Monthly Archives: October 2016

Fairness

I just saw this Louis CK meme under the heading “Parenting Done Right”:

I have to say that I totally disagree with this meme and this idea of fairness. This says that fairness is an idea that will never happen and that kids should just accept that as a fact when really it’s mentalities like this that CONTRIBUTE to fairness being a pipe dream!

Let’s start at the beginning. The girl complains that someone got something and she didn’t. That implies that they’re literally standing right next to each other, were doing the exact same thing, and one girl got the gift and the other girl was left out. Hell right this isn’t fair! It’s also discrimination unless the only reason the other girl got the gift is because her name was randomly picked in a FAIR drawing (which would then make the gift giving FAIR).

Now, if Louis had explained, “Well honey, it’s her birthday and you’ll get gifts on your birthday,” then it’s a different ballgame! [Insert whatever hypothetical reality you want that gives a reason for one person to deserve a gift over another person while still being considered fair. Yes they exist as I’ve just given one above.]

The concept of fairness is that two people in identical circumstances deserve to be treated identically. This is what we need to teach our kids, NOT “life’s not fair, get over yourself”. Because honestly if we just ACCEPT that the world can NEVER be fair, then the world will never BE fair!

If people like me didn’t step up and say “what makes that other girl so special?” then girls like this one will continue to make less than their male counterparts WHEN DOING THE EXACT SAME JOB, poor black men will continue to be killed by police at a rate higher than poor white men WHEN COMMITTING THE EXACT SAME CRIME, etc. Unless, of course, folks like Louis CK want this reality for their children.

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Differences

“The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph Mouse Book 1)” by Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray –

““Ralph!” cried his frightened mother. “You haven’t been associating with people!” 

“Aw, he’s just a boy,” said Ralph, deciding to keep the complete story of the dangers and the glories of the past night to himself. “He wouldn’t hurt us. He likes mice.” 

“But he’s a person,” said his mother.

 “That doesn’t mean he has to be bad,” said Ralph. “Just like Pop used to say, people shouldn’t say all mice are timid just because some mice are. Or that all mice play when the cat’s away just because some do.””

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Here’s a rare book review from me!

I had added this one to my Overdrive wishlist purely on a whim: I’m one of those people who picks a book based entirely on the cover. So when I was browsing my wishlist (rather than looking for a “new” book to read), I decided I was in the mood for a ghost story.

This one did NOT disappoint! It was properly scary without being overly gory. I’m not a huge fan of the present tense style, but once I’m inside a book I don’t notice it very often (just when a word catches my brain unawares and I have to flip back a page or two to un-confuse myself).

There is a reason I’m actually writing a review here: so far I’m disappointed with the sequel: The Awakening of Sunshine Girl. Here’s the thing: Haunting was obviously set up to be the first book in a series and I was excited to see where it would go. But where Haunting was a good old fashioned ghost story that contributed to the creation of an alternative world, Awakening doesn’t seem to have an single overarching “ghost problem” (which makes for a good ghost story)–the ghosts here are just part of the job, which sounds more like any other paranormal series. It wouldn’t be so disappointing if Haunting hadn’t been so compelling for being a ghost story!

I’m also annoyed that the author is introducing an entirely new set of characters as though she’s trying to force a love triangle when it would have been more appropriate to let Sunshine figure out her relationship with Nolan before sending her away to hang out with the new guy. I guess I can see the necessity of a location change in order to help the plot work, BUT there’s also a plot hole created when everything says how important a Protector is, yet it’s apparently okay for her to be taken to a place where she cannot contact her Protector! I’m only 34% in right now, so there’s plenty of time to fix these issues, but part of me is already too disappointed.

OH! And it’s also a bit annoying that we had insight into the “watcher” in the first book, and now we have a completely different “watcher” in this one. I wish we could have kept some kind of insight into the original “watcher” since he continues to be a character, but now he’s gone essentially dark. I think it would have worked better to just run multiple main characters in a more traditional sense rather than trying to make them extra mysterious. They give away so much themselves that there’s not much mystery there anyway.

Economics 101

“Seriously Wicked: A Novel” by Tina Connolly –

“Humans invest belief in fakes,” the witch lectured. “We agree to regard Hikari’s tiara as imitating something expensive. And the expensive item itself is something that’s only expensive because we believe in its value. A gemstone rarely has intrinsic worth, except for diamonds, which are used to cut things, and opals, which will keep all insects from biting you.”

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Get rid of the blank!

“Seriously Wicked: A Novel” by Tina Connolly –

“I’d thought of algebra as something requiring great intuitive leaps and an inner aptitude, because that’s the way Rourke had been doing it. But all this was step by step. Anyone who figured out how to slot all the witch’s bizarro demands into one streamlined schedule and then check them off could do something that was step by step.”

A long time ago (back in early high school) I was browsing a bookshelf at home and came across a math workbook my dad had bought for my brother to help him out. The workbook was for grade 3 or 4. I was astonished to flip through it and see a chapter labeled “algebra” even though it was covering basic mathematics. This was the moment that it dawned on me why so many kids have trouble with algebra: the damn letters!

You see, the elementary workbook had labeled as algebra problems such as: 6 + _ =10. Which is the exact same problem that will be introduced YEARS later as “algebra” only with 6 + X = 10! You’ll have to realize that at that point in my life I spent half my time with my friends helping them as they struggled with algebra because “why does X=2 in this problem, but X=5 in that one?!? Why isn’t it constant??!”.

Obviously, a mathematics revolution can and will happen the moment teachers in elementary school introduce Xs (and Ys and Zs) alongside that damn blank! And then get rid of that blank as quickly as humanly possible!

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Amish guy speaking:

 “Murder, Plainly Read: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery” by Isabella Alan –

““Everyone in my old district disliked the old bishop in some way or another. He was a hard man. To him, life was meant to be about work and suffering. There was no joy in his heart. He believed the more you worked and the more miserable you were, the closer you were to Gott. It was something I could never believe. If Gott loves us so much, how could he want us to suffer?”

 I blew on a spoonful of stew. “Even still, it must have been hard to leave.” 

He was quiet for a moment. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” He smiled at his wife. “But I have never regretted my decision. I know this is the path that Gott wanted for me.””

Yes, this is fiction, but the idea is true for most conservative religions: one person trying to pick the path of another by proclaiming that “it’s what God wants”. A prominent example that routinely pisses me off is the idea that women belong in the home while men are the sole income earner. The abuse that tends to come out of this “ideal” is appalling.

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Proof that some people are morons:

I got this from the Washington Post.

— In next door Maine, Gov. Paul LePage (R) actually said yesterday that “authoritarian power” may be needed in the United States. “Sometimes, I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but we need … [Trump] to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law,” his longtime supporter said during a radio interview. “We’ve had eight years of a president, he’s an autocrat, he just does it on his own, he ignores Congress and every single day, we’re slipping into anarchy.” (Portland Press-Herald)

Umm…if Obama has been an “autocrat” and “ignores Congress”… wouldn’t that mean we’ve already had 8 years of “authoritarian power”?!? I think Mr LePage needs to pick up a dictionary and a history book. He’s obviously clueless.

Is Ann Coulter ProLife?

I really don’t think so. This is the second time she’s written with a negative tone about immigrants and “their expensive premature babies”. This whole chapter is on how WORTHLESS (her words, NOT mine) most recent immigrants to America are. I guess that for her, the only lives that matter are American, if and only if they’re like minded Conservatives (she seems to think liberals are better off dead, too, rather than wasting her time, space, and money).

“Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” by Ann Coulter –

“So it’s lucky, in a way, that Democrats are the party of government workers. Unending immigration means we need rafts of government workers to educate non-English speakers, teach cultural sensitivity classes, arrest criminals, man prisons, clean up parks, distribute food stamps, arrange subsidized housing, and work in hospital emergency rooms to deliver all those premature babies.”

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Anti-Choice is misogynistic

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“Unable to win majority support, over time anti-choice advocates began to justify restrictions on abortion as protecting women and not just the unborn. Kennedy’s opinion reflects the influence of this new anti-abortion argument. 

This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution— ideas that have long since been discredited. 

RBG is calling out the rationale for prohibiting abortion as “protecting women.” She says that this kind of anti-abortion argument reflects and reinforces the very stereotypes about women’s decision-making capacity and social roles that the court struck down as unconstitutional in sex discrimination cases— including in ones RBG argued herself. Once again, women are being told not to worry their pretty heads about it, this is for their own good.”

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