At the high school where I teach an SAT prep course, there's been some controversy over a student essay. Apparently, after reading and analyzing Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," students were assigned to write their own satiric piece -- and one student wrote a piece about racism that a number of students found highly offensive. (Some of those upset students are in my class; before Wednesday's session began, I read the essay and we chatted about it briefly.) (more...)
I dreamed that I used peanut butter hair gel and could taste it through my scalp.
I got to work an hour or so early today, and since it was such a beautiful day I decided to take a delightful walk along the trail near the tutoring center. Seriously, it was a super pleasant walk and I should plan to arrive early far more often than I actually manage it! Still, here's a multiple-choice question for you.
Which of the following yard signs did I see during my walk?
A) THIS PROPERTY PROTECTED BY
B) FREE ROCK SALT
DELIVERED BY 12 GAUGE
C) JIHAD FREE ZONE
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
E) ALL OF THE ABOVE
Again -- it was a lovely walk. I think people sometimes get the impression that I post with the intent to complain or to spread negativity or to garner sympathy, but mostly I just think those observations provide for more interesting discussion than simply noting that I went for a relaxing walk (not that I won't post those sorts of comments as well). Like, what kind of person publicly displays a sign like (C)? At face value, it's basically the equivalent of "I DISLIKE TERRORISM" -- except I'd wager that most of us dislike terrorism. (I hope that I never find myself in a place that I am conclusively convinced is NOT a "jihad free zone.") So why would a person feel the need to express that sentiment in bold, capital letters unless he/she intends to suggest something beyond the simple meaning of the words? And given that likelihood, how should we interpret the sign? Is it making a positive/worthwhile comment, or is it functionally the equivalent of "I KINDA SUCK"? Hmmm.
"And in the case of the Caped Crusader, Snyder's Batman is easily the most realistic depiction of a maniac who spends his nights beating the snot out of criminal scumbags. Unike those other Batmen who wouldn't touch guns -- which is both out of step with the character's original disposition and decidedly un-American -- this Batman, like a small number of brave policemen protecting our streets from unarmed black teenagers and those proud white people protecting their families from the swarthy degenerates that would swipe their sneakers, isn't afraid to soak a few shirts in order to ensure the safety of his fellow Gothamites."
Too politically charged? I think too politically charged. I wanted a record of this sentence somewhere, though. xD
EDIT: Apparently not too politically charged, 'cause I was like, "Man, screw it, POST." Also, since I'm posting about it everywhere -- I'm super stoked about it, you see -- I posted a new article on Scary-Crayon! It's the first article I've posted since June of last year (yikes), and the last feature before that was May of the previous year (yikes squared). I really do miss posting to SC. I should do it more often -- I always feel so proud of myself after an article goes live. At least this one was over 3K words, so I feel a bit like I've made up for some of those idle months.
So last night's episode of Legends of Tomorrow was actually encouraging.
My main problem with the show is that it's essentially a live-action children's cartoon. Now, in principle, there's nothing wrong with that -- with such a large cast of characters, it's arguably the "natural" tone for such a show -- but the show's premise (and much of the content) is dark enough that the style clash -- in one scene the characters will be having a heated argument about some exceedingly trivial matter (often a perceived slight); in another someone is being beaten bloody in a Russian gulag -- just doesn't work for me. It might be a better show if the characters were committed to simply "stopping" Vandal Savage from finally conquering the world in 2166; instead their express goal is to use their ability to travel in time to corner and execute Savage at some prior date. (more...)
There's been lots of speculation about the reasons for Bernie's apparent lack of support among black voters -- but has there been any analysis of the extent to which black voters support the perceived frontrunner in Democratic primaries? Even Obama didn't gain traction among blacks until the narrative shifted and he was the candidate with momentum. (more...)