If I were the parent of a boy bullying a 68 year old bus monitor…

Firstly, I would be so embarrassed for myself and for my family. The Dad of one of the bullies was interviewed on AC 360 (I couldn’t find the link for this segment of the interview), but he said that he was sending his son to therapy. I say, screw therapy – the little buggers needs to be sent to boot camp.

We all know what is important in a teenage boys life: computers, video games, cell phones, going out with friends. He would have to say goodbye to them for the summer, and no, I wouldn’t care how bored he is.

Another great way to deal with this horrendous situation: community service! I’m talking disgusting types of community service, like picking up trash at the side of the road. If I could, I would love to see him volunteering in a kitchen, scraping food off plates. I’ve done it before for two weeks, and it’s pretty gross. Gross enough to make my son start to realize the damage his mistake has caused. Basically anything that isn’t fun would do the trick.

Then, if he has time, which he should,  he should read a self-help book, or take a class. On ethics, perhaps.

Yeah, it all sounds really harsh, but that’s the only way children learn – through deprivation.     Plus, if it was legal, a couple spanks wouldn’t hurt either.

All this being said, having over $500,000 raised for Karen is amazing. For a while, I had lost my faith in human compassion, but now it’s clear that there is compassion out there. It’s interesting how complete strangers can be more compassionate than people who are supposed to be close to you.

Watch the video if you haven’t already:

My Sister’s Keeper review

Once again, I am a bit behind on the program, but I just finished reading “My Sister’s Keeper”. Similar to the last review I wrote on “Sing You Home”, I think it’s only fair to find the downside to this seemingly touching novel.

*Warning: this review contains spoilers. If you want to read the book or are currently doing so, do not continue reading. If you don’t care, then carry on.

Picoult addressed many important issues in this novel, such as family life, battling cancer, and being sued. There is no doubt that she researched oncology effectively, but how she rambled on and on using complex medical terms was ridiculous. At one point, I began to wonder if she even understood all that vocabulary herself. This is not the only unnecessary thing in this novel. Picoult added in so many characters, that made absolutely no difference to the story. Take Jesse, the brother as an example; he would have made a difference if his parents noticed him, but they didn’t! He was setting houses on fire, and they didn’t care as much as they should have. We know that Brian and Sara are pre-occupied with Kate’s illness, so please, give them one more child to ignore. Izzy, Julia’s sister, is another character who’s presence was completely irrelevant to the story. One would assume that she was only there to support Julia through her drama with Campbell, but their relationship drama should not deserve enough attention to add another character in for it.

Then to top it all off, she kills off Anna. If you read the interview at the end of the book, Picoult claims this was the only ending that made sense to the medical issue at hand. It might have made sense to her, but as a reader, I felt cheated. Anna went through all the trouble to sue her parents so she wouldn’t have to give her kidney to Kate, and in the end, Picoult kills her off and takes her kidney anyway. It would be disrespectful to force someone do a favor that major against their will when they are alive, but it is despicable to take something that they fought so hard to keep when they are dead. Honestly, between Picoult and Sara Fitzgerald (the mother), I’m not sure who’s a worse person.

While I thought that overall, “My Sister’s Keeper” was a heartwarming story, it could be cut in half and it would be exactly the same.

The Ironic Unrealism of Reality TV

Turn on E! Entertainment, or MTV, and people like this will pop up in your face:

It is blatantly obvious that Reality TV is taking over the entertainment world. This genre seems to be replacing the sitcom craze of the 90s, but will it ever measure up? At least the sitcoms were funny, less superficial, and they didn’t give off the impression that anything happening on the show is remotely close to reality.

I read an interesting article which basically trashed reality TV to bits. The author (who’s name is unknown) wrote that reality TV is a pathetic excuse for media, and that “85% [of the show] is not reality.” While I completely agree with them here, reality TV can only have an effect on those who take it too seriously. Of course the shows are not “reality”, and they are only given that name because cameras follow people around, documenting their lives. Take “The Hills” for example; I am a huge fan, but I know that the show is scripted. The producers would say “this happened, but act it out this way for the cameras”. In all fairness to them, this makes absolute sense. I mean, would you watch a show about people typing all day on their computers at work? Audiences want drama, and the best way to do this is to exaggerate the drama happening in people’s lives. If you were to critique a show like “The Hills”, people would go crazy if they constantly had that much drama in their lives. I can’t speak for everyone, but I only watched “The Hills” for the thrill of 22 minutes worth of drama. And, well…maybe for Brody Jenner too.

The only sad part of reality TV is that they make people famous for absolutely nothing. A prime example would be the Kardashians. Sure they were rich before “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, but the show allowed them to build an enormous empire for themselves. I don’t personally watch the show, because I agree with Barbara Walters when she told them they have no talent. Yes,the girls are beautiful, but what about them really stands out? This is a show that is based primarily on vanity, greed, and wealth, and many people are concerned that kids who watch that show are being given the wrong values in life. Fair enough, TV can be influential, but it up to the parents of those kids to give them the correct values, whatever those may be. If reality TV is effecting someone to the point where they are changing everything they believe in, then they have a much bigger problem on their hands.

I would say the only reality shows that come close to real life are “Teen Mom”, and”16 and Pregnant”, only because they serve as a good wake up call for teenage girls. Other than that, it seems as though reality TV is the best way to become famous now, no talent required. About 10 or 20 years ago, so many talented actors were breaking into Hollywood through sitcoms and movies, and tons of singers were making it big on shows like American Idol. Now, more and more, actors are singing and singers are acting, and random people are becoming famous for their money and botox injections.

At least we have something juicy to read in magazines..I guess…

Toddlers and Tiaras and Disturbed People

I would have written on this topic sooner, but I didn’t have a blog back then. I initially wanted to put up pictures of all the girls, but felt that everyone can Google that themselves if they want to. I have a lot of strong opinions about Toddlers and Tiaras, so to all those moms out there who are entering their daughters in this pageant: don’t read this if you are not prepared to be criticized. Trust me, you will be offended.

Remember that adorable little girl who went on stage dressed in a costume from a certain movie? The girl’s mom defended herself in an article saying that it was supposed to be “comical” and that she did it because she loves Julia Roberts. Yes, Pretty Woman was a great movie, and Julia’s performance was capturing as always. So if you love Julia Roberts so much, don’t insult her by dressing your three year old up as her in a movie playing a prostitute, on international television.

Another sweet little girl’s mom gives her an energy drink that is half Mountain Dew and half Red Bull. Apparently the “pageant crack”, which are sticks of powdered sugar, did not give her daughter enough energy. I’m not sure how old the little girl is, but she is way too young to have that much caffeine in her body. Red Bull gave a grownup man a heart attack – it is terrifying to think what the effect would be on a toddler. It’s a fact that caffeine stunts your growth too, and this whole situation begs the question: does this mom want her daughter to be 3 feet tall all her life? Keep in mind that kids are cruel, and they will tease her for her height. Mom, will you being in the spotlight now really be worth your daughter’s misery in the future? I hope to God your answer is no.

These are just two extreme examples, but the bottom line still remains that this concept of televising little girls parading about in provocative clothing is disturbing. Watch clips of when the moms are getting their daughters ready for the performance, and re-think the word abuse. You will see the moms tugging at their daughters hair, while the girls scream because it hurts and they are tired. You will see the moms layering foundation, powder, bronzer, tanner, blush, and highlighters on their toddler’s face. Their skin is too delicate to handle that much makeup. I understand putting a little blush, and eyeshadow and lipstick on them, but not making your toddler wear more makeup than you would as an adult. People think that yelling at your child is abuse, but it’s not. This is abuse.

There are countless awareness programs out there to prevent sexual abuse against children, and yet, people are setting up their daughters as victims. Look at what happened to JonBenet Ramsey. She was involved in these pageants, and she was also raped before she was killed. Think about the type of people who watch this show. Like any other parent, these moms would naturally be upset if their daughter was sexually abused, or grew up thinking this behavior is normal. Unfortunately, these are only two of the many consequences of making your five year old look like a stripper.