Posts Tagged ‘PEOPLE’

Happy Mother’s Day! Don’t be fooled by appearances. This furry mom’s guilt is eating her up inside.

Cats, Kitten

Cats, Kitten (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In spite of what your children tell their friends, therapists and parole officers, you are not the worst mother in the world. In honor of mothers everywhere, squirming with guilt and wondering what went wrong, the Culture Vulture has compiled a list of bad moms.

1. Ma Barker. This mom raised four outlaw sons and travelled with them on their violent crime sprees. Because local television news had yet to be invented, the country never got to hear this now-common refrain: “But, really, he was a good boy.”

2. Joan Crawford. Movie-star mom, whose most famous line does not come from any of her films. “No more wire hangers!”

3. Britney Spears. When you lose custody of your kids to Kevin Federline, you know you’ve hit rock bottom as a mom.

4. Gertrude, Hamlet’s mom. The Queen of Denial, she married the man who murdered her husband, Hamlet’s father.

5. Octomom. After giving birth to a litter, some said a cat is a better mother than this mom, but the Culture Vulture thinks that is an insult to cats everywhere.

6. Burnt Marshmallow Mom. This tanning-bed addict makes a Toddlers and Tiaras mom look downright June Cleaverish.

7. Herodias. The original Dance Mom. Her talented daughter, Salome, could have taken home a gigantic trophy. Instead, at the urging of her mom, Salome requested the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

8. Jenny McCarthy. Playboy model, self-appointed expert and spokeswoman for the autism/vaccination connection. Only in America.

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Happy Secretary’s Day! Oops, I mean Happy Administrative Assistant’s Day. Shucks, just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? When did secretary become a dirty word? Long before television’s Madmen hit the airwaves, female clerical support staffers decided that secretary was a demeaning title. George Orwell wouldn’t have been surprised. When retail clerks and cashiers become ‘associates’, we know that Thinkspeak has overtaken English as the language of today. Maybe that explains why I can’t find ‘Gal Friday’ in the help wanted section of Craigslist.

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Call Me Bob

Chief Sitting Bull


For the umpteenth time this month, I’ve come across yet another white anglo-saxon claiming to have the blood of Native Americans running through their veins. The blood is always mentioned in vague terms, the ancestor never actually identified. The one commonality is that  these pale-faced wannabes are always adamant concerning the actual tribe from which they originate. They may not know if it was a great-granny or a second-cousin-twice-removed, but there is no hesitation that they are of solid Cree/Cherokee/Navajo/etc. stock. For the sake of full disclosure, I must confess that I, too, have made the claim of bearing the blood of some long-lost Cherokee relative.  I can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of reverse racism going on here. Are we caucasions so sensitive about having taken over this continent that we somehow harbor a hidden need to prove our right to be here? If everyone I knew who claims to be part-Sioux really were part-Sioux, it is hard to imagine that there would not be Indian casinos sprouting up like weeds on reservations in every valley of this country. Oh, that’s right. Never mind.

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universal potting soil
Tulip, 2005 Floriade, Canberra

From such humble origins, a tulip bursts into life.

What do we, as humans, share with those bulbs?

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Hidden Strength

Hand in hand

Image by Images by John 'K' via Flickr

Babies are full of potential. It takes time to reveal their talents.

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The two paths (m)

Somewhere along the road to self-love, the Boomers

were annointed with the sacred title of Teenager. Up

until that time, they were considered child or adult.

The age at which this mysterious transformation took

place occurred at some point during those so-called

teen years, but occur, it did. With the advent of the

Holy Teen, something new was created. Neither child,

woman or man, this creature became an entity unto

itself, with norms that allowed it to behave in ways

previously unthinkable. Rebellion, experimentation

and self-destruction became an acceptable way of life.

Not for children, not for adults, but for the Teen, of

course! The Culture Vulture thinks the Teen has

outlived its usefulness. The time has come to do away

with the entire concept of the Teenager. Children must

defer to the adult and the adult must assume full

responsibility for the choices he or she makes. No more

excuses, no more delayed maturation and above all, no

more crappy music, crappy movies and crappy fashion.

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Before and After

White Peacock, Pavo cristatus albus

“All we, like eggs, are waiting to be hatched”

C.S. Lewis

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After Midnight in Paris

Can anything good happen after midnight? Woody Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris, answers that question with a resounding maybe! Dreams, fantasies and mythical thinking happen after midnight. Painless time travel happens after midnight. But, lies, deception and stolen kisses also happen after midnight. And ultimately, crushed hopes and the harsh light of early morning happen…you guessed it: after midnight. However, in Woody’s world, repeated visits (after midnight, of course) to Paris in the twenties – the Paris of Zelda and F.Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway – only serve to reinforce nostalgia for that romantic era. The softening effect of rain upon narrow cobblestone streets only whets the appetite for more of the same. The seductive effect of a sweet and beautiful flapper from that era only increases the hunger. But flappers are only human. They, too, long for a different era, a more romantic era. A beautiful flapper wishes to discard her beaded sheaths and feathered headbands, if only she can be permanantly transported to La Belle Epoque. Ahhh, La Belle Epoque. Now, that would be the perfect time to be alive, she says. So, I wonder: If I could be transported into another era, which one would I choose? How about you?

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face value

Look, no wrinkles! Not at all scary, oh no.

“I’m invisible! I’ve never been invisible before!” So says Old Lodgeskins to Jack Crabb in the funniest movie ever made about cowboys and indians, Little Big Man. Old Lodgeskins is traipsing through a bloody battle between the United States  cavalry and the Oglala nation. Jack Crabb, played by Dustin Hoffman, desperately tries to shield the elderly chief. Old Lodgeskins ignores Jack’s pleas. He is convinced that powerful medicine makes him invisible to his enemies. Old Lodgeskins would be surprised to learn that in today’s culture, he would still be invisible, with or without powerful medicine. Why? Because he is old. In today’s culture, men and women pay top dollar for powerful medicine so that they won’t be invisible. Fragile skin that has survived more than half a century will be stretched, plumped and injected because of its inhabitant’s desperate desire to be seen, rather than ignored. Atomic breasts become missiles, aimed at the world, launch-ready and threatening, but definitely not invisible. Like overripe produce, bodies are laid out, examined for flaws, scraped and polished until their sell-by date is erased, hopefully forever. The culture that honored its elderly – the culture that Old Lodgeskins took for granted – is, today, as rare as a teepee.

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Stedman Graham

Pope-rah's Concubine?

In a stunning series of events this week, the Vatican announced its nomination of Oprah for sainthood. Amidst the excitement generated by Oprah’s last appearance on her long running talk show, the Pope was quoted as saying, “The woman has miraculous powers that can only be attributed to a divine source. No one but Oprah could have made Stedman Graham a household name.” Rumors abound that the Holy See was  inspired by the appearances of  Tom Hanks, Madonna and Dakota Fanning, among others. Beyonce sang a rousing tribute to Oprah, wearing fish net stockings and a skin-tight tuxedo jacket. “Women everywhere have graduated to a new level of understanding of who we are!” declared Beyonce, without irony, proving that bootyliciousness is no barrier to female empowerment. Scientologists Tom Cruise and Will Smith represented Oprah’s spiritual side, while Aretha Franklin and Usher offered rousing renditions of Amazing Grace and Oh, Happy Day, When Jesus Walked. A teary-eyed Oprah resisted the urge to announce an altar call, which could very well have created a stampede toward the stage. She proclaimed to her worldwide audience, “Your presence in front of your television honors me.” Fans everywhere have vowed to remain seated before their televisions for the foreseeable future. Harpo Studios acknowledges that Oprah’s unofficial title of ‘Pope-rah’ will not be officially adopted by Saint Oprah. “Don’t be silly,” said Gail, Oprah’s BFF. “There have been many, many popes, but there is only one Oprah. Why would she change her brand at this stage in her career?”

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