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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Truth, or a Variation on the Same

This is one of those breakfast blogs Dan VanRiper said I write.

The New York Times recently ran a story about how Rosa Parks WASN'T =the first black person to protest treatment on the bus. How did these others get ignored by history? Because history is arbitrary and not generally 100% accurate. And as a friend of mine put it, "Food for thought about figureheads...Teenagers don't get respect!"

Jackie Robinson was not the first black to play major league baseball, only the first one in several decades, which does not at all diminish his breakthrough. Meanwhile, the black players who reintegrated the NFL, friends of Robinson, BTW, are all but forgotten, or were until this recent Sports Illustrated story. Even if you're not a sports fan, read it, if you haven't. One writer has suggested these players ought to be in the football hall of fame.

My wife, who teaches English as a Second Language, tells me that sometimes only the primary teacher in a classroom is considered the "real" teacher by some students, whereas the specialists (ESL, speech) are though of more like teachers' aides. This is particularly true when the primary teacher is a male and the specialist is a female, and all of the specialty teachers in her schools are women. Stereotypical gender roles, even in our "enlightened" 21st century, come creeping back.

I've mentioned that when I was my daughter's age and in the hospital for an uncontrollable bloody nose, I was slackjawed to discover a male nurse and a female doctor; even at five and a half, I could be surprised that the world wasn't as I expected it to be.

I was listening to the podcast KunstlerCast #90: The Demise of Happy Motoring this week. The host, Duncan Crary, didn't know that "Happy Motoring" was a catchphrase of Esso gasoline (later Exxon). Duncan told Jim Kunsler said he'd Google the phrase, and I ended up doing the same. Apparently, Esso tried to be culturally diverse in its ads. Here are the Esso logo morphing into folks from the British Isles, and, showing some real stereotypes, these American folks.

Here's 18-and a half minutes of sharp political commentary. Eighteen-and-a-half minutes? Shades of Rose Mary Woods!

There seems to be no clear consensus on the meaning of Boxing Day.
ROG

2 comments:

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Oddly enough, just the other day I was saying exactly the same thing about Boxing Day to someone, then told them about the first theory mentioned in the linked article. New Zealand is like the UK in that Boxing Day, like Christmas Day, is a pubic holiday and if they fall on a weekend are observed the next weekday, so we, too, often get four-day weekends.

January 1 and 2 are also public holidays and also move to the following weekday if they fall on a weekend.

So, some years we get two four-day weekends in a row, and when that happens, astute workers will take the days off in between to get eleven days off while only using three days of the their annual leave.

And that's a bit of "Christmas season traditions" in New Zealand that you're not likely to read about in most Internet descriptions of traditions around the world.

Anonymous said...

Give a fool enough rope and he will hang himself........................................