Archive for 2008
Sometimes you realize just how a bit of kindness and a
bit of competence can change your
life; have a look at my column Sunday for my latest example. As Christmas creeps ever closer, what’s the most recent random act of kindness that changed your life?
I’m so sorry to see that Oprah Winfrey, role model for superwomen everywhere, has gained so much weight that she feels like she needs to put her “fat” self next to her “skinny” self on the cover of her January magazine. Of course, the fact that we live in a thin-obsessed culture isn’t news, but when one of the richest, most influential women in the world can think she’s a loser because she weighs 200 pounds, we’re in big trouble. Now, I’m not saying Oprah should just enjoy being fat, but is it really the most important thing we know about her? All of the handwringing about Oprah’s weight — this column from The Daily Beast is especially global — reminds me of the opposite of the accolades she got when she was “thin enough” to be featured on the cover of Vogue all those years ago. She said then that the
Vogue cover shoot was the culmination of one of her wildest dreams. My question today: Why is being thin more important than doing good work, helping influence a presidential election, opening a girls school in South Africa and, oh yeah, making millions? How out of whack ARE we?
As if the general economic gloom isn’t bad enough, the world of journalism/media these days feels like the auto industry. Last week, Scripps (which owns The Commercial Appeal and this very blog) decided to put the venerable Rocky Mountain News , as a prelude to closing it in early 2009 (can there be anyone out there want to buy a debt-ridden newspaper, despite its
recent run of Pulitzers?). The Tribune Co. — LATimes, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Cubs — declared bankruptcy yesterday. And today two anchors and a dozen other employees were laid off from WMC-TV Channel 5. It’s enough to make you stop reading/watching/listening to the news, and, as a journalist, that’s not something I say lightly.
So what’s the solution? Good old fashioned denial — and distraction. This morning, I went to Chapel at my kid’s school — he was the reader this morning, talking about how the river Jordan stopped flowing so the priests could bring the ark of the covenant safely into Israel. Singing a few Advent hymns, watching Tomas in his angelic choir robes read so confidently at the pulpit, has changed the complexion of my day completely from yesterday.
Things are still scary, and the future is still uncertain, but,
at least for today, I feel a reprieve.
What are you doing to cheer yourself up these days? Send ideas … there’s no Chapel tomorrow!
Thanks to everyone who has called or written me to tell me how much they enjoyed my column Sunday about my pal Lydia and her struggle to understand her autism; I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post about it. As I wrote, ballet is Lydia’s passion, and fortunately her parents have found a wonderful teacher, pictured here, to keep Lydia dancing. Pointe shoes, for those of you who know about dance, require more strength than Lydia probably will ever have, so she’ll only dance en pointe with help. But one look at her face, and you can see just how much it means to her.
As you know, autistic kids aren’t stupid, and are often quite a bit more perceptive than we might think. Lydia wrote the following story the week after the incident I described in my column. Her mom added some punctuation to make it more readable, but the story is all hers. (FYI, Yakko Warner is a character on the cartoon Animaniacs.) Read the rest of this entry »
I read an astonishing piece viagra generic of research this morning in my regular e-mail from http://cialis24pharmacy-online.com/ The White House Project, a women’s political advocacy group whose slogan
is “Add Women, Change Everything.” In a study conducted before the most recent presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, viagra super active John McCain and Sarah Palin, one in four kids (age 5-10) think it’s illegal http://pharmacy-24hour-canadian.com/cheap-hardon-xpower-med/ for women
and minorities to be elected president. And three in four of them think that gender and racial bias is the reason there hasn’t been a woman, African-American or viagra24onlinepharmacy.com other minority president.
When you look at what kids see in their history books, it’s not too surprising they think presidents can only be white guys, but, as the researcher who did the study points out, no one really tries to explain to them that it’s possible for the president to look different. I wonder what will happen if this research is repeated after Election Day 2008? Surely kids’ perceptions of what’s possible will have changed. Won’t they?