Favorite Daughter, Santa Claus and a College Newspaper’s Catfight

1 10 2007

From FavD’s college campus, a blogpost written on the laptop she just bought with money she earned, and carries around in a black Abbey Road Beatles book bag, snugged in a neoprene sleeve:


I have a theory that exposed to the world’s religions, both ancient and modern, your standard eight-year-old would call bullshit in about an hour, if that. Hell, the various creation myths are so clearly derived from one another, I don’t know how adults fail to notice. Kids are really more logical than you’d think — they may believe in magic, but their magic plays by clearly defined, sensible rules. Prime example, my younger brother, who we are trying to wean off Santa Claus this year. . .

Btw, this weekend FavD auditioned for, and was cast in, the singing, dancing ensemble for the January production of a gritty journalism musical called “Sweet Smell of Success” — nicknamed Smell around here — set in the edgy jazz, corrupt film-noir culture of the 1950s. She’s also been named Dance Captain. Rehearsals start tomorrow night.

John Lithgow won the Tony award for his starring role in Smell as all-powerful celebrity gossip columnist “JJ” (good name, right?) and there are a couple of strong female leads. The newspaper ink gets smeared on everyone by the end. The storyline of this story imo, is the power of newspapers right or wrong, to define the power of every story — which as it turns out in this story, isn’t just about money but literally life and death.

Probably due to my own shady past in journalism and “public information” work, the song from this show I learned first and easiest, is “Dirt:”

Dirt — it’s an animal need.
I don’t pick up the paper for the sports or the news,
Those ain’t the “sports” that I choose!

The real world of journalism can be SO educational, not to mention musical theatre. . . oh, and college too.


Speaking of Being Afraid – Do You Have a Driving Teen Yet?

1 10 2007

Wanna talk about it?

I’ll start and then you feel free to jump in!
The NYT had this to say today, but it’s more about the money. I’m thinking about the “education” part — the actual learning of something so potentially life-and- death — which for us as unschoolers, looks like it’s DIY with no other choice.

Believe me, I’ve *tried* to find a way to get some objective professional to take this over for me! I mean the real driving, not memorizing the rule book and passing some test on the computer. We did that in a couple of days, but so what? There’s no relationship whatsoever between that and getting out on the road, really going places and arriving not just alive but unfrazzled and unscathed, not to mention uncited or indicted.

Do parents and schools have this one facet of education handled so well that no one offers it anywhere in our capital city, as a private service? All the so-called private driving schools are really quasi-public law enforcement dirty-work doers, detention halls for drunks and other scofflaws. And they don’t actually even teach THOSE guys to drive any better, they just make them sit in a classroom for more school stuff, some boring lectures and paperwork to prove you did your time before releasing you back into the wild. Read the rest of this entry »

Banned Books 2007: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid (Again)

1 10 2007

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions.

It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”

—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, “The One Un-American Act.”
Nieman Reports, vol. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1953): p. 20.



For more, see Banned Books Week Needs More Than Celebration This Year”

Bible Illiteracy and The Public’s Right to Know

1 10 2007

Opinion/Ideas in Boston Globe, “Raiders of the Faux Ark”:

. . .At a time when the world is increasingly divided by religion, both domestically and internationally, and when many people are biblically illiterate, legitimate inquiries into the common origins of religions have never been more important. I believe that the public deserves – and wants – better. We have an obligation to challenge the lies and the hype, to share the real data, so that the public discussion can be an informed one. . .

It is not religious views that are the issue here; it is whether good science is being done. Biblical archeology is a field in which people of good will, and all religions, can join under the banner of the scientific process.