Monday, December 1, 2008

Same Shit, Different Planet

I don't know where the title of my post comes from except that it was rolling around in my head when I woke up and it, oddly, sums up my attitude this morning. There's a shoot in Naperville that I have to be at by 8am. When I booked it, I was not informed on where I needed to have my body at 8am on a Monday morning. Naperville is about an hour and a half west of Chicago. To be there by 8am, I need to leave from Fig, in northern Chicago, by 6am. And since I may not be back until 3pm and I teach tonight, I have to be prepared for the day. So, I'm up at 4am. Boo-hoo.

I feel your empathy, so here's something to cheer you up. A fun, simple music video from The Producers. A British group featuring Trevor Horn (Art of Noise) and Lol Creme (10cc, Godley and Creme). That's Lol on lead vocals. Thanks to Randy Craig, a fellow 10cc fan, for turning me on to them.


On Wednesday of last week, I asked...

"Parents of a Claremont, California kindergarten are clashing over a Thanksgiving celebration because some of them don't want what?"

41% said "Their kids supporting eating animals."
- Even the parents realize that, historically, there were no vegetarians at Thanksgiving until the discovery of the tofurkey.

35% said "Their kids sharing their food."
- Be thankful for what you got and shiv any student who wants you to share!

5% said "Their kids wearing ugly pilgrim outfits."
- Seriously. Who puts a buckle on a hat?

19% got it right with "Their kids dressed like indians."

According to The LA Times, for decades, Claremont kindergartners have celebrated Thanksgiving by dressing up as pilgrims and Native Americans and sharing a feast. But on last Tuesday, when the youngsters met for their turkey and songs, they weren't wearing their hand-made bonnets, headdresses and fringed vests.

Parents in this quiet university town are sharply divided over what these construction-paper symbols represent: A simple child's depiction of the traditional (if not wholly accurate) tale of two factions setting aside their differences to give thanks over a shared meal? Or a cartoonish stereotype that would never be allowed of other racial, ethnic or religious groups?

"It's demeaning," Michelle Raheja, the mother of a kindergartner at Condit Elementary School, wrote to her daughter's teacher. "I'm sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis), or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation's history."

Great. Now we have a war on Thanksgiving! I think the kids should be allowed to dress up like pilgrims and indians. Just as long as the pilgrims tell the indians where to sit and it's nowhere near the pilgrims. Or the food.