Category Archives: politics

Keeping up with the Kardashians and Duck Dynasty – reality?

I don’t really watch a lot of television, but when I do it’s either a series like Mad Men or Downton Abbey, or sports. The only reality TV I watch, other than American Idol or the occasional episode of The Amazing Race, is on the Home and Garden channel.

I remember first becoming aware of the Kardashian family 5 or 6 years ago while having a manicure in a nail salon in the mall.  If I remember correctly, they were at some ski resort and there was all sorts of drama – fighting between the sisters, lying to one another, and lots of conspicuous consumption.  The sisters had a tendency to pose with the ever-so irritating duck lips  Yuck.  Keep up with them?  No, thanks.

Since that time I’ve become increasingly more repulsed by this family who makes a business of creating an impression of desirable beauty when in reality they are nothing more than exploiters of all things ugly.  It’s hard to tell which is more disturbing – the fact that this family is eager to sort their personal laundry on air or that millions of people are enthusiastic spectators to the mess that is their lives.  What does this say about our culture?

I’ve never seen Duck Dynasty, but I think I understand the premise – it’s the antics of a family who have created a family business of actually selling a product, some sort of duck caller, unlike the Kardashians who merely sell their souls.  From what I’ve seen in the media, the patriarch of the family has alienated some viewers with his outrageously homophobic opinions, which he presents as originating in his religious beliefs.

Here’s the thing – I don’t really know anything about this guy or his family. I honestly don’t care if he really believes that homosexuals are going directly to hell.   It doesn’t matter to me at all because his opinion holds no value in my world.  You see, my reality is populated with people who both maintain personal boundaries and value diversity, rather than exhibitionist mediawhores and judgmental conservatives.

Duck, duck, gross.  I’ll pass.

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Filed under News, Observations, politics, Rant, television

The end of innocence: The assassination of JFK

image: popmatters.com

I wasn’t alive when JFK was assassinated, but that fact didn’t prevent me from feeling the void he created in the world’s conscience. As the child of immigrants, the knowledge I have of my country, and it’s history, have come to me from school and the media, rather than directly from my parents.  The Kennedy family, however, is the exception to this rule. 

The glamorous magic that was the Camelot of the Kennedys, transcended my Mother’s lack of interest in politics.  I think that, to her as a newly arrived immigrant, they represented the boundless opportunities of her chosen country.  During a time of uncertainty, with the threat of nuclear war a constant shadow, it seemed that the first family, with their youthful beauty, provided hope for what was to come.

On that day in Dallas, our country lost that hope.  The promise of his administration was extinguished and a dark cloud seemed to take permanent residence over all of his surviving family members, both immediate and extended.  I was born nearly three years after his death and I’ve always perceived the Kennedys to be our own American version of a Greek tragedy.

I haven’t spent much time researching the assassination and the conspiracy theories which have tenaciously survived (and grown) for these past fifty years.  I wonder if we collectively want to subscribe to the belief that Oswald couldn’t possibly have been working alone because we don’t want to believe that any single person could change the course of history singlehandedly, at least not in such a devastatingly dark way.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

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Filed under Events, News, politics

October recap – Moms@Work

image:timesunion.com

image:timesunion.com

I can’t believe another month has flown by!  Here’s some of what I’ve been up to over at the timesunion.com.

First, there was the politics of pasta.

Then, I fell in love!

Alas, my ship sailed.

I put some pieces together.

And recognized that I couldn’t always do it myself.

But, I can drive a standard shift.  Lefthanded, too.

Which is a good thing because sometimes, I want to get away from my picky-eating children.

It wasn’t my knickers that got bunched up – it was my breasts which got squeezed!

Soccer season wrapped up leaving  lessons on the field that should last a lifetime.

We got more treats than tricks.

 

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Filed under Albany, beauty, Boys, cancer, Cooking, Events, family, holidays, house, Moms@Work, politics

Your choice today…

558887_10151999036987889_307448373_nVote – or don’t discuss politics. Maybe it is my first-generation American mentality, but I don’t understand why people don’t exercise their civic rights and responsibilities.  It takes only a moment, generally, and provides a genuine opportunity to be part of a process.  I haven’t missed an election since I turned 18 and I sincerely hope the experience of accompanying me to the polls wears off on my boys.  I find it kind of exciting that my oldest son will be able to vote in the next presidential race, even if he sometimes threatens me by describing himself as conservative.  I certainly can’t be described using that C-word, but when it comes to fiscal choices, like the gambling proposal on today’s ballot, I am decidedly cautious.  That’ll be a “no” vote from me.  If you’re undecided or unaware of this year’s ballot proposals, please click here before heading to the polls.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

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Filed under Albany, Events, politics

Testing – 1, 2, 3

No notice on this really – I’m sorry!  It’s my fault, not Pat’s.

From NYS Assemblymember Pat Fahy:

Local Education Forum:  School districts across the region are feeling the strain of limited federal and state funding, a convoluted funding formula, and increasing testing and other state and federal mandates. To give voice to these concerns, the Capital Region legislators will host a local forum to hear from educators about the Impact of State Mandates and Testing on K-12 Students on Wednesday, June 5th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 711A in the Legislative Office Building in Downtown Albany. The forum will provide an opportunity to hear from urban, rural, and suburban school districts on these challenges and all are welcome to attend.

Maybe you can get there?

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Filed under Albany, Education, Events, Local, politics, Schools

April Moms@Work & Women@Work catch-up

My byline snap

My byline snap

Notice I said catch-up instead of catsup or ketchup.  We all (or those of us who hang on every word of dialogue in Mad Men at least) know there’s only 1 ketchup.

I digress – anyway, here are some blog posts from my other spot out here on the internet, Moms@Work.

Also, excitedly enough for me, the print edition of the May/June issue of Women@Work is now available in all sorts of lobbies and waiting rooms around town.  Grab one, why don’t you and read my piece on page 59.  Don’t forget to linger over my name on the page listing of contributing writers!

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Filed under Boys, Education, family, ideas, moms, Moms@Work, Observations, politics, Schools, Spring, travel, vacation

What I now know about pressure cookers…

They scare me.
I’ve always considered the pressure cooker to be the most menacing piece of kitchen equipment.  I understand the appeal of cooking something super fast, rather than leaving it to braise for hours upon hours, but I was always intimidated by their mystery.  This past week has only confirmed my fears.

They continue to make a contribution to contemporary life.
Last Monday’s events at the Boston Marathon added the verbalized request from my youngest child of “Please don’t get killed at your race on Sunday” to the terrorism dialogue I have had with my children over the years.  The opening statement in this conversation came in the form of question in September of 2001: “Why do the buildings keep falling down?” I don’t like having to revisit these acts of violence with my boys, and I am resentfully heartbroken about the necessity of these talks.  It sucks.

They boggle me with their capabilities.
I don’t understand a lot of what happened last week.  I can’t grasp that so much carnage can come from ball bearings, nails and other bits of metal.  I will never accept that an elected official could make a statement like this, and while I’m not beyond a bit of suspicion when it comes to my government (weapons of mass destruction,  anyone?), I really don’t believe there is any type of conspiracy theory worthy activity here, either.

They work quickly, but not necessarily reliably.
The media coverage was at least as explosive as an overheated pressure cooker.  The unsubstantiated information circulated was alarming and it was difficult to look away from my Twitter feed.  When those pictures of the two suspects were “broadcast,” it became impossible to ignore the immediacy of current news technology.  It was breathtaking.

I don’t ever want one in my home.

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Filed under Boston, Boys, Events, musings, News, Observations, politics, Uncategorized