25 November 2008

I Prefer Whole Wheat

Recently, while I was supporting my Dancing With The Stars habit, I endured a particularly obnoxious television commercial. I'd never seen it before then, and I haven't seen it since. I can't find a video link to show you, which is probably better for you. I can't even provide very good details about it. What I can tell you is that it was for some religious insert more polite word than "nonsense" here from Our Daily Bread. Which is some sort of daily dose of bible quotes and religious analysis to help those who have lost their rose coloured glasses to find them again.

The commercial involved a woman, who identified herself as the wife of some famous Nascar driver, explaining why the Our Daily Bread publication was so meaningful and important to her. As it turns out, Nascar drivers daily risk their lives driving very fast cars in circles with packs of other very fast cars all in the effort of going around faster than everybody else. The wives, and I would assume fathers, mothers, and children, must deal with the fact that any day her beloved Nascar driver goes to work, to put food on the table, he could be gravely injured or even killed. And, while it is difficult to face that knowledge on a daily basis, this woman has come to terms with it. Because she is so at peace with her husbands choice to put himself in danger for no better reason than fulfill his testoterone driven need to drive faster and be more macho than the other boys, she would like to share with all of us, the viewing audience, what tool helped her reach this peace.

And this is where we discover that Our Daily Bread is an indispensible part of her life. And we should all consider subscribing to this wonderful publication so that we, too, may be at peace with the dangers and difficulties in our lives. Blah blah blah.

Now, aside from the general annoyance generated by all things religious, I am down right offended by the idea that a woman who chose to marry a man who chooses to perform a dangerous but wholly frivolous job, deserves my sympathy for her troubles or my awe because she has overcome those troubles. Our Daily Bread could easily have chosen someone who truly does have difficulties in her life. Our Daily Bread could have shown a woman dealing with the loss of a child or a spouse, or a woman watching her child die, or a mother of 3 evicted from her home and forced to live at the homeless shelter, or the single father working 2 jobs and stopping at the food shelf on the way home so that his children can eat, or, even, the relative of a military person currently serving overseas. Any one of those people have real, and true troubles and need real and true help getting through the day in a positive, hopeful, and forward looking manner. But, the wife of a man who willingly chooses to put his life in danger for a testosterone game, is not someone who has real and true troubles or who needs real and true help getting through those troubles. She's a woman who needs either a psychiatrist or a divorce lawyer.

If that commercial was aimed at making your religion look even more foolish, unnecessary, or focused on the wrong things, then you've succeeded.

14 November 2008

Talk About A Sore Loser

This is the headline buried in the local section of my local newspaper today: "Defeated County Treasurer Blames College Students." I expected to read a story about a group of college students who actively canvassed for the winner. I did not expect to read about a 66-year-old dis-elected county treasurer referring to the supporters of her opponent as brainwashed. Even worse, this loser thinks that her supporters were the only "real" people. So you lost your re-election bid, Ms. Carol Elliott. That's sad. So you lost to a college student. That's slightly embarrassing. So you completely lost your cool and insulted not only your opponent, but also another elected official, who you referred to as a buffoon. That's just unacceptable. Please, Ms. Elliott, instead of throwing a temper tantrum and screaming that the other girl didn't play fair, maybe you should analyze what she did and what you did and figure out why you lost.

Furthermore, this idea that college students can be brainwashed is foolish. And especially those students at such a well-regarded institution as Dartmouth. You're seriously suggesting that a group of people who spend most of their time thinking, analyzing information, forming conclusions, supporting arguments, and communicating with each other are easily brainwashed? Which is to suggest that the rest of the voters were not easily brainwashed? This whole idea is as absurd as the idea that a 20 year old is not capable of fulfilling the duties of the office. Or is it that she'll be too busy going to Britney Spears concerts with her teeny-bopper friends to bother fulfilling the duties of the office to which she was just elected?

And all your local Republican County Chairman has to say about the situation is that he's concerned about the effect college students are having on local politics, because college students are only in the area for a short length of time. Does that short length of time not have any effect on their lives? Does what happens in the community, which effects Dartmouth College, not have any effect on the students at the college? Does what those students do for the community have no effect on the community? Perhaps they should stop volunteering in the community, considering how detrimental their effect on the community is. Obviously, some one who is only going to be living in the community for the better part of four years shouldn't have any interaction with the community. That person shouldn't have any voice in local politics. Only those who can be proven to have a stake in the community should be able to effect the community.

Now, how to prove a person has a stake in the community? Well, obviously, s/he needs to have lived in the community for more than 4 years. S/he probably needs to own land as well, considering that somebody who doesn't own land doesn't really have a stake in issues like property tax rates and budgets and what not. S/he also needs to have a child in the school system, otherwise s/he doesn't really have a stake in the educational system. Yes, in order to have a voice in local politics you need to own land in the community, have a child in the local school system, and have lived in the community for more than 4 years. Even then, if Ms. Carol Elliott or her chairman, Mr. Ludlow Flower, think you do not have enough of a stake in the local community, then you don't get a voice in the local community.

Ms. Elliott, your behavior has made it very clear which candidate was the more mature choice. Fortunately, the voters were able to see, and choose, the mature candidate.