No Respect

It has been way too long since I last posted.  (My apologies to the Xanga gods and goddesses, and to all my angelic readers.)

Today I want to talk about how public school teachers get no respect.  And what better evidence than the daily newspaper?

Let’s see.  Detroit announces 5,714 teacher lay-offs.  Another 354 will be laid off in Milwaukee on Friday.  Meanwhile, here in Texas, some are estimating that 100,000 public school teachers could lose their jobs by the fall.

This is a catastrophe.  How on earth can the world’s richest country not afford to educate its children?

It’s because we don’t care.

Sure, we give lip service to education.  But, at the end of the day, it’s just means to an end.  Deep down, everyone knows it. 

As one article put it:

“We also don’t believe in the value of education, culturally — we just like to say we do because as citizens of an industrialized nation, we’re supposed to.  But we can tell our children that school is important until we’re blue in the face, they’re not stupid.  They see the loudest applause is for the kids on the field.  They know teachers are paid poorly and don’t drive fancy cars.  They know people plan Super Bowl parties but mock the National Spelling Bee.”

Yeah, it’s a shame.


So has anybody heard of this new fashion trend where girls are putting feathers in their hair? 

My sister was wearing a feather in her hair this weekend.  I think it looks cute.

Apparently, some are claiming that fishermen are unhappy because the trend is causing bait shortages

Well, I like to fish as much as the next guy.  But I still find the sight of fashionable women more pleasing than a rooster tail.  I’m willing to find another kind of bait.

(P.S. – That is not my sister in the picture.)

Celebrity Impersonators

Today there was a post on the Xanga homepage about a particularly well-known Xangan, LobornLytesThoughtPalace, supposedly “impersonating” Denise Paglia, a celebrity model who was popular during the ’90s.  LobornLytes, who is allegedly a man, has a picture of Paglia for his profile. 

Judging from the comments, many people (a disturbingly high number) actually believed LobornLytes was the model.  And many were critical of him.  The author of the post even implied that Paglia should sue him for “malicious impersonation.”

TheologiansCafe followed this post up with an entry asking, “would you stop being friends with someone if you found out that their profile pic was fake?” Surprisingly, some answered yes.

Now, that seems a little extreme.

Personally, I was quite taken aback by the scathing responses. First off, who would honestly think Denise Paglia (or her look-alike) was on Xanga?  And second, when did having a celebrity’s picture on your profile become a crime of moral turpitude?

I don’t think bloggers who have celebrities in their profile pics are necessarily evil to the core. I mean, you probably even know some of these people . . . Anyone? Anyone? Buehler??

As hopefully many of you know by now, the man in my profile picture is Jay Harrington, a celebrity.  He is one of my favorite sitcom actors (Ted from “Better Off Ted”).  Clearly, I am not Jay Harrington.  I am Ben.

Does this mean we can’t be friends anymore?

Happy Cows

Today is officially the first day of Summer for all of you who subcribe to my personal calendar.  If your air conditioner does not work, it might be good time to take a trip to Anarctica.

On second thought, it’s winter there.  Scratch that idea.

Anyhow.  Do you ever have one of those conversations where you stop and wonder, how did we even start talking about this??  It happens to me often.

Case in point.  Yesterday me and one of my friends, J, are catching up on our weekends and we start talking about the NBA Finals.  I tell him that Tyson Chandler (center for the Dallas Mavericks) will score at least 25 points in Game 1, and will be the MVP for the series. 

He refutes my prediction. 

So I promise that when both of those things happen, I will eat a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets in honor of Mr. Chandler.  J says he will “bet me a barbeque (BBQ)” that neither of those things happen.  (This is a serious challenge.  Few things are more emasculating than having to watch another man eat a BBQ dinner you paid for.)

I tell him I am tempted to take him up on the BBQ bet rather than eat the nuggets, because I don’t like the way Tyson treats its chickens.  This is true.  I don’t like how chickens are mistreated.  They are stuffed into coups by the hundreds and made to live in their own feces.  I watched a documentary on it once, and it appalled me.  : (   I feel bad when I eat them.  I wish they weren’t so delicious.

On the other hand, I have no problem eating cows.  Cows lead happy lives.  They roam the fields, and lay in the shade.  Between eating grass, drinking water, and making baby cows, cows have a pretty good gig.  Then comes the day when they go to Cow Heaven, known to humans as “Wendy’s.”

J disputes the idea that cows have it good.  He says they are made to eat corn until they can hardly stand, and then slaughtered at about 12 months old.  (He watched a documentary too.)  I ask him why I see so many cows when I go driving.  He claims they are the minority.  I call BS.

The next thing I know, we are researching the proportion of corn-fed vs. grass-fed beef production in the United States on our phones.  There are a lot of “statistics” that say most cows are corn-fed.  But, it is indisputable that most cattle-producers (i.e., individual farmers) raise grazing cows.  It’s indisputable because I see them grazing with my own eyes.  The farmers probably produce the statistics to drive up the value of their beef, so they can claim their grass-fed cows are better, and more scarce, than the “average” corn-fed cow.  (You always have to look for the incentives behind the information.)

The debate got heated.  Corn-fed versus grass-fed.  Happy cows versus sad.  Finally, another one of our friends (whose family raised cattle) solves the mystery: most cows graze in fields for several years, but then are taken to feed lots where they are fed lots of corn and slaughtered.  That explained everything.  It explained why I see so many cows in the fields, and why the “statistics” say that most cows are corn fed.

Great.  Problem solved.

Now, how did we get on this subject again?


P.S. – Tyson Chandler scored 9 points last night.  Good thing we got sidetracked.