Friday, April 29, 2011
7 Quick Takes Friday
1. William and Kate's Wedding
I didn't get up to watch it, but turned it on when I started my day. After ten minutes of watching BBC reporters indicate a toddler took her first step, seven people had camped out all night and all were from various parts of London, and interviewing a man who if not drunk with happiness for the young couple, was at least drunk, I decided that short of golf on TV, never have more words been said about nothing happening in the history of television. (They were waiting for the bride and groom to emerge and give their first public kiss as husband and wife).
2. Don't Know Much about History
For the life of me, I do not understand the uproar over how poor the political discourse is in our nation. Those who insist that we need a new tone seem to have conveniently forgotten the history of this country. We began by picking a fight with the oldest democracy in the world, at the time the vanguard of governments, over of all things, taxes. We began with greed, wanting to keep more of our own. Our Secretary of the Treasury had a duel to the death with the Vice President! Senator Charles Sumner was beaten with a cane on the Senate Floor for denouncing the compromises that had allowed slavery to perpetuate itself. We had a civil war that was extremely uncivil and included the burning of towns. We have not always settled our disagreements with mere words, nor have our words always been more urbane or respectful. President Lincoln's was called amongst other things...a "Filthy story teller, despot, liar, thief, braggart, buffoon, usurper, monster, ignoramus Abe, old scoundrel, perjurer, swindler, tyrant, field-butcher, land-pirate" all by Harper's magazine. (I got the quotes from http://www.insults.net/).
Moving to the 19th century, we had yellow rags that ran daily savaging the leaders of our nation and the low tone of politics while creating more inventive ways to insult the very people they demanded be civil and yet solve all our nations' woes. We've had riots over good and bad issues, sublime, important, trivial and banal. We've endured sit ins and unjust jailings and civil boycotts. We've unleashed fire hoses and tear gas and dogs. People have been lynched and buildings have been firebombed and still this nation endured and eventually did the right thing. We've had satires and books written out of whole cloth and fabricated conspiracies and actual conspiracies and lying and perjury and money laundering and cover ups. And there is so much more than this that we have done over the years; yet we are always complaining that today's sins are worse than yesterday's.
So now that no one is killing one another, and there is the DNC, the GOP and the Tea Party, and people make signs and post their opinions and speak their minds and there are venues for every sort of political thought, the incivility is worse than ever? As a country, as a people, we have a twitter's worth of memory for our past.
3. Speaking of Memory
I guess I can't blame us for forgetting so much. We live in a world of distraction and the brightest shiniest object will catch our mind's eye. Having just uploaded our digital computer, I was treated to a time capsule of three year's time. Three years ago, we were only a family with eight kids and I thought that quite a lot.
4. More Signs of Success
We'd been introducing Faith to a favorite family game, Magic. She'd used very simple decks before and almost always wound up playing a supporting role in team games but not making much of an impact. Now, she's got three decks she uses to great effect and has beaten her dad three times. (She reports this herself with no small amount of pride in her voice). She also had fewer fights with her brother because she's not overwhelmed by his gift (which he abuses) of words. I did correct her about the pill making her smarter. I pointed out the pill could NOT have given her the correct answers for the multiplication test. It simply allowed her to focus and not get distracted by the other thoughts in her head or things in the world around her; just as her glasses allow her not to have double vision but do not give her the gift of sight.
5. Despicable Me
I just watched this movie with my kids and loved it. It was a fun way to wait out the tornado warnings for our area yesterday. If nothing else, I prefer my children walking around saying "Not cool." to the prior favorite movie quote from Tangled where my five year old daughter would pretend to be drunk and say "Whoa...somebody get me a glass because I just found me a tall drink of water." and then she'd say "Oh stop it you big lug." with a laugh and a tilt of her head. Her perfect mimicry of the scene creeped me out. This is the same daughter who can sing the chorus from "Pycho Killer" from rock band "Pscho Killer, Qu'est que C'est...Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa more better" and knows the words to every song she EVER hears on the radio.
6. Gardening 101
Today we are planting beans. Now I am not a gardener. I'm also not a mathematician. In both areas of discipline, while I don't mind, I certainly don't seek it. Yet today, they must go in and so we will test out how badly this can be done, as I have a reputation and history for killing plants. Even grass dies under my care. However, I will not continue the metaphorical parallel between gardening and math as I manage our family's check book and pay all the bills.
7. Spring Break
Having a week of everyone off has given me a taste of summer and let's just say June can't get here fast enough. Yesterday my son created a city scape of his legos and various toys and filmed a monster movie. The other day he and his brother built a rope swing that lasted three hours. We've played Pirates and magic, read books, colored the driveway, ridden bikes and gone to the library. We planned a birthday party. We saw forgotten movies and ate ice cream and planted carrots, chased deer, had a water balloon fight and spent a morning watching thunderstorms scream across the county. I have enjoyed sleeping in until seven or eight and not having to march the kids through the day with schedules and homework. Today's ambition is hair cuts and a date night. This morning the kids made a club house out of blankets. It has been a very lovely week. Have a great weekend!
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