25. Think ahead.

  26. Do not say "uh", "um", or "like" excessively when speaking.

  27. You can take a second to pause when you speak.

  28. Connect information.

  29. Do not use words you do not know the meaning of.

  30. Remember your duties.

  31. Keep responsibility and cupability with your actions and words.

  32. Act and behave with honor.

  33. Public personae can be different from private personae; but do not make them radically different.

  34. Stay honest about your past.

  35. Be careful with your lies.

  36. Power is a means to an end of doing your duty; an ends in and of itself.

  37. Know your bounds.

  38. Try again.No matter how far you go, you can come back. It may just be much harder than it could have been earlier.

  39. Violence can be a solution, but it is an unfavorable one.

  40. "I respectfully disagree."

  41. Be able to argue and anticipate the other parts of a debate.

  42. Read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" and keep it to heart.

  43. Stay polite in your arguements.

  44. If you must answer a question you are unprepaired for, say "No Comment" or "I polietly decline to answer your question".

  45. If you cannot decide, say polite drivel.

  46. Go where the smart people are going.

  47. Keep intelligent people around you.

  48. Keep good company.

  49. Stay true to yourself.

  50. Keep working.

  51. Collect business cards.

  52. Ask

  53. Say Thank You.

  54. Work on it.

  55. Speak your mind.

  56. Don't use social networking sites; or use sparingly.

  57. Be mindful of what you say and do in public.

  58. Err on the side of apology and ettiqute; as well as politeness.

Because this is the first one I can do without pictures

The second day of my conference (yes, I know I said chronologically, read the post-title) we had a Keynote speaker by the name of Andrew D. Potter about George Washington and his leadership skills. We learned some fun facts:
  • George Washington had no formal education.
  • Had a big temper.
  • Died extremely wealthy even by today's standards.

I also learned the four attributes of a great leader:

  • Character
  • Self-Control
  • Humility
  • Ambition

Part of the self-control, at least with Washington, was a thing called The Rules of Civility. It was Washington's list of ways to live your life. Vaguely inspired, I ended up writing my own.

That's next post.

Hey Again

Back now from my LeadAmerica conference. Six days at the Sheration National Hotel in Washington, DC; and there's lots to talk about. I re-read a book I have during the conference, Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd; and have decided to do an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter reveiw. That along with the LeadAmerica stuff (in chronological order) will probably fill up the next 20 or 30 posts. There may be some other stuff scattered in between, but that's what going to be going on.

As soon as I recharge my camera battery so I can post pictures.