Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Who'd a thunk it?

OK, so I'm working on a more comprehensive of noteworthy quotations from The Mouse That Roared, but this one was too good to pass up.

Anybody know of any other place that sounds like this?

"It seems that Disney wanted a particular type of student to attend, as indicated in the detailed dress codes it provided for both men and women. The men were to wear a suite with a color-coordinated shirt; the suit fabric was to be one 'traditionally accepted for business.' No necklaces, bracelets, or earrings were allowed, nor were male [college] students permitted to have a mustache, beard, or hair 'beyond or covering any part of the ears.' No one was to show up with an 'extreme look, including shaving the head or eyebrows'...Women were to wear a suit, a dress, or a pants outfit...No more than two necklaces could be worn, and these were not to exceed thrity inches in length. And in case these young women missed the point, they were not to wear more than one ring per hand."

But wait, folks, that's not all.

"Pedagogically, employees are given written quizzes on Disney rules. One pedagogical strategy includes exposing workers to an endless chant of inane Disney mottos such as "We work while others play!" "We never say no because we know the answers." And "We smile that extra jmile."

And best of all...

"'Supervisors in Tomorrowland are...famous for...hiding in the bushes above the submarine caves, timing the arrivals and departures of the supposedly fully loaded boats making the 8 1/2 minute cruise under the polar icecaps...In short, supervisors...are regarded by ride operatos as sneaks and tricksters out toget them and representative of the dark side of park life.'"

All right, so it's not entirely parallel, but the similarities are striking.

The Mouse That Roared

That's the title of one of the books I'm purusing. It's about Disney and kids and culture, and so far, I'm hooked. His basic premise runs like this: "It would be reductionist not to recognize that there is also some excellent programming that is provided to audiences, but by and large much of what is produced on television and in the big Hollywood studios panders to the lowest common denominator, defines freedom as consumer choice, and debases public discourse by reducing it to spectacle."

Now, anything that takes popular media to task for debasing public discourse makes my ears perk up, and so far, Giroux (the author) seems to be very balanced in his approach. He's recognized that Disney is not "engaged in a conspiracy to undermine American youth or deomcracy around the world," and that everbody will interpret the messages from Disney differently--"there are no passive dupes in this script." So his book is shaping up to be a good one. We'll see...

Anybody else ever run into this guy?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cruel and Unusual?

All right, my legal friends. Is this kind of sentencing allowed?

I mean, I'm all for not being unnecessarily cruel to animals, and I really despise people that are nasty to their pets. But there's something about this that makes me uneasy. Maybe it's the idea that dumping her in the woods the way she dumped the cats in the woods makes her life of no more value than theirs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Action and Inaction

OK, here's the starter post. Since this wasn't originally my question, I'll just play host and yield to David if he wants to reframe what I put here.

I think the question (although specific in the original to birth control) was beginning to broaden out to encompass all actions, so I'll try to phrase this a couple of different ways as I understand it.

How shall we define action in relation to sin? Are sins only actions, or may motives also be sins? This references a deeper question: what is sin exatly? Given any particular action/motive, how do we figure out if it's sin or not? Are there grey things? How do we figure those out?

All right. Game's in play.

Will this never end?

Article on Padilla

So now what? I mean, really, how do we sort this kind of stuff out? I don't believe for a moment that the announcement of this indictment was to side step the Supreme Court, and despite Mr. Gonzales' protestations to the contrary, I'm just cynical enough (yes, David, you've worn off on me) to be absolutely sure that he's lying through his teeth.

But what's the deal with this guy? Did the Bush admin wait until the last second, realize that they didn't have a prayer of winning in the SC and decide to go for broke on actually charging him?

And if you broaden it out to all the people that we've picked up and are just holding, letting them rot, what do we do with them? They're basically enemy soldiers, even though they don't follow one particular enemy in the traditional sense, but they're not necessarily going to be tried as war criminals, but we can't very well just let them out. In an indefinite war, do we just hold them indefinitely? Besides the fact that it really stinks for them to be locked up forever, if we're paying to feed and house them, it's going to get pretty darn expensive pretty soon here.

So many variables...it makes my head hurt just thinking about them all...

Turkey Funnies

In light of the upcoming holiday, I thought I would post some interestingly random bits and pieces relating to Thanksgiving.

I think I had heard this one before, but it turns out that the President pardons a turkey every year only moments before it is sent off to meet the chef. Here's the link for info on this year's turkey and his alternate, you know, in case he gets car sick or something.


This seemed like a great spot to inset some choice commentary on what one person called the Chief Turkey, but since this is meant to be a happy post, I'll refrain.

Of course, no recounting of hilarity would be complete without a contribution from the esteemed Mr. Barry. Be warned--reading the following article may cause you to break out into uncontrollabel spasms of laughter, and if you're reading this during a class, you may call undue attention to yourself if you fall on the floor and stop breathing.


Just in case you don't yet have a recipe to use for your turkey, I submit this for your review.


And last but not at all least, if your family's Thanksgiving dinner is just a little bit dull, try this suggestion from http://www.butlerwebs.com/holidays/thanksgiving.html

"At the Thanksgiving dinner table when everyone goes around to say what they are thankful for, say, 'I'm thankful I didn't get caught' and refuse to say anything more."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


This tickled my head.

I googled the title of my blog today during a slow spot at work, and while I was picking through some suggested sites, I came across one that detailed the purpose and result of a college class on media and culture. Nothing overly exciting in itself, but it sent me to read this article.


I wasn't sure what I thought of it at first, but as I read it a second and third time, I've come to rather like it. She's witty and fun to read, and she does a great job debunking the two extremes that would denigrate the movie Mulan. She makes the excellent point that girls don't require Hollywood to be inspired. True, true, true. You don't have to see something animated and sold in an action figure to dream about being able to live without being put in a box. And she makes the equally valid point that the existence of a movie that isn't wholly liberating doesn't mandate a wholesale acceptance. It is possible to be a discerning consumer, pick and choose the good from the bad.

ETA: Pursue her biography at your own risk. I definitely don't recommend everything this woman thinks and does.

Yummy :- )

In the interest of the common gastronomical good, I would like make my contribution to the culinary field. It is a high and noble calling, this urge to circulate the means to procurence of delicacies.

Besides, if I ever run out of ideas for dinner, at least I know where to find something that I know tastes good. :- )

So, without further ado, I present to you...

Speedy Lunchtime Wraps

1 Tortilla
Assorted lunchmeats
Sliced cheese
Ranch dressing (only Hidden Valley, of course

If you're not acutally into handmaking your tortillas, throw it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it pliable. Be sure to wrap it in a damp towel so that it doesn't dry out and get hard.

Spread the Ranch dressing (or your dressing of choice) on the tortilla. Layer on the lunch meats. Roast beef, turkey, and ham make a great combination. Top with tomatoes, sliced in thinish strips, and lettuce. Finish with cheese slices.

Rolle the tortilla up and wrap it in tin foil.

This recipe can be easily varied to produce wraps of differing ethnicities. I'll be experimenting with a mexican one soon, so watch for updates...

And for dinner...

Garden-Fresh Shepherd's Pie (kinda)

1 lb. ground beef
Worchestershire sauce
3 tblsp. ketchup
1 c. brown gravy
Green beans (cooked)
Corn (cooked)
Mushrooms (preferably fresh)
Tomatoes (again, gotta be fresh)

Brown beef in skillet with garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and a dash or two of Worchestershire sauce. Stir in ketchup to moisten. Transfer to an 8 x 8 dish so that you don't have room for the potatoes to go on the top because that would be way too much like real shepherd's pie. Pour gravy over beef. Top with green beans, corn, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheese. Lots of cheese. :- )

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 mintues or until heated through and slightly toasty.

Cheesy potatoes
4-5 medium potatoes
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 chunk of cream cheese
2-3 heaping tblsp. sour cream
Generous handful of cheddar cheese

Peel, cube, and cook potatoes. They can be cooked to any consistency you prefer, from kinda chunky to really soft. Meanwhile, mix together remaining ingredients. Drain potatoes. Stir in sauce. Transfer to oven-safe dish and bake in a 400 degree oven about 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Me and my new and beloved hubby Posted by Picasa

Reality in prayer

Reading in Lamentations tonight. I was just going back through some of the passages that God has used in my life, and chapter 3 never fails to astound me. Jeremiah is so real in his prayers. No playing around or trying to sound pious or strong or anything else. Just real. He's hurting and he's not at all afraid to tell God all about it.

That pulls up intersting contrasts in my head. I guess I had always seen Jehovah of the Old Testament as somehow less like a Father than I see Him in the New Testament. As if He had more of the distance and terribleness of a mighty king--just, but ready to destroy. Good, but with a tinge of awfulness. But Jeremiah doesn't talk about Him like that. I mean, if you really thought of God--who was, by the way, talking to you out loud on a frequent basis--as the kind of God that would zap you for doubting,  you wouldn't be praying things like "My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord." Jeremiah is talking to God the way you or I might sit down and pour out all of our fears and dismays to an intimate friend, someone to whom you could say anything at all.

It's an amazing juxtapositioning. King and Father, God and Friend. Far, far beyond my comprehesion, but deserving of praise all the more for its wonder.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

In the beginning...

Well, here it is. The very first post. Will it work? Hmmmm... Or perhaps the better question--will I keep it up? Bigger hmmmmm....

We shall see!

So...I'm still thinking about the title. Not real sure if I want something quite so militant. Somewhere, I ought to be able to find something that emphasizes the consoling part a little bit more.

Got it! Barbara Bush beats out Pete Hamill any day. :- )

Oh, just for kicks, here's the Pete Hamill quote that I was originally thinking of using.

He steps on stage and draws the sword of rhetoric, and when he is through, someone is lying wounded and thousands of others are either angry or consoled.

Pete Hamill

Got it off of http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/pete_hamill.html