Friday, December 10, 2010

A links post for a busy Friday

No time to blog today--choir practice this evening, and it should go long because we're cramming in two Sunday practices and a ton of Christmas practice. Next time you sigh over the music at Mass, just spare a kind thought for the people, however musically misguided, who give up a lot of their free time to provide the music for Mass!

I haven't done a links post in a while, so here's how it works: I'll share a few links to stories I meant to get to but haven't, along with some commentary so brief that it doesn't really count as commentary. Sort of like the "Seven quick takes" thing, but without the whole linky list or clever theme idea, because I'm not that good at those things. :) So, here we go:

1. Is the present recession really a Mancession, in which more men than women are losing their jobs and livelihoods? Could be, and that could impact American families quite a bit more than it would be politically correct to discuss.

2. Meanwhile, are moms--both the "stay-at-home" kind and the "working mom" kind--totally fed up with their children's schools' expectations that Mom is always free to drive, bake, raffle, organize, pep, collect, and contribute? It would seem so. Hey, that's one reason I homeschool: if the schools are practically going to expect me to work part time for them for free, I might as well work full-time for myself, and have the added advantage of getting to set our curricula and schedule, right?

3. In local news, a Chase bank branch was told it could no longer display a donated Christmas tree because people might be offended. Only approved corporate non-sectarian Christmas decorations are allowed. Guess what, Chase? I'm offended that you think it's even possible to make Christmas a corporate non-sectarian generic "holiday." Get those tacky "holiday lights" window stickers off your windows, and put up Ebenezer Scrooge's likeness instead--it would be far more appropriate.

4. Where's the third billboard, the one that says, "You both know this is a waste of money. Because too many atheists are jerks. Now, go feed the poor instead of putting up stupid signs."

5. Liberal media wakes up and notices, for the first time, that the Obama White House is not "Camelot." Still waiting for them to notice that Barack Obama isn't JFK. Or a noble caribou, whichever.

6. A nation in which five-year-old girls stop liking princesses and start wanting to be "hot" instead is a nation in deep caribou waste material. Just saying.

7. Let's end this on a positive note: a woman who lost her job used her last paycheck to continue her annual tradition of providing a Thanksgiving dinner, complete with gifts, for senior citizens. I'm sure that God will bless her in abundance for her love and trust.

See you Monday!


Siarlys Jenkins said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much time and money people will spend talking about something they don't believe exists.

I'm not big on princesses OR being "hot" at age five: I'm a militant republican, and I'm not talking about the Grumpy Old Party, I'm more old school than that.

President Obama is not JFK, but he is the best president we've had since.

I agree, the woman who went ahead with the Thanksgiving dinner will be blest.

Anonymous said...

I can identify with number two - though I'm hardly an overachiever when it comes to big time school volunteerism, just enrolling a child in school seems to come with a part time job for the parents. Only my son isn't homeschooled, so I don't feel the tug as I might if all three were at "real" school, but I still find myself a little - annoyed? - by the weekly requests for money/supplies/money/volunteers/money/vegetable trays for what amounts to a seemingly endless string of fundraising activities. I hate to be rude, but has it ever occurred to anyone that the overpriced gift wrap fundraiser might be a flop because no one wants to buy overpriced gift wrap, not a for a lack of volunteers?

Thanks for letting me vent - I realize I'm complaining to the wrong audience ;P but I'd hate for my kindergartner to be blackballed.

Good links, and I DO so appreciate the musicians who volunteer their time to make all Masses and other church services so much richer. I'd donate to that.

Barbara C. said...

For #1: People are shocked when I tell them that the best way to create more jobs is for more families to have one parent stay-at-home. It would probably also lower the cost of living.

For #2: I tell people straight up that I could never afford to send my kids to public school. Besides the money that goes into fund raising, there is also all the party stuff and extra individual school supplies. And some schools require that each student donate several rolls of paper towels and reams of paper for the entire class.

Anonymous said...

The "Mancession" article has very little "there" there. Just a bunch of claims and guess what, a former Bush administration official who says the problem is government regulation. Eight years of Republican presidency, with six years in charge of Congress in that time, couldn't deregulate enough except for the financial sector which then crashed the economy before the 2008 election. But somehow it is still all the fault of Democrats and feminists.

Companies can do any (legal) thing they want in their own lobbies. Chase is exercising the fullness of deregulated freedom, and apparently does not want to risk offending non-Christian customers. That company is not nice and they exist to squeeze every penny out of their customers to redistribute that wealth to their investors. Why would you want them dressing their image with Christ? As a Buddhist, I'd be offended if they put a Buddha image in their lobby.

Now, can we honestly believe that corporations chose - well before Obama took office - to lay off men over women due to feminists? No chance that it happened because in cost-cutting efforts companies noticed how many men made more than women and cut them. Or that the industries most immediately impacted employed more men than women.

Sex roles and family structure are not the only issues with social ramifications. Ageism is the bigger issue with unemployment. Many over 50, both men and women, may not find jobs again. The number of "99ers" (those who have exhausted unemployment extensions) over 50 who are living in cars, shelters, on friend's couches or surviving on occasional house sitting jobs is huge and growing. These are formerly middle class, educated, accomplished people who have lost homes, retirement savings and everything else.

Many of these 99ers will start collecting Social Security at 62 without having worked during the intervening years to contribute to it. Most boomers want to work as long as physically possible but now many more will have to collect early and they will remain poor throughout their old age.

As for volunteering in schools, good grief. Find someone who couldn't say no and then publish an article about her when she finally does. Overachievers who feel guilty about cutting back need therapy, not a NY Times story about their "victimization."

As Ann Landers used to say, no one can take advantage of you without your cooperation.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I'd rather pay taxes amounting to the difference between the cost of buying the overpriced gift wrap from the promoter, and the cost of selling it to the harassed parents and neighbors. The son of the owner of my favorite middle eastern restaurant often has a box of candy bars on the counter, for some school project, at a price I never pay for candy bars. I prefer to donate a dollar to the cause and leave the candy bar alone.

Anonymous said...

My kids have been in public, private and parochial schools for close to 12 years now. They are pretty much all the same in the amount of time and money that they request of the parents. But the thing is, I learned, is that you really don't have to do any of it.

I think that a lot of the volunteering fills a need in some women (and men) for companionship and duty. Many of these "uber" volunteers had corporate jobs before and as much as they may enjoy being home with their children, I think they are social types who need to be out and about doing stuff, bossing people around and organizing stuff.

I prefer to lay low, and will gladly send in a tube of toothpaste or a paper towel roll as long as I never have to sit through a PTA meeting. Now for me, that would be the ultimate torture.