Author Archive: Mindy Carney
I am a writer and communication professional in St. Louis, Missouri, a crafter of jewelry, a disorganized optimist and most importantly, the adoptive mom of two China-born daughters.
A friend forwarded this from The Onion. Thought DI readers would appreciate the findings, including this:
Members of the earth’s earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.
According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.
Friday evening, I was fortunate enough to attend the 40th anniversary Founder’s Dinner for the elementary school my daughters attended. My youngest, thankfully, is still there. She only has a year left after this one, and already I can feel the size of the hole left in my life when I no longer have the community behind its Big Red Doors to mingle with every day. This young woman, Brittany Packnett, was one of the speakers, an alumnus of the school who has gone on to make a difference in many more young lives as teacher in Washington D.C. I was in tears as I listened to her, knowing that my girls are being blessed with the same underpinnings of which she so eloquently speaks. This is what education for all children should be about.
[Admin note: See also this related post on Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences]
As I have not been around DI of late, I thought I’d pop in just momentarily to reiterate my adoration (no, that’s not too strong a word) of Jon Stewart. His show recently won an Emmy and in a poll conducted by Time Magazine over the summer, he was once again named the most trusted journalist in America.
Some find that appalling, that a comedian doing “fake news” would be trusted – but not only do I not find it a surprise, I find it emblematic of what is great about our country. Yep, strangely enough, I believe that beyond all of the nonsense foisted upon us by the fear-mongers and the naysayers and the hand-wringers, above the greed and corruption, the re-emergence of public racism and class-ism that has knocked the very wind out of us over this last year – we, as a culture, have maintained one vital component of our identity as a nation.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|America: Target America|
We still have a senses of humor. Most importantly, we can still poke fun at ourselves.
Stewart takes on the rightwing nutjobs with LMAO-level attacks, but he just as willingly puts Obama and the Democratic congressfolk smack in their liberal places. He brilliantly points out the hypocrisy by putting videos back-to-back in which politicians completely contradict themselves. He forces us to see the political blustering for what it is, and gives voice to sanity in the midst of complete crazy. He makes sure we never forget our humanity.
Last week, he took on the absurdly ridiculous overreaction to the elementary school in New Jersey in which children sang a song about the new President during Black History Month. As he points out, no one complained about it at the time. And Stewart’s lampooning of the way the rightwing media turned this non-story into something murky and evil became especially potent when he pulled out video of school children in New Orleans singing a song in which they THANK THE LORD for Bush and FEMA!!! Good grief. The twinkle in Stewart’s eyes as he reads the lyrics that group of kids sang is priceless.
Carry on -
Here’s a topic I haven’t followed well enough, as became obvious to me when I saw this little gem of a video on Huffpo. I had NO IDEA that one of the reasons Those-Who-Hate-Government-But-Want-Government-to-Manage-Religion-and-Reproduction are threatening not to fill out their census forms is the fear of being placed in Internment Camps. Yep, that maven of legislative insight, Michele Bachmann, warns Glenn Beck of the dire consequences we may well repeat from the WWII era. She also laments the missing “are you here illegally?” question (because of course all undocumented workers would ‘fess right up to that on an official government form).
I am experiencing a rather weird feeling – three cultural icons whose flames burned brightest during my own youth have all been extinguished in the same week. First Ed McMahon, who, for years has been but a caricature of himself, died, essentially of old age, at 86. Not a big surprise, except I wonder how someone who was so vibrant when I was a teen managed to get that old?! A friend pointed out that deaths like his make her feel old, and I get that. But so do the deaths of Farrah and Jacko today – at least for me. Because I can still remember believing that only old people lose contemporaries in any large number – and perhaps because we lost a mom at my oldest daughter’s school to ovarian cancer this month – I’m feeling a bit too close to death’s doorway.
I was never a big fan of Farrah, but I know several men who, as boys, would glaze over just staring at her poster on their bedroom walls. She and her fellow Angels were early purveyors of girl-power – except it was the toxic kind, a power that came primarily from great bodies, beautiful faces and big hair. Oh, and yeah, they could kick butt against the bad guys, of course. Theirs was a cultural impact similar to Barbie’s – a completely unrealistic picture of femininity to strive for, girls! But still, they were women in formerly man-held roles, and they were part of my girlhood, for better or worse. Farrah, of course, was always the top angel. Not a role model, although back then some tried to paint her as such; just an icon, replete with faults that became more apparent as she got older and the media more intrusive. Like her or not, I am saddened by the long suffering she had to endure up to her end.
As for Michael Jackson, I simply don’t know how to feel.
- to all the men out there raising honest, compassionate, inquisitive children.
- to all the dads who aren’t afraid to show their children how much they love them, all the men who model participation and positive values, good health and a passion to learn.
- to the fathers who say no when they need to and who teach their children that mistakes are part of the journey; the dads who forgive, who tell stories and know how to laugh at themselves.
- to every man who makes sure his children know, without having to ask, that he will be there for them, in form or spirit, whenever he is needed, for the rest of their lives.
- and to the other fathers out there, somehow, may they learn how important their presence could be, and find a way to get there.
As a parent, I have participated in many discussions regarding the medication of kids for a variety of reasons. I have friends who have kids with serious problems for whom medication has been a godsend, allowing them to function with relative normalcy. Kids who were unable to participate in a typical classroom for one behavioral issue or another.
We’ve also had many discussions about the problem of over-medicating children, and how some schools push for difficult children to receive behavioral meds, whether they truly need them or not. How some of those adult medications should perhaps not be so quickly prescribed for children. We’ve talked about education reform, changes in teaching methods and school culture and administrative philosophies that would allow for wider ranges of learning styles. I’ve heard parents rant about how unfair it is for their well-behaved child to not receive the same level of attention as the “problem kid” in the class commands, and I’ve seen them answered by the parents of said problem kids with an invitation to trade shoes, just for a day.
I found this an interesting response to George Tiller’s murder. Frank Schaeffer, a reformed evangelical, argues that the hate speech continually spewed by the religious right regarding abortion set the stage for George Tiller’s murder, and other abortionists before him. He still expresses disgust at late-term abortion, and while I am more likely to agree with that, I do believe there are situations in which that choice is the only one that makes sense. Painful, horribly so, but sometimes the only choice is.