Monthly Archives: September 2010

YouTubey goodness

My poor neglected blog.  With the rise of other social media, it’s much easier for me to post things on FB or Twitter than on these pages.

But for those of you who don’t online-stalk my other online outlets, here are a few of the videos that have caught my attention lately (in no particular order):

John McCain remix “I don’t care what you say” re: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell –

Sesame Street’s parody of True Blood, True Mud:

Dan Savage’s new project: “It gets better” — targeting LGBT teens in high school who are bullied.

Richard Dawkins’s speech at the Protest the Pope rally in the UK:

and finally, a home video of Emma’s first ballet class (where she was a little more than reluctant to be there):

“…but you don’t have to take MY word for it!”

Anyone remember Reading Rainbow?

Just watching the show’s intro fills me with all sorts of warm fuzzies.  I loved Reading Rainbow.  In fact, one of my childhood goals was to be one of the kids at the end of the show who got to give a book review, which always ended with the phrase: “but you don’t have to take my word for it!” (yes, I was a geek even then)

Reading was always a part of my life, from my earliest moments on.  I still have several copies of my favorite childhood books that are now on Emma’s bookshelves.  One of these books is Baby’s Birthday, a book that my mom read to me so many times she had memorized all its lines.

She also said I would get seriously upset if she ever tried to skip pages on me.

I love watching my little girl develop her love of books. For the last 4 years, I’ve been hounding the used book sales and garage sales to give her a collection of her very own.

Each night for her bedtime ritual, she gets to choose 2 books from her shelves to read.  It used to be a haphazard choice, but these days I love watching her pull out individual books and deliberate over which ones to read.  It’s a wonder to watch a toddler’s mind at work!

Tonight she picked out this book from her shelf:

As you can probably tell, I always go for the vintage Golden Books first in my hunt for Emma books.

This book is definitely 1970′s-alicious, but it gets me all verklempt each time I read it to her.  The story is about a little girl named Suzy who wants to help her mama with the laundry, but her mama thinks she isn’t “big enough” to be a helper.  By the end of the story, the mama suddenly realizes that she has misjudged the abilities of her daughter, and she stops what she’s doing, kneels down to her daughter’s level, and apologizes for her mistake.

I love that this story illustrates how parents can be wrong and sometimes owe their kids apologies.  Each time I read that part of the mama saying she’s sorry to her little girl, I get a little emotional.  I think it’s a good reminder for me, that Emma is becoming her own person and I need to recognize and accommodate for her growing up (including knowing when to apologize when I’ve wronged her).

The other book we read tonight was one that she picked from her school’s library: Shota and the Star Quilt.  This book was about the Lakota tribe and involved an act of kindness by two little girls to a greedy land developer.  My little toddler picked out a book on social justice!  It was a beautiful story, and the social justice part of me was very proud my little girl was drawn to such a story.

In case you were wondering, here are some more of Emma’s current literary favorites:

  • Robert the Rose Horse (ker-choooo!)
  • On the Night you were Born (this one makes me cry EVERY time)
  • The Three Little Pigs (old school Disney version)
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • The Shy Little Kitten
  • Lucky Puppy (from 101 Dalmatians)
  • Madeline’s Rescue (another of my old books)

(as an added bonus, here’s an old picture of me reading to Emma “Baby’s Birthday” on her first birthday!)

The girl effect, revisited

How a 12-year-old girl could be the solution the world needs right now:

Girls Count.

What he said:

[All religions] make the same mistake. They all take the only real faculty we have that distinguishes us from other primates, and from other animals—the faculty of reason, and the willingness to take any risk that reason demands of us—and they replace that with the idea that faith is a virtue.  If I could change just one thing, it would be to dissociate the idea of faith from virtue—now and for good—and to expose it for what it is: a servile weakness, a refuge in cowardice, and a willingness to follow, with credulity, people who are in the highest degree unscrupulous.

Christopher Hitchens
in the debate “Does Atheism Poison Everything?

Focus on your own family

I just finished watching the 2010 documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition (link is to the full movie online).  I’ve known about the film since it’s preview days, and I was happy to see that it’s now available to view online (though I don’t know how long that link will be active, so get to watching it, ASAP).

I spent the first half-hour of the film in tears — though not all of the sad kind. I loved hearing the story of one of the first same-sex couples in California to get married.

But not all of my tears were happy ones — I really had a difficult time hearing of the horrible discrimination this couple felt by some of their religious family members, the ones who reacted negatively to the news of their marriage.

[note: If any of my friends or family members were to ever reject Emma should she grow up and be a lesbian, I can confidently state right now that it would be the end of my relationship with them.  There is simply NO EXCUSE for that kind of rejection or judgement, and such a oppressive ideology has no place in my (or my family's) life.]

The film is definitely worth a watch, if only to learn about the deceit and maliciousness of the movement to pass Prop 8 — a political effort spearheaded by the LDS church.  The film also spends much of its time focusing on the HUMAN damage caused by the implications of Prop 8 and the relational damage of blind religious obedience to hurtful dogma.

Of course, watching this film was positively influenced by the news of the Prop 8 trial decision from a month or so ago — not to mention that I can already feel the tides of history changing, because soon it won’t be an issue for ANYone to be married, if they so choose.

I’m just glad I’m on the ethical side of this issue.  I know one day I’ll be able to tell my daughter about this human rights battle and about who said what and where when it came to marriage equality.  Plus I’ll also have access to all the YouTube clips of all the hateful, vile religious leaders who spewed their bigotry in their quest to preserve discrimination.  If watching those videos doesn’t turn people away from these faith ideologies, I don’t know what else will.

Bring on the Supreme Court, I say. No more H8.

What she said:

Melissa Harris-Lacewell on the extremist anti-abortion position of never allowing any abortions, even in the case of rape and incest:

Let‘s be completely clear about the facts here.  There is no place in the world and no time in history where restricting women‘s reproductive rights makes a people or a nation more free or more equal.  These extreme positions on abortion are without any question a war on American girls and women.

[...]I‘m from a people who really did experience the need to hold on to a God who would see them through difficult times, including generations of black women who in slavery were forced to bear the children of their rapists.  And I do believe, because I‘m a person of faith, in a interceding God that can help people through difficult circumstances.  But I‘m also an American who believes that the point of government isn‘t to make life so hard for half of our citizens that the only force there to help them is God.  We, as a government and as a people, deserve and should do better.

my kind of rally

genius.

(and, generous!)