Saturday, August 27, 2011

My own little piece of crazy

It all started when I thought the Mormon obsession with sex couldn't get any creepier. We saw Meridian Magazine advising prospective FiLs to grill their prospective SiLs about porn consumption. Not as a joke. And don't forget the Children's Friend teaching girls they need to cover their shoulders to be "modest." At the age of four. That was closely followed by this kids-n-sex gem in which naked Barbies are "a poison worse than the black plague of death itself" for boys in second grade.

As a mom of two little boys, I have to admit I find it a little disturbing to start the sex-shaming so young (or at all, really). But the other disturbing part was how the article hit on my own little piece of crazy, with this throwaway line that that mom tossed in for comic relief:

and there are LEGO pieces we've resigned we'll never find

Blasphemy!!! What kind of mom would say something like that?! lol

a portion of our Lego collection

Everybody knows that a good mom is supposed to regularly gather up every single Lego piece in the whole apartment and obsessive-compulsively sort them into seventy categories, each in its own separate bin.

I'm kidding. Naturally, I recognize that this behavior is a little bit nuts, and I wouldn't expect any other parent to do it. Yet, there is a method to my madness. Allow me to explain:

First off, sorting the Legos is a Zen kind of task -- a nice break from my day job (which requires a non-trivial amount of concentration). Secondly (and probably most importantly), it's so much easier to build things out of them if you know what pieces you have and can find them all. And I like playing with them too!!

I get so sick of the kids asking for new toys all the time -- when they have plenty of perfectly good toys they're not playing with. Whenever the Lego collection is sorted anew, it's like getting a new toy -- the kids make some really imaginative stuff out of them! Plus they have fun playing with the stuff they build.

Can the Hero Factory escape from the kitchen where the villains trapped them?

The disadvantage is that my kids are always asking me to find this or that piece for them. The advantage is that I actually know where the pieces are. And most of the time they can find them -- and sometimes even sort them -- for themselves! :D

Friday, August 26, 2011

Short review of Cars 2

My kids and I just saw Cars 2, and I have to say, it's now my favorite of all the James Bond movies.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The trouble with "The Help"

I admit it -- I read The Help and enjoyed it, as an entertaining novel. It struck me as a little odd to have a novel about racism with a white person writing the perspective of a black person, but it's not a priori impossible to do it well.

Then, courtesy of the Hathor Legacy, I found an interesting series of reviews that explain a lot of problematic aspects that I hadn't quite put my finger on.

From Rebecca Wanzon:

One of the three narrators, Aibleen, says that she realizes she is more free than the racist character that destroys her livelihood, a claim that encourages readers to feel better about segregation because, in this logic, nobody can take real, psychological freedom from anyone. Freedom is really about how you feel, not about, you know, the law. It makes Jim Crow an inconvenience, not an obstacle.

I read an Amazon review of the novel that told a reader not to worry that they would have to read over 400 pages of depressing oppression. This is true -- "The Help" makes Jim Crow palatable. I don't think this is a good thing.

African American women had voices before Miz Skeeter gave them the idea

From Duchess Harris:

So instead of incorporating a real Black woman’s voice in a novel purported to being about Black domestics, the Skeeter/Stockett character is comfortingly centralized, and I can see why white women relate to her.

Her Black characters lack the credibility reflected in Coming of Age in Mississippi, a 1968 memoir by Anne Moody, an African American woman growing up in rural Mississippi in the 1960s. Moody recalls doing domestic work for white families from the age of nine. Moody’s voice is one of a real Black woman who left her own house and family each morning to cook in another woman’s kitchens.

Sounds really interesting -- maybe I should pick up a copy of that book...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Mormon Media Watch!

So often the PR wing of the CoJCoL-dS complains that media coverage of Mormonism is full of misleading and confusing half-truths. My suggestion (in general) is that they could combat this problem more effectively by providing accurate information -- rather than simply attempting to get outsiders to repeat the church's preferred misleading half-truths.

Has there been any progress? See my latest Main Street Plaza article: Mythbusting, Mormon-Style!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Surprises in Germany!

During my recent trip to Germany I spotted another one of those space invaders!

That makes three!!

This one was in Köln, along with this other interesting eyesore: