Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

It’s a wonder we managed not to claw each other’s eyes out.

A (beautiful) friend of mine recently posted a link to this pitiful story by Samantha Brick on Facebook that made me simultaneously laugh out loud and want to throttle the writer. The title says it all, “Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful.” Here’s the gist:

While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.

This article presents you with an interesting conundrum as a reader, commenter, or critic. It’s clear that the writer will just assume you’re jealous if you dare to criticize her. In fact, that’s exactly what happened. There was a backlash and the writer’s response was basically, “This just proves I’m right.Continue reading

Trayvon Martin, American Paranoia, and the Decline of the Neighborhood

Seriously, which one of these people would you be more afraid of if you encountered them on the street?

This morning I listened to a story on NPR about “the talk” one mother had with her teenage sons. It made me sadder than anything has in a long time.

Here is the gist:

BRITT: The talk is what many black parents have with their sons and daughters – but probably more often their sons. It’s a preparatory explanation and a warning, to let them know what’s out there for them. You know, when they shift from the adorableness of childhood into, you know, their early preteen and teen years where they can perceived as dangerous, as threatening, as things that most of them really aren’t. Continue reading

The Women’s Media Center Has Lost Its Mind

The Women’s Media Center Has Lost Its Mind

A great post about why the Women’a Media Center has lost its mind … even more so than Rush Limbaugh:

So, Women’s Media Center,  I am here to tell you (a) that it’s not mere speculation to suggest that your strategies can be used with equal zeal against people arguing for your causes and (b) even the vicious baboons I used to do battle with never attempted anything quite as arrogant and over-reaching as what you propose.

I Want My NPR!

It’s no secret. I love NPR. From the time I get into the office in the morning until I get home in the evening, I listen to NPR. I yell at Faith Middleton, cry at This American Life, and rock out to the Tiny Desk Concerts. I give to my local station once a year. So you can imagine how irate I am that republicans are trying to do away with federal funding for public media. As a journalist, it makes me even more angry.

I’m listening to On Point discuss the latest debacle involving my chosen media outlet. One caller suggested NPR would be better off without federal funding and that it would raise more funding if it was more inclusive in “cultural, non-elitist terms.” I have mixed feelings about this. Continue reading

The Conan Effect

I feel a little responsible for the plight of Conan O’Brien. I watch most of my TV on Hulu so I’m not helping his ratings…and I imagine that’s the case for a lot of his viewers. All of us young folk are watching TV on the internet while our parents remain glued to ad-filled cable. And as my mom said, “I don’t like Conan. He’s stupid.” In other words, people over a certain age just don’t get him. But since I don’t even actually get NBC on my converter box, I figure I should do something to help Conan. So here it is:

I’ve been thinking about NBC’s line-up, and I’ve come to realize almost anything that is any good on that network is Conan-related. I know you think I’m crazy, but hear me out. 30 Rock doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Conan, but you’re WRONG. Conan and Tina Fey were both writers on SNL together, and during the first season of 30 Rock Conan came up quite often — usually referred to as Liz Lemon’s ex-boyfriend. Then of course, there is The Office. Again, you wouldn’t think it would have anything to do with the redhead. But a few weeks ago, “Jim Halpert” was on talking about his days as a Late Night intern, but he wasn’t the only one. Mindy Kaling and a couple others were also Conan interns.

What am I saying exactly? Well, frankly, I don’t know. I guess I’ve decided that Conan is connected to all NBC-related genius (except for Friday Night Lights). Without Conan, any hope NBC had of ever being on top again will die … Sad. But if I’m lucky, ABC will pick up FNL.

Spread the Word:

I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about media models, and the plight of journalism thanks to my job. I was driving home the other day, listening to NPR pledge drives, and one of my favorite local hosts mentioned that his NPR station is one of the rare places in today’s media marketplaces that isn’t cutting back, and is actually adding programming. That got me thinking. Continue reading

The Politics of Fear

As I’ve watched the health care debate unfold I’ve been wondering why people are buying into the nonsense. More importantly, though, I have to wonder why the debate has grown so irrational. Certainly there are arguments to be made against a public option and you would think someone…anyone…would be trying to make them. Instead it’s been one nonsensical claim after another. Death panels, of course, are the most ridiculous of the many claims. Continue reading

You Can Take Brits Out of the Garden…

but you’ll never take the garden out of Brits. I’ve known this in my heart for years — being as my people come from Kent, otherwise known as “The Garden of England” — and even over here in Yankee territory you can’t keep most of us from tending to roses, planting vegetables, and generally growing anything we can find. However, CNN has now confirmed this little truthfor me with an article called:

Guerrilla gardeners green their city on secret moonlit missions Continue reading