Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rush to the firing squad

“I’m dreaming of riots in Denver,” sang less than melodiously to the tune of “Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Who re-mastered this Christmas classic? Osama? Hitler? Jerry Falwell? No. Of course not. All of them can carry a tune. It was crooned by Rush Limbaugh.
For over a week, he has talked about how he wants riots and violence in Denver’s streets during the Democratic Convention this year. It is one more angle in his Project Chaos, a movement to help overthrow the Democrat party. In his way of thinking, it would show what type of people make up the Democrat party and help insure the election of a Republican candidate. (Especially interesting since he can’t stand McCain—If there was ever a higher complement to McCain I have yet to hear it.)
I remember as a kid when people in the Bible Belt looked at Rush as some type of hero. I went a long with that train of thought. Without knowing anything of politics or the world, I recall looking at his books in bookstores and hoping that I could be a great man like him one day. The thought makes me want to vomit. I have long been used to seeing him as a self-indulgent, self-loving, public masturbating (which typically is a good thing) of his ego, self obsessed quack and have been able to shrug off his latest rant or rave. This latest tirade hit me a little more seriously. By the time I was done listening to my talk radio (which was sort of condemning his comment and yet veraciously taking up for Rush) I was screaming and cursing in my car. The amount of people who called in who were supporting the comment (people in Denver!) and making excuse after excuse of why Rush’s comments were justified complete sickened me.
In a day and age where we have mass shootings and killings more often than Elton John includes pink and green polkadots in his ensemble, it is unfathomable for a human (he is not a Man) who is to so many a hero to the ‘American way of life’ to encourage riots or talk about how he is dreaming of seeing violence in another American city. It is also bewildering to me how Howard Stern and Imus lost their shows (even if for a moment) and Rush is still allowed to walk into a studio.
I am much more Republican than I am Democrat in most areas. I can’t imagine how those on the far Left feel about his comments. Even more so, I can’t believe no one is truly nailing this asshole to the wall.
What kind of society are we?

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Deity and the Degenerate

My classroom para-educator took a few moments from instructing our little angels a couple days ago to offer me a sight that left me disturbed and ill-at-ease. She pulled up some news site on the internet and showed me the picture of a little girl in India born with two faces. Everything else seemingly normal, except for two faces. From what I can tell, two different completely functional faces. The parents say they feed whichever mouth is the handiest, and while the first face is drinking, the other sucks a thumb. Naturally, the locals are worshiping her as a goddess. Who knows, maybe in time, she will grow up to be twice as beautiful as Aphrodite.
When I got home, I wanted Chad to be disturbed as well. I have a very sharing personality. Lucky him. As he is more inquisitive than I, he continued to read the article and view other pictures. Apparently, somewhere down the block in India, our two faced little goddess (that is not derogatory, just because she has two faces doesn’t mean that she will be a back stabber—we will probably have to form a more politically correct saying for the original meaning of two-faced) has a little neighborhood friend to play with that may be sympathetic to her plight. This other little girl was born with one face, but with four arms and four legs. She could have been looking at Olympic greatness in the both the track & field events as well as in gymnastics. Alas, her dreams were cut short as her parents allowed a doctor to put her under the knife and remove her extra-special appendages. Now, she is boring like the rest of us. The question that comes to my mind, and will probably come to hers as well, making it ultimately impossible for her to be friends will our famed little goddess is, how come two faces makes you a deity, and two sets of limbs makes you a freak? Doesn’t quite seem fair. There are going to be some jealousy and inferiority complex therapy session in store for that little girl.
I couldn’t help but think about the Simpson’s episode with the frogs that are poisoned and growing extra limbs and eyes. It seems nearly every time I hear about such malformations on innocent children, they are on children who decided to be born in India. Maybe this is not specific to India and I am just poorly informed, or maybe India just has better media/tabloid coverage. Or maybe, just maybe, people should move from India or expand the gene pool. Of course, if I was in the process of repopulating the ancient gods of Greece and Rome, I might stay too.
Our American version of producing adequate royalty and deity children is not quite as grounded in genetics and happenstances of birth. We, in the true American way, have to work for what we have. It’s how we keep our pride; our firm grasp on what is important and genuine. Sometimes we face persecution for our dedication to bettering our children and the forthcoming generations. Such is the case of a local couple. They did not rely on their child being born special. No, they decided to work on it. Unfortunately, they did not agree on which path would be the most appropriate for their four year old little boy. In all reports, he only had one face, one nose, one penis, and ten toes. Sad, right? Well, thank Zeus for dedicated parents. His mother wanted to raise him as a Crypt (or a blood, I don’t recall which color went better with her complexion). His father wanted him to be raised firmly in the beliefs and standards of a lesser known, but no less respected, gang. Truly a father and mother willing to put aside their relationship for the good of their toddler’s future. They were both taken into custody when their disagreement of how to best care for their son became a physical and not so quiet altercation.
Can we really blame them? The Man is always doing his part to keep down those of us who are hard working and determined. It’s so much easier in the Indies.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

lions and house elves

In staying with my typical routine, I have been listening to books on tape/CD every morning as I drive to work (often with a Caribou Coffee in my hands)—in the afternoons on the way home, I call my folks and then listen to conservative political talk radio. Innocent child in the morning, fat traditionalist angry preacher in the afternoon. Works well.
A while ago, I purchased the entire set of The Chronicles of Narnia on CD, each book read by a different celebrity—most of whom I have never heard of. Although one of them was read by the guy who played Prince Humperdink on “The Princess Bride”—that one was hard to take serious, but it was fun. Reading that series of books was an event that had remained a nearly sacred segment from my childhood. I remember being severely depressed when I had finished them because there weren’t any more.
Going back through them has been a mixture of pleasure, bittersweetness, and bizarre. Things are so completely different from an adult perspective. Parts that I remember being terrified of as a child seem almost silly and obvious now. Other parts that were boring before are now beautiful and somewhat awe-inspiring. I am now on the fourth one, The Silver Chair, which I loved as a kid. Although, the third one, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is still my favorite. And, yes, I listen to them in the old fashioned order, not this new mixed up chronology. I don’t care if Lewis approved of the new way. He was wrong.
At any rate, in The Silver Chair, the main female lead is named Jill. That is the name of my best friend’s wife. As such, for the entire book, I have pictured her as a small child going through these adventures. Her character is nothing like the personality of the Jill in the book (which is good, as the little girl can be rather annoying at times), but it has made the experience more enjoyable.
In this morning’s passage (in pure dated style), there was a whole section of Puddleglum deciding that he and the children needed to act gay in order to escape the home of the giants (before they were the main course at the feast—even though he and the children hadn’t yet figured that out, somehow). Of course, gay meaning happy and lighthearted. However, after a whole paragraph talking about how to be gay, including frolicking about and pasting a hideous grin on one’s face, the whole section became rather ironic and hysterical. I received much more enjoyment out of that passage than I am sure I did a child, even though I knew I liked boys at the time I read it, I had no idea what gay was. Which was probably a good thing, as I would have been devastated to read about being gay and the series would have been ruined forever.
One of the reasons I had been so excited to return to these seven books (interesting that there were seven) was that I wanted to compare them to the seven Harry Potter, better than Sonic cheeseburger, books. There have been so many fundamentalists (not all by any stretch, just the stupid ones) who have been so adamantly against Harry Potter yet in favor of the Narnia books, that I had to see for myself. With a few exceptions where C. S. Lewis is nearly sickeningly preaching, the similarities are blaring in a vast assortment of ways. Not really in plot or story lines, but most defiantly in setting, magics, themes, and supporting characters. Their blindness and hypocrisy in their view of these two series is blindingly ridiculous. And, from a literary standpoint, I must say that I feel Rowling’s writing is vastly superior.
As far as the religious implications of Narnia, I will say this, Lewis nailed the ungraspability of God in his characterization of the lion. Half the time, I am so frustrated with the vagueness and mixed messages of untainted warmth and love and opposing silence and distance. Very much echoing many of my experiences with God. He also was able to nail some of my frustrations with the Bible through the lion. So often, Aslan sends the children on missions with vague clues when he could have handled things himself in a matter of moments, or at least been explicit so that he wouldn’t be so perturbed when the children act like the humans they are.
I am anxious to finish the other three books and see how my feelings continue to grow or shift, as, if memory holds true, the last ones have more religious overtones. Either way, these books really have remained, for the most part, timeless and ones that every child (or adult) should read.
Until the next installment of Literature Review from the Fag’s Point of View, I wish you happy reading, and, as always, happy eating.

Friday, April 04, 2008

they say the gays are cultured and refined

Fair Warning: If you are eating, have a weak constitution, or are nursing small children, do not read the following Ramblings submission.

As I am sure I have said before, it takes a lot to really embarrass me. It doesn’t take much (if anything) to make me feel self-conscious or not-good-enough, but it does take a fairly special happening to make me want to turn away in shame or crawl into a dark hole until everyone else has gone far, far away. Most of the time, I don’t really care what people think. However, if the thing that they might possibly think is, ‘Oh, dear God! He is the most disgusting thing I have seen in forever!” then that is a different story altogether.
I have been sick for about a couple months. I get a cold and it lasts for a few weeks, then I think I am ok. Sure enough, a bit later, here comes another cold with a different assortment of symptoms. My principal assures me this is just run of the mill for a first year teacher. I would think since I have been counseling/teaching kids for the past eight years I would be able to bypass that particular gift of joy from the children. Apparently not. This latest blissful infestation has been a ton of coughing, occasional chills, exhaustion, an appetite that is never satiated (I have never experienced anything like this hunger before—really helping ‘my-so-called-diet’), and lots and lots and lots and lots of snot. So much snot that it not only requires me to blow my nose in a near constant fashion, but also is relentlessly draining down my throat. As my stomach prefers cheeseburgers, tortillas, and cookie dough to snot, I am often on the verge of throwing up. This is especially true in the mornings. I am constantly gagging and nearly tossing my cookies—thus far I have just been regurgitating 80’s neon yellow and green slime, complete with chunky egg yolkish lumps (told ya not to read this). With all the nausea, you would think it was morning sickness. Luckily, I am on The Pill, so there shouldn’t be a problem. If there is, someone’s gonna receive a nasty letter.
All of this said to let you understand my state of existence as of late.
Well, this morning, as per normal, I drop Chad off at his work in Downtown Denver at one of the high-rise law firm building. After he gets out, I stop in a crosswalk at the stoplight before I can turn and head back to the highway to go to school. While at this mentioned red light, one more glorificus wave of slimy nausea rolls over me. I crack open my door, make a loud plethora of cacophonous old man sounds and retch as I force the pulsing goo from my belly, through my throat, out my door, and onto the street. Relieved that I can once again breathe and that I have, for the time being managed to not officially throw up (one of my top least favorite pastimes) I glance up as I return my door to its shut and rightful position. During this task, I take in two women (maybe lawyers, I don’t know) in business suits, less than two feet in front of me, walking to my door. In revulsion, they split. One going in front of the car, the other going behind. There were many others around, however, they thankful blurred in my vision, so my acknowledged humiliation was limited. I quickly made my turn and squelched the instinct to look in the rearview mirror.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

who ever said that I claimed to be in my right mind?

Got to school early today, about an hour before my kids would arrive. This morning, besides getting my math lesson prepared, I had getting some IEP reports written at the top of my agenda. As you know, I like to write, so I don’t really hate doing reports. I had my iPod prepped to the playlist I was going to use (Writer’s Muse) and turned my computer on. As always, the first thing I do is check email and voice mail.
No new urgent emails.
One new voice message:
My son brought home a huge chunk of glass and said you gave it to him. I have a hard time believing this, as I can’t see how a teacher in his right mind would give his students a hunk of glass that could be a weapon that could be used to throw through my head or the heads of my other kids. Call me back on my cell phone as soon as you get this.
(all this said in a rather loud, aggressive, sarcastic, and superior tone, a tone I respond so well too…….)
In short, it is over an hour before I am calm enough to be able to talk to my students, and the reports were not thought of again the rest of the day. Thank goodness I get to school early.
So, why did this teacher give his students a hunk of glass? Well, here’s the deal. As you may have read, Chad and I went to San Diego over Spring Break. While we were there, we took a little excursion to Sea World. The kids had asked me to bring them something back, as they knew I was going to California (we all shared our Spring Break plans). I intentionally waited until we went to Sea World to purchase a keepsake to bring back to my kids, because one of my kids (the one that has been the biggest challenge this year, and the one that was mentioned in the message I got) is obsessed with fish and things in the ocean (an obsession I can understand—where do mermaids live?). I purchase twelve of those 4x2x2 inch glass blocks that have the 3D images lasered into it. I got half killer whales and half a polar bear mother and cub. They were about six dollars a piece. I thought about getting them a pencil or some candy. But, I wanted get them something cool that wasn’t too expensive and that they could keep a long time. Maybe something they could look back and say, ‘Wow, that was neat. I bet that teacher really cared about me.’
How silly of me.
When I worked at the residential treatment center, on more than one occasion, I had parents call or come in and verbally assault me because I took away TV privileges from their child for the weekend. They would ask if I realized what all their child had been through. They would remind me that their child had been raped, physically and verbally and emotionally abused. They would ask me how heartless I was to treat their poor child in such an atrocious manner.
The thing that was never spoken.
The thing that we both knew?
They were the one that had raped or molested their child or sold their child as a prostitute so they could buy drugs. They were the one who had beaten, starved, or left their child in the desert. They were the one who forced their child to walk on glass barefoot. They were the ones who would scream at their child that they were worthless, evil, should have been aborted, and should never been born.