Archive - 2008
As a reward for good behavior I recently bought the boys a couple Captain Underpants books. I'm not sure their mother completely approved, but I thought they seemed like the kind of books little boys would like as a reward. I was not wrong.
The books are cute and irreverent. I was especially interested to see how each of the books illustrates the boys' creativity with an example of them changing a sign to say something funny. Here is one:
Here is another example:
It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that I was introduced to this mode of creative fun. Late at night you find a sign with movable letters and rearrange it to say something else. Later as a freshman at Lipscomb, I passed such a sign that an apartment complex was using to advertise 1200 square foot apartments. I wrote down the words on the sign and later, while at the bowling alley, some friends and I (Jayson, Trey, and Joel?) brainstormed a funny/irreverent rearrangement. It was probably several weeks later before we got around to executing our plan. One Saturday night, David W. was the driver, and Jayson and I did the rearranging. The following afternoon, we returned to the scene of the crime for a photo shoot with Lori playing photographer. Here are the pictures:
On the way home from work tonight, I stopped and picked Elliot up from Taekwon Do and then headed home. As I turned onto a street near our house, I noticed a car heading toward me that swerved into my lane before turning back to its own. As I proceeded, I noticed a dark object lying an the side of the road. Today was trash day, so at first I assumed it was a garbage bag. As I passed it, I realized that it was a person. I stopped and got out, and saw that it was an elderly. She said she had fallen and asked me to help her up. I was concerned that she might have been injured, but she assured me that she didn't have a bad fall. I offered to give her a ride, and she asked for a ride to Kroger. She said her husband had said that snow had been forecasted for tonight, and she was trying to get to Kroger before it snowed. After she bought a couple items, we gave her a ride home. I offered to give her my phone number in case she needed anything else, but she said she didn't need it. She just asked my name and street (presumably to send a thank you note).
I was quite glad that I saw her when I did because she could easily have be run over while lying there on the side of the road. Her hearing seemed to be fine, but her vision seemed to be a bit lacking (which probably explains why she was walking instead of driving). I was also glad that my son was there to observe me stopping and giving this lady aid.
From the 1860s to the 1920s, towns across the U.S. violently expelled African American residents.
Today, these communities remain virtually all white.
As black descendants return to demand justice, BANISHED exposes the hidden history of racial cleansing in America.
At least 12 different counties in eight states banished their black populations. More than 4,000 black residents were expelled from their homes.
The film takes the approach of visiting four of the counties where this occurred, discussing the historical events as well as examining the towns today. What it finds is that the counties remain almost completely white and that they are generally of two minds regarding blacks: either they still aren't welcome or they are (even though somehow that doesn't translate into any residents of color). I tend to think about this kind of thing as being long ago in the distant past. However, the film shows footage of a visit to Forsyth County Georgia in 1987 (75 years after blacks were driven out) by a group of whites and blacks who planned to march in honor of MLK and in memory of what had happened in that county. They were met by huge crowds of people from the KKK and other racist organizations who made it abundantly clear with signs, shouts, and even thrown rocks how unwelcome their visit was. This was only twenty years ago. It was also interesting to see the difficulty in coming to resolution about what happened...the conflict between the fact that these black folks basically had their land and property stolen when they were driven out long ago and the fact that the current owners were not the wrongdoers but rather just people who happened to buy land that at some point in the past was stolen. Like the documentary about the Little Rock high school, this film left me depressed about where we came from and how far we apparently still have to go.
I give it 5 out of 5.
I recently watched a documentary from HBO Films titled Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later. From the HBO web site:
The wave of desegregation that transformed the South during the 1960s began in Little Rock in September 1957. After Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus defied the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling and ordered the National Guard to prevent nine black teenagers from entering Central High School, President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by sending troops from the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army to protect the students as they entered the building.
But what is the legacy of the Civil Rights struggle for equal education today? To mark the 50th anniversary of the forced integration of Central High School, Little Rock natives Brent and Craig Renaud provide a candid look at the lives of contemporary Central High students in the documentary LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL: 50 YEARS LATER.
Brent and Craig Renaud followed the lives of contemporary Central High students, teachers and administration, as well as community leaders, over the course of a year for this intimate documentary, visiting classes, school meetings and assemblies, teenagers' homes and community events. Sharing the stories of both black and white students, the special reveals the opportunities and challenges facing them in and out of the classroom.
There are many interesting aspects to this film. One of the most striking was how the school that was forcefully desegregated 50 years ago is today voluntarily segregated on the common line of race and wealth. Another was hearing some of the black kids face the realization that their black peers don't care about school and neither do their parents, and they don't try very hard to succeed. Another was how many of the black kids resent the advantages that the wealthy white kids have (which, admittedly, they do have) without acknowledging how hard the white kids work to succeed in their advanced coursework. Another was a segment of a black kid admitting how prejudiced he is against whites. In the end, the film was pretty depressing...both in terms of the situation we were in 50 years ago and the ones we are still in today. We're certainly moving in the right direction...but it's obviously a long, slow process and we're nowhere near the end.
I give it 5 out of 5.
I got a kick out of a couple cartoons I saw this week.
and then this one that is showing up everywhere but I saw first on The Boar's Head Tavern as shared by Bill Kinnon...Travis from the BHT captioned it thusly: "Why watchbloggers would never succeed in the 30-day sex challenge"...if you're wondering what a watchblogger is, so was I (apparently it is a "guardian of truth, calling out those who dare deviate from orthodoxy")...but you get the point.
This one hits a little too close to home:
You can read more about the 30-day sex challenge here and here (a church challenged its married folks to have sex daily for thirty days...and non-married folks to abstain). Here is the YouTube they made (a remake of the hilarious original by the Flight of the Conchords).