Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Presidential announcementszzzzzz

You snooze, you... snooze. Presidential candidates are announcing, and I suppose now's the time. If you're early, you get out there, start raising the moolah and collecting the name ID. But what is with the two and a half minute "announcements" these Presidential candidates are doing? Talk about snoozers.

I like Mitt Romney (though I haven't thrown my hat in for anyone but NEWT), but what a sleeper. Come on, Mitt. You're better than that! What with all the immediacy of reading the news in the morning, checking email, etc., I have tried to watch this announcement ad now a total of 9 times. It's like trying to get through to a voter the week before Election Day~ impossible!

I can't get into it. It's slow, filled with empty music - oh wait, that's just the drone of the whir of the camera crew. There's no music. There's no video. Even Obama put in stupid interviews with "everyday Obamans," I mean everyday Americans.

Back up the truck. Obama's not even IN his video. Is that the choice we as voters are faced with? A video with the candidate's talking head or a video without the candidate?

I'm looking for PIZZAZZ. I'm not talking about flashy, cheesy-neon-I'm-a-hooker-in-Vegas type showboating- I'm talking about eye catching and interesting. Not the run 'o the mill shots of communities (like the conservative, small town, church-going, rural America that doesn't really support you, Barack...)

Show me you are a straight talker. Show me action, decision making. Do'nt show me you can talk about the problem. That's why Obama's in trouble - he's too busy listening to his own voice talking to make any damn progress.

Make my smart phone worthy of your 2 minutes. Hell, make it 30 seconds. Make it "We're going to fix this mess and do it without apologizing for hurting people's feelings." BAM. Words on a one-color background, and a shot of the candidate. Now THAT, I would buy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Help, a review

Have you read The Help? As it was nothing I expected from the title, this book is captivating, colorful and contagious.

This is a book that literally paints it black and white. The juxtaposition of mothering middle-aged maids and 20-something white ladies of fine society in Jackson, MS during the Civil Rights movement delivers nothing short of quippy one-liners from the maids, bucking the high-society snoots with Marriage Degrees - humor and truth wrapped in a transparent bow.

The voice of Skeeter can be seen as a narrative encompassing the entire book. Her conscience however, I believe, is that of the author in a post-segregation modern world. Making the only white character to appear with sympathy for the black maids not only a female, but the only character without a wife and children among her peers makes me wonder if she is in a way, apologizing for the behavior against black people in the '60s. And, it poses a key question- simply how real could a character like Skeeter have been in racist, segregated Jackson in the early '60s?

Her plight is quite selfish - write a book to get the hell out of Jackson. But it is the characters of Aibileen and Minny whose dimension cannot be caged. Their voices so loud you can hear them well after the book closes, each present a view of the world that slowly changes as the story progresses. Aibileen, discovering hope anew and believe it or not, control over her future after a decision made outside her control. Minny, acting out the results of a new found freedom, finally taking pride in the story of her own life. Minny's is one we witness, while Aibileen's is one we are told.

The kicker comes in the end. When you know the final 10 pages will bring an end to this bold tale, told so vividly you believe in hiding its secret from others, it delivers quite more than a grandeur statement of "what the world will bring" for each character beyond the pages the author has given us.

As Aibileen is forced from her job as Mae Mobley's caretaker, I could literally feel Mae Mobley's heart breaking. Her emotion around losing the closest thing she has to a nurturing mother figure is too much for a reader who has ever felt the scare of their mother walking in the other direction. Be it the first day of kindergarten or being dropped off at college- or perhaps watching a mother put her suitcase in a car and drive away - it is a universal fear.

Kathryn Stockett captures in the pages of The Help, a simple truth that though entirely apparent, I did not discover until the final pages. As women, we are molded by our mothers in inexplicable ways, some we never admit to ourselves. From comments and glances - intended or unintended - and further perceived by our young egos as negative reviews, to the gestures of unconditional love - large or small - the relationship between mother and daughter cannot be confined to the limits of "black and white."

Motherhood transcends race. Daughterhood is blinded by love and acceptance until tainted by a larger, uncontrolled outside world. And unfortunately, tainted daughters also become mothers. The Help, uniquely and cleverly unveils these truths. Bravo to Kathryn Stockett.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Arizona Gun Power

Guns on Arizona campuses have been OK'd by their legislature. I say BRAVO.
What I don't understand is this argument:
State Rep. Bob Robson said guns on campuses are a bad idea because students and others experience such emotional highs and lows due to grades, exams and other circumstances.

"To make it that you could walk up to the door of an education institution (with a gun) makes no sense to me," he said.
This isn't advocating that kids take guns to school. It's merely saying, if you've got one, you're not going to be penalized.

Arizona does not have a mandatory waiting period before obtaining a firearm,I understand that. It also doesn't have an owner license requirement. You DO have to be 21 though. So you can't stop a kid from getting a gun - from an older sibling, a family member, or buying a gun online. What are we to do - live in fear that the cheerleader next to you in Biology 101 might be packing?

For some who have seen school shootings up close- be it the great tragedies at Columbine or Virginia Tech, or the smaller incidents that fade away from yesterday's news - I believe this kind of law provides some relief.
But supporters said the bill would help people defend themselves from gun violence by someone who won't heed a campus's firearms ban.

"I find it hard to believe that on universities it just becomes a bubble — that somehow you're drastically protected when you enter the campus," Democratic Rep. David Gowan said.
Bingo. To imagine that a student would have been carrying a firearm and been able to stop his peer from murdering classmates, and that is prevented by the idea that classrooms are bubbles of safety, is alarming.

We cannot be bullied by students who are emotionally unstable over grades and tests to the point of drastic violence. We cannot allow innocent students to die, when there is clearly something that can be done to help prevent it.

Way to go AZ!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Herman Cain's emailing me

WHY?! Who the heck put me on never-been-heard-of Herman Cain's Presidential Exploratory committee email list? I want my money back.

Better yet, I want to sue the bastard that took my email from an authorized candidate and used it without asking me.

No, "That's just silly, LMS," they'll say. "Everyone does this. It's no surprise. And you can unsubscribe." So it's on, me now. I suppose it's always on us - the bloggers, the political activists-even more simply, the citizens and voters - to wade through the BS of politicians' emails and decide for ourselves whom we shall support. Even when we don't sign up to get their propaganda.

Who's BS is better, you ask? Sorry folks, I'm just not ready to wade into the shallow bogs of Presidential CRAP at this time.

Hey now...look-ee-there, Cain's got himself a 21% name-rec rating? I suppose all that traveling to TEA party events and working with AFP has helped the guy get some name ID.

Dramatic pause...pretend scanning of the email content...Nope. Still heading toward the unsubscribe door as we speak.