Babies With Babies

Feministing posted an interesting story about a Colorado state rep made a comment in public about how teen moms are "sluts" and his subsequent visit to a high school for parenting teen women. The comments following the article are probably even more interesting. I really like how some assholes want to have abstinence-only education in schools so students don't learn about contraception, then, when teens get pregnant, they don't want them to have access to abortions, but when the teens who choose to raise their children want to have a public education and/or services so they can better themselves and provide for their children, they are dismissed as "freeloaders" or "slut" or "wastes of taxpayers money".

Where's the public derision for the male "sluts" who participating in making said babies? Oh, wait, there aren't terms specifically tied to male promiscuity. My bad.

People: if you want to break the cycle of poverty among people who have only known generational poverty all their lives, we've got to figure out a system that empowers young people to gain social capital to do so--not welfare, but programs that help them figure out how to better themselves. I would much rather my tax dollars go to programs that help teen parents than to fund this bullshit war. When will the need to act punitively towards those teens (TEENS, i.e. still lacking frontal lobe development)who made mistakes quit superceding the progress we could make by giving people who have never gotten a break in life tools to make their own breaks?

I have known, over the course of my career, many parenting teens. They all have different stories, backgrounds, and circumstances that led to their current station in life. The commonality between them is that they need help. Some may grow up and abuse the system--I don't think we'll ever escape that. But most of them desperately want to escape poverty and need help to figure out how to do that. We're too busy lambasting "sluts" for getting pregnant so they could get on the dole that we can't see that breaking the cycle of poverty is possible.

Here's an example: one of my kids explained to me, in great detail, how to manipulate an interview with a social worker in order to become eligible for disability checks more quickly. She knew this because she learned from her mother. That same student had no idea what a FAFSA was or how to fill it out. Do we punish the mother's manipulation of the system by refusing to help her daughter figure out how to help herself? Because if we do that, we'll be paying for her daughter's disability checks soon enough.

Sidenote: If Juno was black, would the movie have been nominated for an Oscar? Would it even have been a comedy? Discuss.

Honestly, if we could just give Depo shots in the lunchline, we could alleviate this whole problem.

Who Do You Hate?

I may have mentioned before that Sleater Kinney's Carrie Brownstein has a music blog on NPR.org called Monitor Mix that is really a great read to add to you RSS reader. One of her latest posts, "A Plea for Banishment" talks about how a certain group of people really hate the Doors. This leads to roughly 100 comments about popular bands that people really hate, including ones I too hate, such as Nickelback, Kid Rock, Jimmy Buffet, U2 (don't hate, actually like The Joshua Tree, but just never really understood the popularity and never resonated with me), & Steeley Dan. There were other ones that I do love, including some I know I should not love, including Dave Matthews Band, Phish, and any other jam band, the entire genre of alt-country (?), Journey, REO Speedwagon, etc. Have these people no sense of irony?

My favorite quote from the comments was this:

The only thing in music that I've ever wanted to kill (rather than just not listen to) is Fine Young Cannibal's "She Drives Me Crazy" and that's so specific it's hardly worth mentioning in this context.

Agreed, but I do like "Good Thing."

What other artists do I just really loathe that other people celebrate? Let's set three ground rules: don't bother mentioning pop artists like Britney, or one-hit wonders, or pop country. They're all givens.

Me personally, besides Nickelback, I really can't stand anything emo or teeny-bopper punk pop that my cousins would listen to such as Hellogoodbye, Yellowcard (I guess anything else with a "ello" in it), Fallout Boy, Good Charlotte, ICP, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, Korn, and I really don't like the Beach Boys.

Your thoughts?



Damn. Of course someone with more time beat me to it.


Bitch is the New Black

Anyone see the return of SNL? Although I don't support Clinton, I don't irrationally hate her with the fire of a thousand suns like some folks. I liked guest host Tina Fey's endorsement of Clinton on Weekend Update...

Tina Fey: I want to say something about those calling Hillary a bitch...yeah, well she is...So am I, so is she (pointing at Weekend Update news host Amy Poehler.) Deal with it.

Bitches get shit done.

She goes on to proclaim, "Bitch is the new black."

I also enjoyed Huckabee's stint on Weekend Update. He seemed very willing to poke fun of himself. Damnit if he's not a likable guy. So's the devil, though.

Also, if you don't read Jessica Valenti and crew's Feministing, you should, because they keep it real over there. The comments section gives me hope that not everyone is still down with bullshit gender concepts designed to keep the woman down. Rise up with fists, y'all. You can see Tina Fey's SNL speech there.


Monday Thoughts of Little Consequence

Well, I'm probably going to go into blog hibernation for a few. Today is the first legal day of practice for spring sports in Missouri, so girls soccer is in full swing as of 3:15 today. This means that I will be busy after school every day from now until the middle of May, making girls run until they puke. For those of you who don't know me other than through my blog, I used to coach boys and girls soccer at our (tiny) high school, but I gave up boys this year because I started my doctoral work. Not that I don't love the boys, but the girls is another deal, and I wanted to see how my schedule worked out in the fall before I committed to girls. I decided that I wanted to coach spring and that we needed the money. Unfortunately, I'm really busy with school right now, too, so my schedule is basically work, soccer, school from here until May. Bummer. You'll know I'm procrastinating if I post.

Also discovered that my iPod was stolen, again, from work, sometime last week, but I'm not sure when. My fault, since I shouldn't have had it at school after the first theft, but I really was using it for some podcasts for Creative Writing. There are some straight thieves up in this bitch. Luckily, I have almost all of my newer music on my laptop, but I'll be starting over again whenever I get a new iPod, which is so soul-suckingly depressing that I can't even think about it. Good thing I'm getting a tax refund right quick. Why buy the new oven you need when you can buy a new iPod to replace the one stolen from you by the kids you are trying to help? Accepting cash donations. I'm about the pass the hat right in the hallway.

But, I can't complain, seeing as I worked 2 1/2 days last week and I'm going to Drive By Truckers on Friday night.


Snow Half Day

Oh yeah. Early release day! Can this weather continue until approximately 7AM tomorrow?

Awesome Student Quote

"Karate's weak."

--Student's contribution to discussion on muay-thai boxing.



Thanks to Feministing for the heads up on this article about how us cracker Westerners aren't birthin' 'nuff babies to preserve our righteous heritage. Damnit, we need more people on this planet. Can't y'all be more like the Duggars?

The Nation has a brief article on debunking the myth of the "cult of Obama", the media-induced notion that all of us Obama supporters have drank the Kool-Aid.

The Sunday Times "A Night Out With" featured Brian K. Vaughan, writer of Y: The Last Man (probably my all-time favorite comics not drawn by Dan Zettwoch) who is also a co-producer of Lost, as he toasts the last issue of Y: The Last Man. Better get down to Star Clipper this weekend and finish the series.

Have y'all seen the press for this: Rothbury, a "music festival revolution" taking place over the 4th in Michigan. I'd be totally down for this sustainability-focused event with a great lineup of artists and events, but the 4th is my mom's 50th birthday, my parents' 30th wedding anniversary, and possibly my ten-year reunion. Plus the sweet Americana/early morning sanctioned drinking of the Urbandale 4th of July parade.

Sweet Asshole Encounter

So after Chris and I went to see Persepolis, we stopped off at Racanelli's to pick up a pizza. As we waited for the pizza, we drank a beer, talked about the movie, and people watched. There was a family of four with two kids, probably 3 and 7 or so, whose pizza was delivered while we were waiting. After a few minutes, the mom waved the young employee over who delivered the pizza and said, really snottily.

"My kids really love cheese, and there's a big bubble here on this piece with no cheese. Can you put more cheese on it and put it back in the oven?"

It wasn't like the kids were sharing a little pizza and this perfectly-normal pizza-dough bubble was bogarting half of the surface area of said pizza. They had a fat large pizza. If you can't ease your kids into the indignities of life by giving them the fucking bubble piece of pizza and telling them to get over and be thankful that they have pizza to eat at all as opposed to a fly living on their mouth, then I sincerely hope I never have to teach your kids.


Disgusting Discoveries Via StatCounter

StatCounter, as many bloggers know, is super fun spy time. You can see who and what is reading your blog--not exactly who, but you can get a general idea. You can also see what paths people take to get to your blog--what Google searches yield your blog, what blogrolls are sending people your way, etc.

So gag me with a spoon when I found that someone found this post from my blog when doing a google search for "tight child c*** pics". Dirty perv in Rugby, England. Shouldn't there be a way to report stuff like this? Shouldn't your computer automatically freeze up if you do a search like this?


It's hard coming back to reality after a four-day weekend. I took Friday (which was a development day) off to go to Minneapolis. Because of the previously-mentioned ridiculosity (TM me) of American Airlines, over two days, I was in four different airports flying three different carriers. Good times. Between Delta, American, and Northwest, Delta treated me least like cattle. They still give out peanuts and their seats are comfier. The Atlanta airport is horrible. I will never fly through there if I can help it. I also spent an inordinate amount of time perusing SkyMall, which, if you have never looked at it, contains possibly the largest collection of completely useless stuff in the developed world. I am actually going to do a post on it so you can see what rich folk spend their money on. In any event, I breathed enough stale air (and fart-laden air on one flight) to last me for at least another month, hopefully two.

School was really good--looking at analyzing problems using economic and political lenses and talking about political constructions. My cohort class really meshes well with my other class, Policy Development, so it's pretty cool to further understand how public policy works and how that may influence or even create problems. I may get to go to Washington this summer for a week-long policy class that meets on Capitol Hill, depending on how work schedules play out.

I got home around 10 on Saturday and hung out with Chris for the rest of the weekend, just relaxing around our house. We went and saw Persepolis, which I thought was awesome. I would highly recommend you go see it or at least read the graphic novels. It's funny and sad and gives a unique voice to the social history of contemporary Iranians. We also saw 3:10 To Yuma, which was good if you like westerns, so-so if you're just meh about them like us.

Last night on a whim, Chris and I committed to watching network television despite the fact that we don't actively watch any of the shows that are on Mondays. I seriously think I am dumber for that. The choices (I'm just guesstimating the titles): American Gladiators, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, Paradise Hotel 2 (?), Two and a Half Men, Carrie vs. Bruno: Dance Wars, Knight Rider the remake, Gossip Girl, the new season of that Pussycat Dolls show, & Prison Break. That is some unremarkable shit right there. Seriously, those shows make The Biggest Loser look like Masterpiece Theatre.


SOLVED Mystery

A colleague and I were just reminiscing on Saved By the Bell (he took the quiz while home sick yesterday) and how if you were an adolescent in the late 80s/early 90s, you could watch four episodes back to back on TBS and TNT (?) after school (then California Dreams, if you were so inclined), although there was the weird five minute delay for TBS shows. Remember that? When TBS started shows at five past the hour or 35 past the hour? Why did they do that? Can anyone solve this Unsolved Mystery now that Robert Stack has passed on (R.I.P)?

Lazer e-mailed me this:

On June 29, 1981, TBS began to use "Turner Time"[5]. While other television offerings generally began at the top and bottom of each hour, TBS decided to begin airing programs five minutes later, at :05 and :35.
By using "Turner Time," TBS programs were listed under their own time entry in TV Guide, thus providing more exposure to the channel's programming. It also encouraged channel surfers who couldn't find anything interesting to watch at the top of the hour, to still be able to watch a TBS program without missing the first few minutes. Most importantly, since shows ended five minutes later than normal, it usually encouraged viewers to continue watching TBS rather than flip to watch another program already in progress.
TBS started to cut back Turner Time in 1997 from and scrapped it completely by 2000. TBS now schedules programs at the top and bottom of the hour (excluding Seinfeld on Tuesday evenings which airs at 9:15 and 9:45 p.m.; this is due to Sex and the City's length and the fact that commercials didn't air on its original network HBO).

Thanks, Lazer!


Awesome Student Quote

"I bought (former student who is pregnant) some Baby Einstein videos. That kid needs all the help it can get."

Sad, but true.

If I Can Hand It In Tomorrow It Will Be All Right.

Here's a link to a pretty awesome Saved By the Bell quiz. This ain't for amateurs. You needed something to occupy this morning when you should be home in bed, didn't you?

Then, vote for your favorite SBTB character. The winning character gets Valentine's Dinner at the Max.


A Cossssby Sweater

Swear I'm working on the Punxytawney post. I've been crazy busy: paper due today, buttloads (yes, BUTTLOADS) of reading to do, grading, and other miscellaneous prep for Minneapolis this weekend. Can I vent about that? What up with American Airlines, with whom I have flown faithfully all through this long-distance venture, tripling their prices from St Louis to Minneapolis this weekend? I can't fly direct for less than a grand. I ain't got that kind of scrilla, for real. So I'm going to traipsing around the country trying to connect to Minneapolis and still paying out the ass, knowing damn well that my normal return flight only has five people in it. GRRRR.

Spent a nice weekend mostly with Chris. Went out to eat with our friends Christine and Joe at Off the Vine on Hampton on Saturday, a very spur-of-the-moment, very expensive venture. The food was spectacular, the service, not so much. Try it for lunch before you commit to dinner. Also spent too much money at Euclid Records, where we purchased the new Jack Johnson and Gary Louris on vinyl and the new Drive By Truckers on CD. I could spend an entire paycheck in that joint as it totally reminds me of the record shop in High Fidelity.

Also, saw The Namesake and Art School Confidential this weekend. Yes, it was the weekend of 2006 movies. So what if we're behind? We loved the former and were just kind of meh about the latter. The plot was pretty obvious without being developed in any way. Also saw Paris Je T'aime, which was great and I would highly recommend. I might even use it in my classroom to show how microfiction works.

Sorry, I'm boring today, because I've got a lot to do. Which I am procrastinating doing by writing this.


Just One More Hit...

I swear this is the last Heidi Montag post I write about at least until Hills Season 4 premieres. Why would Heidi do an interview with Television Without Pity? Let us not question. Let us give thanks.

Awesome Student Quote

"All I'm saying is that if I had grown up in an house that wasn't just about alcohol, cigarettes, and Law & Order, I would have done better on the ACT."

Small Town Thoughts

Yesterday, I had an eye appointment at Hampton Village at 2. My Thursday schedule worked out that I just took the afternoon off. Chris had conferences, so I had planned on taking two buses to get to the eye doctor. For those of you that don't know, I sold my car in August because we really didn't need it and I hated the hassle of having it. I don't mind taking the bus. The only pain in the ass is they really don't run on schedule, so you can wait up to a half hour.

Anyway, I left school after Advisory and was waiting for the bus, when out of nowhere, two friends of mine whip around the corner of Big Bend and Manchester and pick me up. We went and ate chili at one's house and then the other took me to my appointment. After my brief appointment, I thought about taking two buses home, but decided to walk the mile and a half/two miles, because it was perfectly nice walking weather and I had This American Life podcasts to listen to. I walk about half a mile down Hampton before Chris's cousin whips into a parking lot and picks me up.

I thought about this when I got home, and what struck me, other than my incredibly good fortune to have my transportation needs taken care of, was that how much of a small town St Louis really is. Everyone knows everybody, and if you don't know someone, chances are you know someone who knows said person. And while it can get lame answering the "Where'd you go to high school" question with, "I'm from Iowa," I like that you can connect with people through an extensive network of friends.

Ironically, that same thought came to me as I watched the reports on the shooting in Kirkwood. The same friend who gave me a ride to the eye doctor is from Kirkwood, and I knew from her family's involvement with local politics, that there was almost no way she wouldn't know the shooter and the victims. An e-mail from her this morning confirmed what I had suspected: she knew all of the victims and the shooter. Her parents have lost their friends and are devastated. I can't imagine how citizens of Kirkwood feel right now. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


Somebody Stop This Train

I'm a blogging fiend today. I couldn't let the day go by without linking to this unintentionally hilarious interview with Heidi from the Hills, full of such gems as this:

How would you describe the sound of the record so far?
You can’t really describe it. It’s like its own genre of music. A little bit of it is hip-hop, some of it’s very…the best way to say it is that all of the songs make you want to dance. It’s all so amazing, and each song is totally different. Every one is like a genre of its own.

God bless you, Trent, for bringing this to my attention today.

My advice: watch the video I linked to earlier, read the article. Laugh hysterically. Make parody video. Post on YouTube. Become famous.

Super Tuesday

I'm working on a Groundhog post and a rant about some other stuff, so I don't have time to say much about Super Tuesday as of now. I did cast a proud vote for Obama this morning, and you can read Jaelithe's blog, as she pretty succinctly articulates why she and I both support him. VOTE OR DIE, BITCHES!


Monday Mornings and the Groundhog

Well, I have returned from Punxsutawney, and boy do I have stories to tell. That would involve me uploading pictures and processing the surrealness that was Groundhog Day. While I work on that, and, you know, stuff for my real job, go ahead and check out the shiteousness that is Heidi Montag's (from The Hills, like, duh) "music" video. This cannot be for real, can it? It was on Yahoo! Entertainment.