Berg'spective

Thoughts for Thinking

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Could Virginia be for ALL lovers?

Five months from today I get to marry my best friend and the love of my life. I am the sponsor of the LGBT-Straight Alliance at the school where I teach. What do these two things have in common? On the surface, not a lot. But that changed during  a recent conversation with some students at Monday’s club meeting. 

You see, the kids love asking me about the upcoming wedding, and all the plans, and beg to be invited (due in large part to the fact that I am marrying another teacher, one of whom most of them have had in previous years). While we were on the topic of the upcoming wedding, and talking about marriage during the club meeting a student said, “Well that is not something we can even think about because we are not allowed to get married,” and my heart sank. I have never felt more depressed or conflicted about the idea of being able to get married while these young men and women that sit in that room with me every Monday are being denied the right to even think about the possibility of one day declaring their love for a spouse, and having it legally recognized by their state and federal government.

After the student said this, many of the faces in the room looked to me.  I am the teacher. I am supposed to have the answers, and I didn’t. The only thing I could offer them was some thinly veiled hope that when they were old enough to seriously consider getting married, hopefully,  HOPEFULLY, this wouldn’t be an issue. That was it.That was all I had to give them, and it saddened and enraged me. 

This is the time in these student’s lives where the whole world is a possibility and their dreams are big, and diverse, and they truly believe in the power of them. Many of these students have not been hardened by the harsh realities of the real world yet, and they think anything is possible; except the idea that they can get married. And that is beyond absurd to me.

Then I woke up on Tuesday morning to discover that the same-sex marriage ban in Virginia is now in front of U.S District Court, and being presided over by Judge Arenda Wright Allen. Two couples are filing a suit to overturn the ban based on the fact that it is a violation of rights, and straight up discrimination. I was thrilled, elated, and hopeful that the promises I made to the students on Monday might actually come to fruition.  Maybe they wouldn’t have to wait years to be able to dream of their wedding day, knowing that it could one day be an actual reality.

For a brief moment in time my rage had subsided, and I felt optimistic. I found myself thinking why is the right to marry someone, anyone, something that has to be decided by a court? This seems absurd, and ridiculous, and then I saw a clip of protesters out front of the court house, and I was reminded, once again, of the most prominent and inane reason people believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman: The Bible.

I am not religious and I don’t believe in the Christian God, or any God for that matter, so I see this argument as a logical fallacy, but many people are religious. So I point you to this young man, Matthew Vines. Please watch this Christian gay man make one of the best, most analytical and well researched arguments I have ever heard.  http://www.upworthy.com/every-biblical-argument-against-being-gay-debunked-biblically. If after watching this, you still want to believe that “God hates gay people” and they should not allowed to be married, well then I leave you to your life of worshiping a God of hate. But just imagine it is your child sitting in that room with me every Monday believing that they will never be able to marry the person that the love because your God hates them.

I truly hope that Virginia lives up to its state motto, and that people everywhere, of every religion, faith and creed can come to accept that fact that love is universal, and expression of this love should not be denied to anyone.

Filed under Virginia MariiageEquality

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You’ve Got To Be Ducking Kidding Me

 

Yikes! It has been a long time since I have written, and verbally lacerated someone or something, and it’s not that there have not been worthy candidates, but family, work, wedding, you know things get busy, but recently there has been something a brewing that makes my brain boil, and I felt it necessary to add my two cents while I have a little time off from work for winter break (see I didn’t say Christmas there, uh oh!…but more on that stupid topic later). 

That something you ask?  Well unless you have been living under a rock, the controversy over Phil Robertson’s indefinite suspension from A&E’s ratings cash cow Duck Dynasty has people all a tither. Seriously. This is something people are getting worked up about.  Not quite sure what that says about the prioritization of issues in the lives of Americans, but that is an issues for another article.

So here is the background, in case you have actually been living under a rock:

Phil, the patriarch of the family that is really wealthy for inventing some duck call thing-a-majig, answered a question in an interview for GQ magazine, and his remarks were homophobic and racist (I’ll let you look those up on your own, or assume you have already read/heard them), and apparently this is not the first time he has voiced this sentiment.

In a recently unearthed video from 2010, Robertson is seen stating, “They (homosexuals) committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion,” he added. “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.” Yup.

A&E (which is partly owned by Disney) didn’t want to be associated with these statements, so they quickly distanced themselves from the situation by suspending Phil indefinitely.  Ok. That should have been it.  A&E is a corporation, they want to save face, save sponsorship, and money.  In the end it is all about money, but so what?  They are a business, they have the right to do what they deem in the best interest of the company.  This is why any company/brand that has a celebrity or athlete endorsing their product that ends up in the middle of a scandal, is quickly dropped, a la Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Alec Baldwin etc.

So why are people so up in arms about this particular situation, you ask? Good question.  Because free speech, and The Bible, and people are stupid.  It’s like Einstein said, “There are two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.”  Well it is probably good that dear old Al didn’t live to see the internet age. 

So let’s tackle these issues one at a time.

1st: Freedom of Speech

The first item on the list, and coincidentally the first right guaranteed to the citizens of the United States of America in the Bill of Rights (the Founding Fathers are probably rolling over in their graves) is the first amendment.

Here is the actual wording of said Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Fairly clear language, and yes, you have the right to say whatever you want.  HOWEVER, what many (far too many) people don’t get is that freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequences. 

When Sarah Palin tweeted, “Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ and talking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for…” she didn’t get this simple fact, or many simple facts for that matter, but again, that is an issue for another article. 

And isn’t it just a little/a lot bit hypocritical that Palin and her Tea Party compadres are coming to the defense of the first amendment, but when Martin Bashir called Palin a “world class idiot” for comparing the United States borrowing money from China to slavery, his resignation was called for by Palin and Co., and granted by MSNBC.  No issue there for them, but hypocrisy is probably too big of a word for her to understand, and let’s be honest, if Sarah Palin is coming to your rescue, you’re probably screwed.

Ok, back on track.  Sure, say whatever the hell you want, but just be aware that you can be sued for slander, libel, harassment, or used against you in a court of law, or fired, or in my case, the people that are saying stupid shit on my Facebook feed are finding themselves quickly de-friended.

You see how that works?  You have the right to say whatever you want (Yay! First amendment!), and post any inane status that you think people are interested in, but I have the right to de-friend you, A&E has the right to fire you, and it’s still all on the up and up.

Is that enough to settle that argument?  I feel like it is enough, and fairly understandable, but I am sure there are probably some people that still won’t get it, and thus I will defer to those wise words of Einstein.

On to issue two: The Bible

Ok, I am going to tread VERY lightly here, and try to remain as objective as possible, but I fear some sarcasm and snark will just creep in… So, beyond people sighting the first amendment as reasonable logic for Phil not being suspended (which I think I stated was much to the contrary in the above section), people are also saying, “Well, he is just stating what is in The Bible, and you can’t fire someone for their beliefs etc. etc. etc.” I super paraphrased that from a lot of quotes in a lot of articles for instance, this gem from the spawn of the aforementioned Sarah Palin, Bristol (Remember this is the girl that was an unmarried pregnant teenager, and no judgment from me, but I think The Bible has some passages on that topic too.), “Everyone needs to leave Phil Robertson alone for expressing his beliefs.  I think it’s so hypocritical how the LGBT community expects every single flippen person to agree with their life style. This flies in the face of what makes America great – people can have their own beliefs and own opinions and their own ways of life. Everyone needs to treat others like God would, with love. ” My brain just imploded. 

I don’t. I can’t. Where to begin?  First, I don’t speak for the LGBT community here, but I am pretty sure they aren’t saying you have to agree with them, just don’t spew your hate, vitriol, and bigotry at them, which is what Phil was doing, and not treating people like your God would.  So?  Yeah.  And let’s not forget Phil’s racist remarks as well, or is too much for African Americans to ask for you to agree with them in believing that they should be equal, and not discriminated against on the basis of race.  Oh right, but Jesus and Santa Claus are white, so I think we have some issues here…(ok, I couldn’t avoid that one. Megyn Kelly set up that perfect spike). 

Also, The Bible cannot be the go to defense for everything because not everyone believes in your Christian God, or is religious, or has the same interpretation of The Bible as you.  I am not going to get into a whole long lecture about the history of The Bible, the meaning of the phrase ‘lost in translation’, or how many pick and choose hypocritical believers there are out there who have never actually read the entire bible, and truly misinterpret the message it contains (and yes, I studied this a lot in college).

I think it is fair to say that one thing Bristol said was fairly accurate; God just wants you to love, but that wasn’t what Phil was doing with his remarks. Why is it so hard to just say that? Why are people picking this guy to throw down the gauntlet for?

He had his right to say what he said, but it was deemed hateful and ignorant, and he is now suffering the consequences.  Case closed.  No more posts, statuses, or chain message needed. It’s a stupid show. Get over it.  That’s my right to say that, and you can de-friend me if you want, that is your right.  End rant. 

 

Filed under DuckDynast SarahPalin FreeSpeech Ignorance A&E

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Bitch Slap Round Up: Part 1

Well, I have been out of the Bitch Slap game for a brief period of time (due to the fact that, as previously mentioned, I now have a big girl job), and a lot of well deserved candidates have skated by without a  verbal lashing by yours truly, but 3 recent events have boiled my blood beyond the point of self containment, and I have set aside the time to bitch slap them.

My first order of business:

 Ann Coulter. 

Now this woman has the tendency to make my rage reach the red line on the radar, but her November comments are worthy of a literal bitch slap.  After sexual harassment allegations were brought up against republican presidential candidate hopeful  Herman Cain (don’t worry, I will get to him later) Ann took to the airways to defend one of her brood, and to hock her new book Demonic…(autobiography Ann)?  On Fox’s Hannity, the uber- conservative Ann made claim after claim blaming the liberal lame-stream media for these derogatory allegations being lobbed at Cain, but her pies de résistance of her defense was that, “Our [conservative] blacks are so much better than their blacks.”

No joke people.  And she did not say it once, she said it over, and over, and over again; apparently not realizing the idiocy, insaneness and ignorance of her remarks.  After the show aired, many people were outraged, to say the least, but good ole Ann has not backed down from her stance.  She also refuses to consider President Obama as a black liberal because he “is not a descendant of the blacks that suffered these Jim Crow laws,” but rather, “he is the son of a Kenyan, who didn’t go through the American experience.”

Where to begin….where to begin….. Oh fuck it.  I hope you just realize how awful she sounds, and I don’t have to spell it out for you.  Seriously Ann?  I can take the fact that you are an extreme right wing republican, and I respect the fact that you stick to your guns. However, when your gun is aimed at your own damn foot, I tend to think that the person holding the gun is a moron; aka you.  So, for remarks beyond comprehension and intelligence; you are here by Bitch Slapped.

My second order of business:

Herman Cain.

Mr. Cain (so many biblical jokes and puns are flooding my brain right now, but I will resist), I understand that your run for the republican party nomination for president was just a way to up your book sales (and let’s face it, did America really know who you were before you were thrown into this 3 ring circus?), but what in the hell was running through your pizza brain when you ran this ad?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6VnTqpTqvQ

This ad is odd enough with the music, and the creepy slow smile at the end that seems to say, “Come here little children, I have candy inside this rusty beat up van,” but then you have your chief of staff smoking in it.  Okay… I know a lot of Americans smoke, and perhaps you were trying to appeal to “Middle America,” or whatever, but did  you not see how much flack President Obama came under for his habit?  Did you not take a look at this ad and think to yourself, “Well shit.  This is providing fuel to the late night comedian-shtick fire?”  If you decide to OK an ad where your chief of staff is smoking a cigarette on screen, I can only imagine what you are smoking off screen.

And since this add aired dear old Mr. Cain has backed out of the race for the republican nomination, which may be the first smart move he has made in the past several months.  But, oh how I will miss the doltish droll of dumb sound bites that provide constituents brief moments of levity in an all too serious time.  Herman, you will be missed, not for the right reasons, so, so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu; you are here by Bitch Slapped.

Thirdly

Kim Kardashian, and Family.

I hate to even mention this woman and her family on this blog (which has such a HUGE readership; Mom and Jenni) giving them more of the media attention they crave, but I just can’t go without dolling out my own brand of justice to this truly awful spectacle of… whatever the hell it is they claim to be.

First, the argument has been made, even by Barbara Walters, that this clan has no discernable talent, and they are simply famous for being famous…oh, and Kim’s sex tape with Brandi’s little brother.  Seriously, if that was my claim to fame, I would go hide under a rock until all copies were burned, and the lasting memories were Men in Blacked out of people’s brains.  That is just embarrassing. 

But I will give credit where credit is due, and no matter how much it pains me to say this, the family has pushed the limits of their 15 minutes into a media and marketing empire, and love them or hate them, the American public can’t seem to get enough of watching the inevitable train wreck that is the Kardashians. 

So why then are they being bitch slapped, and not the viewing public which feeds into the middle child syndrome of this family? Well because unless you have been hiding under that aforementioned rock, you are well aware of the 72 day marriage and subsequent divorce of Kim and Kris Humphries.  That was pretty much the straw that broke my tolerance level for this family.

My roommate (Jenni) and I had no sooner watched the wedding special on one hung-over Sunday afternoon, when the mindlessness of this type of programming was all my brain could handle, and then just a few days later the announcement of the divorce hit the media circuit; cue the backlash of the same people who built this family up to be where and what they are.  This is an example of one of America’s favorite pastimes; building people up just to tear them down. 

So you know what, I am changing this from bitch slapping the Kardashians, to bitch slapping the American public (myself included).  We need to stop complaining about the media outlets, and 24 hour news cycles for continuing their coverage of these people because they are essentially just giving us what we ask for.  Let’s make a New Year’s resolution; stop caring and talking about the Kardashians and they will hopefully fade into the same oblivion that has claimed the famed life of Paris Hilton.  So America; you are here by Bitch Slapped.

Filed under Ann Coulter Herman Cain Kim Kardashian

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Internet AA

Recently I became a REAL adult, and it only took a quarter century, but hey, by today’s standards I am considerably ahead of the curve…or at least I like to think so.  Along with a new job and a new car, my adulthood also came with a new place to call home (not really Mom, our house will always be home).  When moving, it seems that it is all those little things you don’t think about, and you don’t realize you need them until you need them, like tin foil (okay, many people may realize they need this, I however, am no whiz in the kitchen, so I did not).  One of the things my roommate made sure we would have prior to our move in date was internet and cable.  I mean, I can go without plates for a month, but internet I. NEED. 

So, we moved in on a Friday, and our internet was scheduled to be hooked up that coming Monday.  I could survive for 3 days right?  Yeah. Turns out I could not.  My parents finally, and ecstatically, moved me out on Friday, and I was right back at the house Sunday stealing wireless from them…bet they wish they had changed those locks faster!  Then Monday rolls around and it turns out that Verizon (did I mention that is where we were getting our internet from) had to cancel our appointment, and they would not be installing it until the following Monday. ONE WHOLE WEEK?!  I barely lasted 2 days, how in the hell was I going to go 1 week: 1 week without checking Facebook, watching stupid YouTube videos, downloading music, watching Netflix Instant, reading blogs, or writing them for that matter?

Again, I could not.  It was a gradual step down process, kind of like the nicotine patch.  I could only stop by my parents house on my way to and from volleyball practice, and the sessions were quick; limited to essential emails, and quick scans of my favorite blogs, and a little internet shopping (after all, a new job requires a new pair of shoes). 

Come Sunday night, my roommate and I sat in our living room watching the 30th movie of the week, and she complained about how we COULD be watching Jersey Shore if we had cable (man, if only MTV would repeat their shows), but I must admit, I too was beginning to get shaky from lack of world wide web exposure.  Every time we watched a movie and recognized an actor/actress and posed the question, “What else was he/she in?” we could not just IMDB it, so the questions were just left hanging in the air like the lost dreams of children…. Yes. I just typed that gem of a simile. Cue the melodrama.

Then the horror of all horrors, the tragedy of all tragedies, the absolute most unthinkable thing happened…Verizon went on strike.  I kid you not.  They called my roommate on Sunday evening, informing us that, “All installations were on hold until further notice.”  My jaw dropped, and I was rendered speechless.  It was like being cast back into the stone age (90’s); a primitive era without the information super-highway; unfathomable to the modern tech savvy youngsters of today, who have no idea what life was like “before.”  So this, along with an abundance of time due to lack of mindless entertainment at my fingertips, got me thinking, “What WAS life like before?”

Well, after considerable meditation and inner soul searching, the answer is, that it was pretty damn great.  And this led me to another epiphany; being born in the mid 80’s was the greatest time to be born (clearly no bias went into this epiphany).  Just think about it.  We (me and my fellow mid 80-ers) were born in a time when kids could still be kids. A time when you had to actually call your friends on phones that connected to the wall if you wanted to play, or hang out.  A time when you had to go “knock up,” at their house, face to face if you wanted to see them, and not just poke them Facebook to Facebook.  It was a time when you sat in the same room with your opponent while playing Super Mario Brothers, the original, or Super Mario Brother 3 (did anyone ever actually play Super Mario Brother 2)?  It was a time when we trounced through the gully, tried to grow tadpoles into frogs, spent countless hours in the fort picking flashlight tag teams, or passed actual hand written notes in class….or was that just me and my friends?!  Well. You get the point.

I hate to sound cliché, and old, but seriously, it was a much more innocent time, and I would not trade the freedom of my childhood for the overexposed childhoods of today for anything.  Prior to YouTube kids only had to worry about embarrassing videos of them as youngster coming to light at their graduation or wedding days, but now “David after Dentist,” becomes an internet sensation over night.

Now, you might be saying, that while this is true, many generations had carefree childhoods prior to those children born in the mid 80’s; which leads me to my second reason why my generation is the greatest.  While we were given the freedom to grow up without an international spotlight, we grew up at a time that teetered on the precipice of one of the greatest inventions/discoveries(?)  since the wheel (am I being melodramatic again…mind you I am still without internet). 

We were still young enough that when the minds of silicon valley began to take over the world we were able to adapt and grasp every advancement that came along, while many old luddites of previous generations were reluctant to surrender their anonymity for the seemingly smaller world the internet created.  I still remember my first Nokia cell phone.  It was purple, the size and weight of a small brick, and it did not have the capability to text, but it started an almost drug like addiction.  I now feel like I am missing a limb if I walk out of the house without my cell,  and that is how I feel without internet.  What did people DO prior to these modern conveniences(?)?    

While I am glad to have had the time to reflect on life “before,” I don’t think I could go back.  It is like the time I discovered double stuffed Oreos… I just can’t go back to eating an Oreo with only 1 layer of white gooey goodness.

As you may have guessed, Verizon ended their strike, and I have tumbled head first off the internet AA wagon, but it is still a blessing to know that there was once a time when I went for more than 2 weeks without internet, and I didn’t even notice.

Filed under humor internet Verizon 80's

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Bitch Slap of the Week

Ugh.  I thought I was extremely fortunate, that about a month ago, when Glenn Beck was being “transitioned off of his daily program” at Fox News, that I would no longer have to be subjected to his inane, ignorant and insane rants (although I must admit a majority of my exposure to Beck came from Stewart and Colbert mocking him and his craziness, because I could not force myself to actually sit through one of his full length programs.  None the less, it still boiled my blood.) … but alas I, and the world are not that lucky.

You see, he may not have a television viewing audience anymore, but Beck still has a radio program.  Now, most/all news media programs took to the airways over the weekend and yesterday covering the awful and tragic bombing in Oslo, and the massacre at a youth summer camp Norway.  After initial gaffes in coverage where correspondents on 24 hour news cycles, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, prematurely linked the attacks to Muslim Extremists, the world learned the attacks were carried out by homegrown Norwegian, Christian, nut job Anders Behring Breivik.

So, this week there is a double bitch slap:

First: News correspondents who “prematurely” guessed (I guess guessing is what passes for news these days) at the culprits of the attacks, and OF COURSE they had to be Middle Eastern, linked to Al-Qaeda, and Muslim.  And even when the world learned who was really responsible, after all Breivik wrote at 1518 page manifesto detailing the reasons for his attacks, news correspondents did a piss-poor job of backtracking.  One CNN guest stated that, “maybe it was a good disguise,” and The Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial that Breivik was an “Al-Qaeda copycat.” Umm…WTF?  Just say you were wrong… prejudice jackasses, who were wrong!

But no, journalistic integrity seems to be the relic of a forgotten era, and we are left to deal with the dolts of today’s modern media empires.  So for all of the “news” people out there who don’t actually report the news, you are here by BITCH SLAPPED.

Secondly:  Speaking of dolts, the second, and more emphatic “Bitch Slap of the Week,” is awarded to Glenn Beck.  Again, even after the aforementioned news gaffes, many media outlets began to uncover the reality of what went on in Norway, and reported the more fact-oriented details, along with their extreme sorrow, and heart-felt condolences to the people of Norway for their tragic losses.  But oh no! Not Glenn Beck.  On his radio program on Monday, he offered this truly unwarranted perspective:

 “There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler Youth.  I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.”

First of all, “who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics?” YOU DO! http://gawker.com/5812044/tea-party-summer-camp-the-experience-of-a-lifetime

Secondly, this is just a severe new low for Beck.  I mean, crazy shit has flown out of his mouth before, but comparing innocent victims to Hitler Youth ( a demographic, that to my limited understanding may not have even been entirely supportive of the Hitler regime, but more often forced to succumb to it because of extreme pressure, and fear of death) is insane.

Torbjorn Eriksen, former press secretary to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, released this statement in response to Beck’s quote:

Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about.  Glenn Beck’s comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.”

So, for alienating an entire country besides your own, and defaming the deaths of innocent children, Glenn “I’m a crazy lunatic” Beck, you are here by BITCH SLAPPED.

Filed under Glenn Beck Politics Norway

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Hungry for Hunger

With the Harry Potter franchise coming to a close this past weekend, a concept with which I have yet to come terms (apparently I am still in the denial stage), I am attempting to transfer my “YA lit to movie obsession,” to another series,  and it has fallen to The Hunger Games.

Yes, I know there are still 2 more Twilight movies in the works, but let’s be honest, those craptastic poorly written books, and poorly acted movies, never had anything on HP.  Basically they tried to steal Cedric Diggory from HP and give him his own franchise.  And the only decent thing to come from the Meyer’s Media Machine is Taylor Lautner’s abs… is he legal yet?  Should I feel icky for gawking?  Eh, well I don’t.

So, I set my sights on the horizon for something to fill a microscopic portion of the black hole left in my heart with the departure of Harry and his beloved sycophants, and that is when I stumbled across The Hunger Games (ok, well stumbling is a real understatement, the trilogy is HUGELY popular, and was already being made into a movie when I read the first book.)  Never the less, I was immediately entranced.

Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world where government sponsored Hunger Games annually pit children from each district against one another in a fight to the death ( Seriously.  To the death, and it gets quite gruesome) the reader is introduced to the femme fatale(not a femme fatale in the traditional sense, far from it, but in the sense that she is a kick ass young lady that will kill you if need be) heroine of the trilogy, Katniss Everdeen (who will be played by Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar nominate actress from Winter’s Bone.) 

Now, I am a sucker for any kind of story with a strong female lead (Buffy, Alias ,Veronica Mars) so I was on board at the word go, and with each flip of the page I became more and more enthralled.  It doesn’t quite have all of the mystical elements of HP, but it is an entirely imagined world, and there is an ultimate battle of good vs. evil.  Although, in The Hunger Games, the lines are a bit more blurred, as they tend to be, and Katniss becomes the reluctant symbol of the rebellion against the government.

That is as much plot summary as I will give here*, because I am one of those people that don’t even like to read the backs of books because I feel they give too much away, and I hate when someone is giving me a recommendation and they are like, “Oh! You should totally ready this book, blah blah blah,” and then they proceed to detail the ENTIRE book. Gee. Thanks.  So I will just say this, they are amazing.  The character s are enigmatic and rounded, there are great battle scenes, and for those of you who are Twihards, there is even a love triangle (Team Peeta or Team Gale anyone?), but it is way more realistic and complicated because these characters are actually human!

So, get a jump on it, and  read the books before the first of the trilogy hits theatres on March 23, 2012… yes, I already have this date penned in on my calendar.  I hope you enjoy the books as much as I did, and, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

*I tend to recommend a lot of books to my mom, and I told her nothing about The Hunger Games going into it, so after the first couple chapters she was a tad upset because I had not warned her that kids were going to be fighting to the death, and the books made her cry….several times.

Filed under books movies The Hunger Games Taylor Lautner Jennifer Lawrence Harry Potter

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Lights out for Friday Night

It is nice having the summers off for many reasons, but the 2 main reasons I love this perk of being an educator is: 1) I get to sleep in, and 2) I get to catch up on a lot of TV. A LOT.  What is even nicer about this summer in particular is, thanks to being done with grad school and Netflix instant, I have even been able to catch up on programming I missed several years ago.  For instance, I finally finished the 4th season of The Tudors (I mean I just really wasn’t sure how that one was going to end), I watched 3 seasons of 24 in a row…that was a pretty intense week, and this week I started watching Friday Night Lights.

This is a show that people have been telling me to watch for years because I love football, and well, obviously I love TV. So I added it to my instant queue, and when it started playing on Sunday afternoon, I was hooked.  I literally stayed up through the night watching the first season, and didn’t realize it was 6am until I heard my step dad leaving for work.  So I collapsed into bed with my laptop snuggled right next to me, slept for 5 hours, and then woke up to immediately start season 2.

Coincidentally, I have started this love affair with Friday Night Lights  the week before the series finale, and I am heartbroken.  This show is one of the most well written programs set in a high school that I have seen in a long, long, long time (and I am not showing any form of nepotism here just because it was adapted for TV by Peter Berg…no relation…that I know of), it is just that damn good.

The show, although critically acclaimed and just plain awesome, never really gained a large viewing audience, and I don’t’ know why.  It has everything the target demographic could ask for; great story lines, multi-faceted characters, drama, comedy, romance, sex, drugs, partying, fighting, small town politics, football (obviously) and to put the cherry on top, it has Tim Riggins.

Seriously.  This alone is enough to draw in the female viewer.  Tim Riggins is the bad boy screw up with a vulnerable side that plays like an animal on the field…and well off the field as well, if you know what I mean.  He does all the wrong things for the right reasons, and you can’t help but fall in love with him, his jeans and his cowboy boots.

Though, sadly Tim wasn’t enough to keep the show on the air, and the series is coming to a close.  BUT! Thanks to modern technology and the interwebs and what not, every drinking binge, fist fight, touchdown, and tear jerking inspirational moment can be enjoyed over and over again.  So if you are already a fan, enjoy the series finale (as I will if I can finish the rest of seasons 4 and 5 before tomorrow night), and if you aren’t yet a fan, you will be because, “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.”

Filed under television Friday Night Lights Tim Riggins

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The Katy Perry Conundrum

I don’t really listen to the radio any more for 2 reasons:  first of all, my car radio has been broken for the past 4 years or so, and secondly, much of the pop music turned out by labels and performers today is so beyond auto-tuned that I can’t tell one artist from the next.  If Jason Derulo didn’t say his name at the beginning of every song, I honestly wouldn’t be able to pull him out of the pool of wannabe Chris Brown replacements.  So, during a recent car trip I was exposed to the hits of the summer on constant replay (seriously, are there DJ’s anymore, or do they just put a list of 14 songs on and press play)?

One particular song did strike my fancy, and after the 3rd listen in an hour, I found myself singing along, “Kiss me, k-k-kiss me, Infect me with your love and fill me with your poison.” Thinking in my head that I wanted to download this song when I reached home, I turned to my friend and asked her who sings this catchy little ditty?  Her response immediately sparked a *head-dashboard* moment……Katy Perry. DAMNIT! She has done it again!

I vowed in 2008, when I first heard the lyrics, “I kissed a girl, and I liked it,” to hate the singer who was playing on the pseudo lesbian fantasies of every pre and post adolescent male alike.  “Give me a break,” I thought to myself.  “This is garbage!”  Yet 3 years later I will still listen to that song whenever it comes up on my iPod shuffle.  Okay 1 song…1, that’s it.  It must be a fluke, a mistake, a one hit wonder… ..but then came: Hot N Cold, Waking up in Vegas, California Gurls, Firework, and now E.T., and damn if I don’t love everyone of these over processed, overplayed, peppy pop songs.

Sure, I have issues with the lyrics, “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind?”  Ummm…. Did Katy finish watching American Beauty, write this opening, and think to herself, “Damn. This shit is deep.” What an awful simile for whatever human condition she is attempting to pander to.  And don’t even get me started on the videos where she shoots stuff out of her boobs  Really Katy, really?  I would have loved to sit in on whatever creative team thought up that scenario:

 “Okay, you are going to sing a pump you up, anti bullying, make you feel better about yourself anthem, and in the video fireworks are going to shoot out of your boobs!” 

“Didn’t I just shoot whip cream out of my boobs last summer?”

“….*crickets*….. but it was so inspired Katy!”

“Okay, let’s do it!”

But even with all of my negative sentiments toward her, for whatever insane reason, I keep coming back.  I know I should have stuck to my guns in 2008, but Ms. Perry/Mrs. Brand has worn me down.  Partly because when I first hear her songs I don’t know it’s her until it has already leeched on to my brain.  And partly because we all need a guilty pleasures or 2 in our lives, and Katy just seems to be mine.  So, I am coming out of the Katy Perry closet, because I listen to her music, and I like it!

Filed under Katy Perry Music

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Bitch Slap of the Week

Fortunately for the dumbasses in America and around the world I was sick last week, so I was unable to properly perform my self-appointed duties to bitch slap someone.  This week, I was finally feeling better, until I read something that made me want to vomit.

Bob Marshall, a Republican in the House of Delegates and an outspoken opponent on gay rights issues, was moved to write a letter to the bank’s president, saying that the flag was inappropriate for a quasi-governmental entity.

Gay and lesbian “behavior,” he wrote, “undermines the American economy, shortens lives, adds significantly to illness, increases health costs, promotes venereal diseases,” among other things.”

If you are unaware of the events that sparked this remark by Bob “I’m an ignorant prick” Marshall, then let me give you the run down:

The month of June is gay pride month, and to illustrate a sense of inclusion and equality, the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia decided to fly a rainbow flag over its bank.

For Virginia, a notoriously Republican, and conservative state (except for particular voting pockets, especially  in Northern Virginia, and in the 2008 election), this was an AWESOME thing to do. And for a second I was extremely proud of my state…until I read Bob Marshall’s response.

I am so beyond out raged and ashamed that I can’t even form a coherent argument to Bob’s vile, brainless, and bigoted remarks.  First of all, I would like to ask, how does being gay undermine the American economy?  Secondly, how does being gay shorten lives?  Do heterosexuals live forever, or something?  Are heterosexuals vampires?  OH MY GOD! I just figured out the Twilight conspiracy, and why its so popular!  It is Republican propaganda meant to illustrate the ways that being heterosexual means you get to live forever like hunky Edward Cullen!  Thirdly……AGH, oh forget it.  I’m still too angry, and there is no point arguing with a moron. 

You can’t fix stupid, but you sure as hell can bitch slap it.  So, Bob “I am sorry you are an elected representation of my state” Marshall, though you deserve SO much worse than this, on behalf of all non-backward thinking Virginians, you are here by BITCH SLAPPED.

Filed under Bob Marshall Gay Rights Virginia politics

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I remember walking out of a bar in Georgetown during the summer of 2007, and seeing a small crowd gathering on the street.  My first thought was that a line was forming, waiting, to enter the supposed hot-spot of the night, but upon further examination I realized the building was a Barnes & Noble, and the crowd was gathering to await the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  In a somewhat less than sober state, and a tad overdressed for the occasion, I hopped in line with the rest of the Potter fans because nothing, not even a booze soaked night of fun with friends, was going to keep from unraveling the fate of our well beloved characters, bound within the pages of that final book.

Now, with the final movie set for release on July 15th, I can say the feeling is bittersweet.  For the past 14, that is FOURTEEN, years (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in 1997) Potter fans of all ages have been delighted, fascinated, and entranced by the mystical world of witchcraft and wizardry that J.K. Rowling originally brought to us.  And though we no longer have something to look forward to every holiday/blockbuster season, it is nice to know we can always revisit the pages and DVD’s that capture a place and people so familiar, they almost seem real. 

Perhaps there is a charm or spell to slow the advancing of time, so Potter fans can hold on to this feeling of anticipation and excitement for just a little while longer….~~*IMPEDIMENTA*~~….No? Didn’t work? Damn.  Well then, I guess I will see you all in theatres on the 15th 

Filed under Harry Potter Movie Books Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2