Posts tagged “protest”

Mamas, don’t let your babies…

With Occupy Oakland confrontations behind us (I hope), Halloween ahead of us, and technology all around us it seems increasingly challenging to navigate the complexities of parenting. Here’s a little taste of what some moms and dads are grappling with today:

For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets [] – Children continue to be a familiar presence in civic unrest in this piece that takes a look at the intersection between protesting for economic justice and parenting. Some supporters believe exposing children to such controversies helps to teach them critical thinking skills and introduces them to fundamentals of civic engagement. Others express concern for children’s safety and fear potential trauma.

And so it goes in the second month of Occupy Wall Street, where children are becoming an increasing presence as parents try to seize a “teachable moment” to enlighten them on matters ranging from income inequality to the right to protest- A group called Parents for Occupy Wall Street, headed by Kirby Desmarais, a Brooklyn mother and record label owner, even organized a sleepover at the park for more than 80 parents and children on a recent weekend night. (The families had to be moved at dawn to make way for new police lines and barricades.) Spin-off parent groups have sprung up in other cities like Denver and Seattle.

‘We’re a culture, not a costume’ this Halloween [] – The Ohio University organization, Students Teaching About Racism in Society, have launched a campaign to get people to think twice before donning a costume that reduces an entire culture to a stereotypical caricature. Proponents contend that confronting stereotypes helps combat racism, while opposition in editorial forums has touted that fun and lighthearted nature of the holiday, indicated it’s nothing to be taken too seriously.

It’s a seasonal point of controversy, but even after widely publicized controversies such as the “Ghetto Fab” wig at Kohl’s and Target’s illegal alien jumpsuit, costumes of stereotypes abound. On Google’s shopping section, several pages of “Mexican costume ideas” are available, from “Mexican donkey costumes” to sexy serapes and tequila shooter girls.

Tiger Moms and Digital Media [] – A psychotherapist specializing in internet and video game addiction offers 9 guidelines to parents who wish to help their children develop normally, with a healthy relationship to digital media. I find myself particularly challenged by number 8, Model what you preach. “Ouch of awareness” from this parent of an 8 year-old who has more apps on my iPhone than I do and yes, he installed the entire entertainment system when we recently relocated.

I’ve been specializing in this problem for many years. For reasons I cannot explain, I saw the approaching flood, when internet addiction was only a trickle. Now, that flood is upon us. Statistics tell us that between 6 and 13% of the general population meets criteria for Internet Addiction. In the college age population, that number stands between 13 and 19%! That’s a lot of young adults who are addicted to digital technology. In S. Korea and China, the problem is growing so rapidly that those governments have declared Internet Addiction to be their #1 public health threat.

ChittahChattah Quickies

Mermaids poised for their mainstream splash [SF Chronicle] – Here’s an emergent trend that we’ll all want to get in front of, whether it’s cultural literacy or presents for friends and children, or perhaps cashing in before it the bubble bursts.

Mermaids are about to swamp vampires and zombies as supernatural rainmakers in popular culture. Photographer Mark Anderson is releasing a book called “M: Mermaids of Hollywood,” that features Anna Faris, the Kardashians, Kristen Bell and others in tails. Carolyn Turgeon, author of “Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale,” has agreed to run a new magazine, Mermaids & Mythology. The true beneficiaries of the mermaid bull market are small-business owners who cornered the mermaid market before there actually was one. Eric Ducharme, who lives near Tampa, makes about seven latex tails a month for $500 to $700 and since December has created 25 silicone ones for $1,600 to $5,000, including one for Lady Gaga. The Weeki Wachee Springs Underwater Theater, also near Tampa, started its mermaid shows in 1947. In danger of closing just a few years ago, it’s now hosting sold-out camps for adults who want to swim with tails.

Masked Protesters Aid Time Warner’s Bottom Line [] – The mask wearers have been seen here in the Bay Area recently, in protests against the BART transit system preemptively disconnecting cell service in advance of a protest. There’s clearly a market for knockoff masks, which may lead to some corrective corporate actions, which may in turn lead to more protests and indeed an entire economic turnaround.

When members [of Anonymous] appear in public to protest censorship and what they view as corruption, they don a plastic mask of Guy Fawkes, the 17th-century Englishman who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Stark white, with blushed pink cheeks, a wide grin and a thin black mustache and goatee, the mask resonates with the hackers because it was worn by a rogue anarchist challenging an authoritarian government in “V for Vendetta,” the movie produced in 2006 by Warner Brothers. What few people seem to know, though, is that Time Warner, one of the largest media companies in the world and parent of Warner Brothers, owns the rights to the image and is paid a licensing fee with the sale of each mask.

Come On, Feel the Mud [] – This interactive feature has some lovely, if muddy pictures, but mostly I was struck to learn that there’s a Polish Woodstock. If nothing else, we are clearly a decades past the dawn of political correctness where that phrase could only be the punchline to an offensive joke.

The original Woodstock festival was known for both its music and its mud. Although it is no relation to the American festivals, the Woodstock Festival in Kostrzyn nad Odra, Poland, does its best to recreate the experience by building giant mud pits in which thousands of young Poles writhe and wrestle to a hard-driving beat. Now in its 17th year, the Polish Woodstock mixes older Western rock bands like Prodigy and Helloween with popular Polish acts like Laki Lan and Enej. Despite the aggressive music, the vibe in the mud pit is much more summer of love. “We are moshing, we are throwing sand and dirt, but it’s really friendly,” said Michal Knapinski, 16. “When someone falls, there are hundreds of hands pulling him up.”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • 100-WATT BULBS IN STOCK. (FOR HOW LONG WE DO NOT KNOW) – “Let some government official come in and tell me I can’t sell these,” Jonathan Wright, who has owned Classic Lighting for 40 years, said defiantly as he surveyed his warren of upscale light fixtures and shelves filled with neatly stacked bulbs. “I’ll find them wherever I can get them and sell them for whatever they cost. People are buying in bulk because they want them.”

    In the last two months he has sold 3,000 of the 100-watt bulbs — the traditional mainstay of British light fixtures — more than 30 times the usual. People are buying 10 at a time, the limit per customer, even though their price is nearly 50% higher than it was a year ago.

    Indeed, his customers have a litany of complaints. CFL light is too dim, especially for reading and putting on makeup, the bulbs, which are a bit longer than incandescents, protrude from small light shades; they take a long time to reach full brightness; they cannot be dimmed by switches; they contain mercury and require special disposal.

Clothes Make The Woman

In one part of the world, Muslim hardliners in Kuwait’s parliament

walked out of the body’s inaugural meeting on Sunday to protest two female Cabinet ministers who were not wearing headscarves.

While here in the US, Dunkin’ Donuts yanks Rachael Ray ad

in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.

Context is everything, isn’t it? Women can piss people off if they don’t use the necessary clothing to display their membership in a group, or if they improperly use clothing that might inadvertently suggest membership in another group.

Careful, ladies. The “what to wear” dilemma just got much heavier!

Ottawa DJ booted for Stompin’ Tom Connors marathon

Full story

A disc jockey at a top Ottawa rock station has been booted off the air for playing Stompin’ Tom Connors — and nothing but Stompin’ Tom — to protest the singer’s exclusion from the Live 8 concert lineup.

But what remains unclear today is whether Jeff Brown, who says he has not been fired from his job at CHEZ 106.1, has his tongue tucked firmly in his cheek.

Mr. Brown, program director at the station, began playing Stompin’ Tom tunes Tuesday afternoon during his drive-home show, which airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

After hearing the lineup of Canada’s version of Live 8, Mr. Brown said, he ‘went on a rant about how we have Celine Dion representing Canada via satellite from Las Vegas, and how true Canadian icons were being overlooked, namely Stompin’ Tom,’ Mr. Brown explained yesterday in an e-mail to a Citizen reporter.

‘At this point I vowed to play nothing but Stompin’ Tom on my show until (Live 8 organizers) Bob Geldof and Michael Cohl recognized the influence that this true icon has in this country and add him to the bill.’

While Stompin’ Tom has a devoted following in Canada, it is unlikely Bob Geldof has ever heard Bud The Spud or other Stompin’ Tom-penned tunes about everyday life in Canada’s small towns and cities.

On Tuesday’s show, Mr. Brown played Stompin’ Tom’s Big Joe Mufferaw continuously for about a half an hour.

Mr. Brown said reaction to his Stompin’ Tom binge was immediate.

‘The moment we started playing Stompin’ Tom, the phones went insane (like I have never seen in 15 years of radio) … 99 per cent of people were in support that we needed to get Stompin Tom on the Live 8 bill.

‘It just shows you how like no other artist this man transcends all boundaries and truly speaks for the country.”

Potato Farmers Loathe ‘Couch Potato’ Term

I’ve excerpted the best bits, but feel free to read the full story

British potato farmers demonstrated outside Parliament on Monday to publicize their bid to remove the term ‘couch potato’ from the Oxford English Dictionary, arguing that the description of slothful TV addicts harms the vegetable’s image.

The group of about 30 farmers carried signs that read ‘couch potato out’ and ‘ban the term couch potato.’ A similar rally took place in Oxford, central England.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term ‘couch potato’ as ‘a person who spends leisure time passively or idly sitting around, especially watching television or video tapes.’

The British Potato Council says the phrase makes the vegetable seem unhealthy. It wants the expression stripped from the dictionary and replaced in everyday speech with the term ‘couch slouch.’

‘The potato industry are fed up with the disservice that ‘couch potato’ does to our product when we have an inherently healthy product,’ said Kathryn Race, head of marketing at the British Potato Council, a body set up by the government to run advertising campaigns promoting potato consumption and research issues linked to the vegetable.

‘Potatoes have been around for many, many years, but increasingly, with all the coverage that dieting & healthy eating gets in general, we need to make sure that potatoes remain a popular food,’ Race said.”

It’s hard to tell how serious they are. The article makes them sound very serious. Perhaps if I lived in Britain I’d understand the tone a bit better. As a PR stunt, it’s brilliant. It will raise awareness or whatever. As a piece of consumer education, it’s obviously ridiculous. You can’t angrily protest to get people to stop thinking something or making an association. Genie is out of the bottle, right? I’m going to quietly hope it’s the former.


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