Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bragging Rights

Being the consummate stage mother, er, girlfriend that I am, I relish those moments when Johann makes the papers because it gives me license to unabashedly brag about how fab he is - and he can't stop me. Ha!

Case in point: Mr. Gomez's poster for the Heavy Hearts show at the Comet this coming Saturday is this week's pick for The Stranger poster of the week. (It's the second time in a year that they've featured his work.)

Considering that inadvertently impaling one's self on a spike is of greater likelihood (and in some cases, less painful) than garnering a sincere compliment from any member of the Stranger staff, the fact that he received THE compliment and was further compared to his mentor, the legendary Art Chantry, is its own Stranger Christmas miracle. All that's missing is a little frankincense and myrrh...


Thursday, December 6, 2007

"It's happening again..."

The day of the Columbine school shooting, April 20, 1999, is a day that will always live vividly for me. I worked as the office manager at a school for kids with special needs (Children's Institute for Learning Differences, Mercer Island, WA) and I learned of it from our development director who walked into the office, tears in her eyes and said, "It's happening again..."

Indeed, it was. It wasn't the first time an angry young man walked into his school or other public place and opened fire. What was so tragic about it was that our mission at the school in serving the fragile population that we did (which included kids with severe behavior problems the public schools were inadequately equipped to handle) was to help children learn not only the academics they needed to be successful in school but a way to handle their illnesses, their emotions and their truly bad days in a way that would help them succeed in the world. The day of Columbine was a blow to us. It provided a grotesque reminder of how much work there is still to do.

In hearing the story today of 19 year-old Robert A. Hawkins who killed at least eight people in a mall in Omaha, NE, I am reminded of the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers and its assertion that the media bestows an absurd amount of fame on murderers in our society, so many of whom become infamous legends in their own time. It was supposed to be a commentary. Instead, it became an inspiration for Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris' rampage through Columbine High School. The satire was clearly lost on them.

Robert Hawkins' decision to "go out in style" yesterday may be due in part to the egregious amount of fame garnered by Klebold and Harris. They wore black trenchcoats, they listened to edgy music, they were part of a "mafia" and they carried bad-ass firearms. They certainly did have a "style" that might well be entrancing to other young men who have felt as alienated and powerless as they.

I understand that Hawkins was fired from his job yesterday, or the day before, and was angry. It may well have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I have a friend who also lives in the Midwest who was fired from his job yesterday, too. The difference between them is, as angry and devastated as my friend was about his lost job, he didn't go shooting up a mall about it.

That's what this is really about. There is a line that these young men who choose to kill cross, where they feel their pain and anger justify their horrific acts. But it does not and cannot...ever.

As I said after the Virginia Tech shootings, until we have not only an adequate health care system in place in this country that serves ALL citizens but also a mindset in our society not to ostracize or take pity on the mentally ill and emotionally fragile but, instead, to have compassion for them and care for them, we will continue to have more angry young men who feel they have no outlet for their fury and instability but to shoot up malls and schools.

We can decide to hear their cry for help or we can continue to be the victims of our own complacency. The choice is ours.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Coif for Your Cat

Now I realize there are serious stories out there that should be commented on but when my pal Arthur, papa of two felines, sent me a link to the Kitty Wigs website, I knew this was just the kind of insane magic that simply begged to be blogged about.

Without launching into harsh criticism over how the woman who makes these must be either a.) an alien (and not the illegal kind) or b.) that legendary old lady with a hundred cats, just suffice it to say that this website is a whole lot of bang for your cat wig buck, especially if you're looking to see if your cat could actually launch into orbit like a satellite when you try to put one of these little dandies on it. At least that's what Merlyn the Cat would do and man, that would be entertaining...


Monday, December 3, 2007

Barack OBollywood

It is rare that I am rendered speechless but it is also rare that one gets to see something this deliciously wrong/mind-blowing: Barack Obama performing at his Bollywood best.

Don't say I never did anything nice for you.


Radio Free Imus

Don Imus Back on the Air

Oh, good. I was worried we wouldn't have enough misogyny and racism on the airwaves so it's a relief that Imus - the repentant bigot - has been let back on the radio to "talk about race relations" presumably with the two (token?) black comedians he's hired for the show. This from a man who will, no doubt, accuse "Satan" Hillary Clinton of pandering to the National Association of Black Journalists with her Colin Powell comment last week. I guess it takes a panderer to know one.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

If the Shoe Fits...

This controversial exhibit at the New York Public Library has drawn ire from local Republicans worried about traumatized schoolchildren and tax payer money.

"An exhibit at the main branch of the New York Public Library is drawing outrage from Republicans because some of the work on display depicts former and current members of the Bush administration posing for fake mug shots. Each official in the visionary series, called “Line Up”, is seen holding a slate with a date of arrest corresponding to a date when the official said something about Iraq that was not “reality-based.” said John Del Signore of Gothamist.
While I'm no fan of traumatizing the innocent schoolchildren who frequent the NYPL, I still say they have a right to know that not everyone condones the actions of the president (and others) and that it is absolutely appropriate to speak out against a leader who's behavior is seen by many to be criminal. If we are too busy being P.C. to teach our children to stand up for what is right, there will only be more George W. Bushes in our future. And that's more frightening than any doctored-up mugshot.