ESC!Webs Blogitorials

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Our Little Boy Is Growing Up

One More Thing...

On December 8th, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Disney is planning to introduce a girl to the Hundred Acre Wood!

A girl!

I understand the business reasons behind this. Apparently Mr. Pooh is not happy with the total market dominance over his boss Mickey and has instructed his agent to stir up the (hunny) pot and increase his viewership.

One thing that is completely ignored, however, is the fact that the Hundred Acre Wood exists entirely in the (apparently very fertile) mind of young Master Christopher Robin. So, in order for there to be a girl in the Hundred Acre Wood, that means, yes, Christopher Robin has to ... fantasize about her.

Referring to this new show as an “alternative universe,” a Disney spokesman says: “Christopher Robin is still out there in the woods, playing.”

Playing indeed! Oy!

So when you set you children down in front of the set to watch this new series, just keep this in mind and pray that Disney doesn't introduce a new series called “Christopher Robin: The Teen Years.”

postscript: Calm down people, I'm just having a little fun at Pooh's expense.

Joking aside, if they're going to introduce a new girl character to the World of Pooh, it makes sense to acknowledge that she springs from Christopher Robin's imagination and have him interact with her instead of banishing Christopher to the woods "somewhere."

Or, better yet, have her be just as real as Christopher, but with the same ability to imagine and play in his world with his friends Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit and the rest of the gang ... and maybe introduce a few of her friends as well.

Instead of separating them into "Mars" and "Venus" camps, wouldn't it be better to promote how boys and girls can have healthy relationships, working and playing together in day to day life without the underlying sexual tension that's so prevalent in (children's) television these days?

That would be nice and sweet ... like Hunny.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ketchup ... Catsup ... err, Catch Up!

Hey folks, sorry it's been so long since I've made a proper posting. With the podcast, the holidays and some issues that crept up at work, I just never got around to it.

I've been accumulating things to talk about though and here, even if in more succinct form, are some topics that came to my attention in the past month or so.


Yes, We Have No John Lennon, We Have No John Lennon Today....

So there was a bit of an uproar that the new John Lennon album was not going to be available through iTunes.

What's the big fat hairy dudes? Look, the album may not be available through iTunes, but that doesn't mean you can't get it through other channels. It's available through Amazon for only $22.99. Even if you have to pay shipping, that's still roughly $11 less than buying the digital tracks through iTunes AND you get the CD, liner notes, etc, etc.

Still want it on your iPod? Rip it. Duh.

Taft Students Daft – Think Blogs Are Private

So according to a December 8th, 2005 Chicago Sun-Times article, three honor students at Taft High School were suspended for making what basically amounts to death threats against a teacher on their personal blog. The school says they were tipped off to the posting, the students say the school was “monitoring” their personal blogs.

What was posted?

In a posting November 3rd, one student wrote: “She'll see oh yes, there will be blood, ... Ms. ---'s neck will be ... slit like a ... chicken!”

Wow, nice honor students huh?

After the suspension, one Taft student (not one of the bloggers) said “A blog is like your journal. You should be able to say whatever you want in it...”

And the student blog poster later wrote: “I didn't know our Xanga's were being monitored. It's not private like we think. I thought it ... was freedom of speech.”

Uh, you mean you didn't realize your blog was being monitored by ... the ENTIRE WORLD?

Being public, I don't find it surprising at all, in light of the gun, drug and other problems in schools these days, for another student to read this entry, freak out and bring it to the attention of authorities – in this case the school.

Talk about stupid.

Journals ARE private and secure in your desk drawer at home. That's why nobody knew the Columbine shootings were coming, the students in that case kept their journals to themselves and didn't post them on the Internet for everyone in the world to see! If only they had...

A blog, on the other hand, is akin to printing up the message on a leaflet and posting it all over town. Blogs by their nature are not private and if you want them to be so, then password protect it. But please don't go around screaming violation of First Amendment Rights if you're going to talk about slitting a teacher's throat like a chicken.

Okay kiddies?

Oh ... and can someone tell me what the criteria are for honor students at Taft High School? They must be pretty low....


In another public school case, the officials of McHenry High School expelled a student for drawing his initials on a piece of paper.

Okay, it's not quite as simple as that, but what it amounts to is the school bullying a student they seemed to have branded a “bad egg” years ago.

Accusing D.K. (I'm withholding names here) of drawing “gang symbols” on his notebooks in class, the school suspended and, later, expelled D.K. for drawing “DLK” on his notebook surrounded by various crowns and other images the school determined to be gang symbols. In what has to be one of the stupidest statements school administrators have made recently, they said “DLK” stood for “Disciples Latin King” apparently not realizing a) these are the kid's initials and b) they were blending two different gang names into one. I don't know about you, but I'd be interested to hear what members of those two gangs have to say about their names being merged like that.

Look, if the kid is bad, he's bad. I don't know him or his family, but preventing him from expressing himself through artwork – “gang symbols” or not and without definitive links to said gangs – is not a great way to ensure his right to ... free speech and freedom of expression.

The kid needs to come clean and say if what he's doing is attempting to emulate these gangs and their ... err, ideals. Schools have policies against this – and for good reason. If he is, he should stop, but regardless of that, expulsion is a harsh way to punish this kid. Sounds to me like the school is doing exactly opposite what they should be doing ... but as we know, it's easier to sweep “problems” under the rug than to face them head on.

If he was merely doodling, however – I recently uncovered some of the drawings I made in grade school and these fantastical “war doodles” were full of bullets flying and body parts all over the place – then I think the family should bring the ACLU into the picture and see what a full blown lawsuit against the school district does to reverse this recent ruling.