Friday, March 12, 2010

Shifting the Paradigm into Low Gear

Maybe it's just my crankified mood of late, but I've thought of a new personal motto: "Don't know. Wasn't there. Didn't see it. Have other things to think about." Maybe it's more like a Vision Statement. Covers a lot of ground, and puts a whole new perspective on many things, including reading the newspaper, which now more than ever reminds me of the Thurber cartoon caption from ages ago: "Sometimes the news from Washington makes me think your mother and brother Ed are in charge."

Think I'm kidding? Here are some of today's stories from my local what-passes-for-a-newspaper. So help me, I'm not making any of this up.

  • On Wednesday afternoon, a local charter school recently told by the state to shut down by June 30 held a rally in support of staying open. The next morning, police arrested a 16-year-old student there for having a loaded .32 caliber handgun in the cafeteria, and an 18-year-old student for punching out a security guard. (Although I'm second to none in my respect for the charter school's ability to fail miserably at half the cost-per-student of local district schools, this may be a sign it's time for the school in question to become a Starbuck's.)
  • A 70-year-old man was stabbed in his apartment by his 46-year-old girlfriend, whom he a) had a restraining order against and b) was living with. What was the restraining order for, to keep her from putting any of her things in his half of the medicine cabinet? Not to make light of what is obviously a serious matter, but I can just hear Bill Engvall saying, "Here's your sign..." (In stark contrast to his apparent IQ, the man's injuries turned out to be non-life-threatening.)
  • Major League Soccer players in the U.S. - and if that's not a contradiction in terms I don't know what would be - voted to strike if a new labor contract isn't agreed to before the season opens on March 25. Look at the bright side; this could be the opening into America's sports-heart that curling was waiting for.

Unrelated Item: Proof You Can Find Anything On You-Tube

While doing research recently for a youth-group slide presentation about the human spirit of exploration that connected Lewis and Clark with the U.S. Space Program 160 years later - yes, the day-to-day excitement of my life does become overwhelming at times - I came across something so good - and so unique - it demanded to be shared. In the hope rap master MC LaLa doesn't mind me sharing his marvelous creation, and with a dedication to faithful reader Alaina as one of my favorite stewards of young minds, I give you the "Lewis and Clark Educational Rap." Laugh if you want, by the time it's done I bet you'll be tapping your foot and singing, "Saca-sacagawea...Saca-sacagawea..."


oldhousegal said...

OMG! Rap Master MC LaLa rocks! I love that clip! I found the contrast between the utter stupidity of the first part of your post and the creativity and intelligence of that song to be lovely and deliciously ironic. It actually makes me hopeful for the future that such a young man is out there somewhere.

Cathy said...

Life becomes very alien when you stop long enough to have a closer look, doesn't it. Things that once seemed incredible to us are now par. Hence it's reasonable to imagine that one day, these impossible news stories will mean little, having no shock value. Not sure but sometimes change isn't so welcome. Enjoyed this post, made me think.

Tawnya said...

Yeah we are seeing things like those news stories here in Michigan too. Sigh. I feel like I live in an alternate reality sometimes. You should check out my new public blog soon.

mrs. miss alaineus said...

that was some gansta social studies and most def the shnizt.

can he do something for long division?


Ben said...

The schnitz indeed...he had me at "Shoshones were her homies, so 'Gawea could ask them for ponies..."

As for long division, give this a try:

Compared to MC LaLa, this sounds more like Michael Bolton, but the price is right.

Here's another, if you don't mind fourth grade children dressed up like the Village People:

Dammit, now I have "DMSB" stuck in my head...oh well...


Gitana said...

All I can say is...Saca Sacagawea!

DB said...

Thank you Ben. I wouldn't have missed that brilliant piece of poetic genius for anything.

What's wrong with curling? It can be just as exciting as soccar if the brushes are in the right hands.


Lori said...

That was brilliant! I'm going to use that in class with my daughter -- sure she'll get a kick out of it. I love your new motto, too, and think maybe I should adopt it as my own.