America

...now browsing by tag

 
 

It’s a Small World… I Suppose

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Long before my wife and I took our son to DisneyWorld he heard the iconic, catchy, and terrible song “It’s a Small World” and believed the lyrics to be “It’s a Small World, I suppose.” We got a great laugh about it and looked forward to taking him on the actual ride so he could learn the song correctly. However now that we’ve been to the Magic Kingdom together, I think he might have been right all along.

A visit to any of the Disney parks reveals the world isn’t small, but quite obese. Over-indulgent consumption is on display everywhere and the only magical thing about it is the realization it crosses boundaries of race, budget, and culture. In any part of the park the number of strollers (which is immense because of the kid-centric world) is nearly matched by the number of wheelchairs. And it’s not what you think…

Click to continue »

Unrepresented

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I’m pleased to say that we’re on the home stretch. Two weeks from now the political ticker that is Facebook will quiet down and everyone can go back to inane comments and photos of their dinner. Well, actually it will probably be three-weeks from now – as those who vote for the winner will need to spend time being sore winners while those who vote for the loser will need to bemoan the end of the nation, the triumph of evil, and take phone-pics of their plane tickets to Canada.

The truth is, no matter the outcome, I’m expecting to lose.

Click to continue »

Building Heroes: Armstrong vs. Armstrong

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

At the end of August, two men named Armstrong were both in the news. Neil Armstrong was mentioned because he died at the age of 82. Lance Armstrong was mentioned because of an ongoing investigation into doping during his cycling career. Very different men with completely different claims to fame and yet I’ve followed both of them with fascination.

I’m drawn to moments of individual achievement. Team sports don’t interest me. I follow things like climbing, flying, racing… activities which all have a huge support network but only one guy at the sharp end of things taking the risk and pushing for success. So here are Neil and Lance, with a shared name and personal accomplishments forty years apart. Seeing them together in a news cycle got me thinking about what makes a hero and how celebrity and success have changed.

Click to continue »

Best Pictures of 2011 – Part 1

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

I love photography and I do believe it can say things that can’t ever be captured in words. So while this is obviously a text heavy blog, I wanted to share the photos which said the most to me this year and a few of the reasons why.

These first five come from sources worldwide. The next five are more personal:

Click to continue »

WordsWordsWords

Monday, January 17th, 2011

The English language fascinates me. Unlike French or Italian, English lacks a lyrical or sensual structure, even when coming out of Kiera Knightly. Yet, whenever I think I should really learn another language I’m reminded how much I really don’t know my first one.

I don’t remember learning English. I’m sure I was full of questions about it, but I truly have no memories of asking about a word or learning a new phrase. For me, vocabulary exercises are linked to those specially hellish memories of classes which couldn’t end fast enough. Yet, now that we’re spending time parroting things for my son I’ve gained a new perspective on the enormous mountain of learning associated with English. In fact, maybe I need to learn something else because the scale can’t be larger than the jumbled mess of rules and exceptions which make up my native tongue.

Click to continue »

Mormon Revolution

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

I’ve had this thing nagging at me for a while, an issue in the back of my mind which I keep bumping into and then turning away from. But since moving to Utah, I’ve come face to face with it a few times and now I’m really thinking.

Click to continue »

I’ve been Punk’d

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Celebrity is one of the things I find fascinating and infuriating about our society. People who are our entertainment have now become our idols. It’s as if the court Jester ( a slave-like role in its day) has now become the champion of the kingdom.

And the phenomenon has turned the corner from people famous for doing something we love, to people who are famous for just being famous.

Which leads me to my recent irksome line of questioning:

What is Ashton Kutcher known for? Why is this guy famous?

Click to continue »

Occupational Hazzard

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The minute I saw this news story I knew I’d found a blog entry. A strange mix of irony, tragedy, and sheer stupidity converging to create fantastic commentary on the strangeness of our society.

Here’s the short version: A 20 year old girl in Detroit has been put on probation at her job. Why? Well, she’s a waitress at Hooter’s and she’s getting a bit fat for her shiny orange shorts.

And this made the news. Redefining the “fluff piece”. Ah-hem.

Click to continue »

iPhone to the Rescue…

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I’ve resisted writing about Haiti because, while incredibly tragic, it irks me to see our nation running to the aid of some other country when there’s so many terrible problems at home. I don’t think we should be policing the world or trying to save it, especially now. I guess the older I get, the more isolationist I become, but I can’t help thinking “why don’t celebraties have telethons to fix problems in America?”.

But I digress.

From the rubble of one of the world’s poorest countries came a story which seemed to perfectly highlight the haves and have-nots of the tragedy. And both the absurdity, and wonder, of our national obsession with technology.

An iPhone saved a man’s life in Haiti.

Click to continue »

Unwelcome Extremities

Monday, January 11th, 2010

I’ve been thinking about two news events which happened within 24hrs of each other on Christmas day 2009:

Two men with deeply held religious beliefs illegally traveled into other countries to spread their messages. Neither succeeded, but both made news. And though the news coverage has been very different, I can’t shake the feeling that their stories are almost exactly the same.

Click to continue »