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22 March
maybe the operative word is 'school'...
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I'm dreading the impending media rehashing of the school shooting in Minnesota.

Schools have finally almost recovered from their freaked-out paranoia over the round of school shootings over five years ago. Kids can wear black to school and look gloomy again without being immediately sent for 'guidance'. We're not faced with a barrage of 'experts' condemning video games, music, and the popular culture... for a change. [Er, unless you count those freaks and the 'SpongeBob is GAAAAAAAY!' campaign. Duh, of course he is.]

So, yeah, I dread another round of media outcry against the world of kids.

I dread the interviews with verklempt parents and teachers trying to excuse themselves.

But you know the thing I dread most? That almost no one will ever take a look at kids shooting up their schools and actually think about the two words that make up school shooting. I dread the gun lobby continuing to make gun control laws an absolute joke. And I really, really dread the complete silence on the other thing all school shootings have in common: school. By which I mean not only schools per se but the entire system we use to 'school' kids, and the utter disrespect we show them.

Awhile ago there was a brief piece on NPR about a stupid kid who freaked out in the middle of a jewelry store robbery maybe 10 years ago and shot a man who happened to be a teacher. He was, because he lived in Texas, tried as an adult (he was 16 or 17) and sentenced to death. But Texas (unlike Virginia) has actually changed its mind on sentencing minors to death, so the guy's in jail.

NPR went to the school where the teacher had worked and interviewed other teachers. The vitriol! People who work day-in-day-out with 16 and 17 year old kids basically calling them wicked little monsters. We think they can handle their own decisions when it's convenient (if they kill, but $DEITY knows not if they want to vote), but we also think they're stupid enough not to see our thinly veiled resentment.

And we demand they deal with it for 12 years.

I'm not saying schools are designed to breed massacres (obviously the vast majority of students manage never to start shooting at their classmates), but that school as it stands remains designed to keep kids off the street and out of the way - and it's not particularly up to even that task. It infuriates me that we never look at the school environments when these things happen to kids (except inasmuch as we look at, say, kids bullying other kids): we blame the culture, we blame their parents, we blame them, but we never even look at the institutions that hold them for the majority of their waking hours.

Really. How stupid are we?


17 March
disturbingly enough, i think "puke bucket" is the best title for this post.
link : thoughts (4) : track it (0) : in fat & health stuff

Everyone knows I didn't care for Supersize Me and its general wrongheadedness (and if you don't, by all means go back to last fall's blog and read up). But as I was reading some random other thing on the admittedly quite biased consumerfreedom.com, I came across this:

MTV viewers may remember Spurlock's short-lived show ''I Bet You Will,'' whose motto was ''stupidity pays.'' With cameras rolling, Spurlock paid a man to gulp down an entire 24-ounce jar of mayonnaise... Not surprisingly, the show featured an ''Official Puke Bucket.''
from ''Super Size Me' Is Just Another Sick Reality Show' - which, well, it kinda is

The op-ed piece is obviously not a factual circus of fun, but I at least assume it wouldn't use totally made up information. I didn't know that (about the bucket of puke show). And it explains so much about the presentation of that movie: it's all geared to the shocktainment of the "money shot" of some dude puking in a bucket (or, you know, on the street - the location is immaterial).

Sorry for making you read the word "puke" so many times there, kids. But it intrigues me that, as I was going back through some of my fat/health posts to bring you my scintillating commentary on Super Size Me, the image of people vomiting is a big part of the media representation of fat. I think it's not-so-subliminal messaging. Every kid knows vomit is gross, right? And fat people are gross, too! So bring on the puke bucket!

What I was originally reading, by the way, is a news bit on that largely unsupportable theory that kids getting fat means they're going to die younger than their parents. The truth? No, they're not. Even the CDC says kids born last year can expect to live longer than mom and dad. But you'd be better off reading Paul's summary of the whole thing than bothering with the Consumer Freedom peeps. They're entertaining, but well, it's a little "pot? this is kettle... you're black!" when they call the Everyone's Dying! study peeps scare mongerers.


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