- Political correctness goes awry again...in my humble opinion: I realize that the minor children of prominent politicians should never be the targets of political opponents or media pundits. But grown people are fair game. That being said, I thought NBC reporter David Schuster was stupid and stuck his foot in his mouth late last week when he speculated on the air that Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out," presumably by her parents, on behalf of Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign. My impression, all things considered, was that Schuster felt like Chelsea was being aggressively used to make her mother seem more attractive to the younger, hipper registered voters. And the truth is, she is being used for that purpose, and there's nothing wrong with that. If I had a powerhouse spouse who once held the job that I want, and an attractive young, hip, child, I'd have them both in front of as many crowds as possible cheerleading for me. Was Schuster suggesting that someone in the Clinton campaign is an actual pimp and Chelsea is that person's employee? No. Was his choice of words to describe Chelsea's role dumb? Yes. Should he have been suspended over those words? I don't think so. At the time he stuck both feet in his mouth he wasn't reporting a straight, plain, news story. He was participating in a broadcast segment in which he was expected to share his opinion. He tried to do it in a hip, snarky way. And it backfired on him.
- The new face of irony: British singer Amy Winehouse. Winehouse, who won five Grammy Awards last night, got one trophy for her record "Rehab," a song whose chorus goes "They tried to make me to go to rehab and I said no, no, no!" But Winehouse did not attend the Grammys. She performed via satellite from the UK, where she is in...rehab. Seriously. But all kidding aside, good for her. Crack kills.
- Absent bears: I watched "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" the other night for like the 15th time. And it finally clicked with me what about that movie has always bugged me. No pandas. During those fight scenes in the bamboo forests, I wanted to see pandas come darting out of the woods, putting the bear smack down on unsuspecting hikers and travelers, sort of the way grizzlies do in the wild in the U.S. Don't ask me why. I just wanted pandas in that film and never got 'em, and it bummed me out.
- Karma sleeping on the job: I wish I had a photograph for you, but all I had on me was a cell phone camera with no flash when I encountered the following scenario on Saturday: Mrs. B, Cheko the Dog, and I were walking around the neighborhood and found ourselves next to a very well kept house several blocks from our own. We always compliment this place on our walks, 'cause the owners/residents make such an effort. Anyway, on their side fence the residents had posted a new sign to the effect of "You are responsible for your dog's waste....If he goes right here, please pick it up." So what do you think was lying in a tightly coiled pile right under the sign?
- Being sympathetic vs. being a pushover: Mrs. B and I attended a very productive meeting of homeowners, landlords, neighborhood activists, and city officials the other night. At issue was the gentrification of the neighborhood. We live on the south end of the 'hood. Some of the residents on the north end of our neighborhood are located just blocks from what amounts to a giant soup kitchen. So at all times of the day and night they have homeless rifling through their trash cans, sleeping and relieveing themselves on lawns, leaving their empty food containers on lawns, and generally hanging around on lawns. Thankfully absent was the recent-former police chief who at a similar meeting a few months back suggested I was a mean person and accused me of trying to legislate homelessness into illegality, because I asked him if there was anything the police could do to help move people along. I'm glad the old chief was absent, because I didn't have to explain again that his argument was apples vs. oranges, sympathy vs. sucker-hood. Homelessness can't be legislated anymore than we can mandate that every human is required to keep a roof over his head. What can be legislated, however, is behavior to some extent. If you spend hours at a time hanging out in front of someone else's house, dropping trash everywhere, relieving yourself, and hollering at passing cars, you're not a problem because at the end of the day you don't have a roof over your head. You're a problem because you're loitering and being a nuisance - mostly on private property, and you need to move on. If the former chief really believed that nonsense about a cop crackdown being tantamount to treating homelessness like a crime then he's a pushover, 'cause if you're being a nuisance on other people's property and you have nowhere to go, then the the government agencies that snatch taxes need to move you somewhere where you can get appropriate help and care.
Labels: homelessness, irony, Karma, nuisance, pandas