Entries Posted in "Culture"

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The Battle of Words
May 29, 2009

spellingbee2.jpgWithout fail, the Scripps National Spelling Bee always manages to deliver on entertainment, educational value, and irony-laced words. Though I doubt it's ever intentional, some of the words spelled in the final rounds of the last few years have been incredibly fitting for the times we were in. For example, one of the harder words of 2007, was "Kakistocracy," which means "Government under the control of a nation's worst or least-qualified citizens." It was true then, and sadly, it's still true now. I tucked that word into my arsenal to use on my future children or the next time I got pulled over by the police for a random criminal check (a virtual certainty when you are black and breathing and live in Seattle, Washington).

Usually I am glued to a television during the Scripps Spelling Bee in the same manner many are currently observing the NBA Finals. That probably makes me a nerd, but unfortunately, giving several hours a week to the NBA isn't paying my bills right now so my loyalty is at about zero. Sadly, spelling bees offer no amazing game-winning, half-court three pointers, or big names like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. What spelling bees do offer is a chance to observe how incredibly powerful language can be. I continue to be fascinated by the English language, but particularly, I'm intrigued by these pre-pubescent, somewhat nerdy type-competitors who are walking dictionaries of etymology and lexicon. Winning a spelling competition seems a bit of a waste of all the knowledge if you ask me. Then again, I can't spell "definitely" correctly without my trusty spellcheck (also known as the biggest ignorance enabler of the 20th century).

This year, however, the Scripps Spelling Bee threw me for a loop when the final, winning word was, brace yourselves, "Laodicean."

Did I hear that correctly? Laodicean? Do you know how incredibly easy that word is and should be? Here I usually sit in a complete stupor for most of the spelling bee because I can't even pronounce let alone spell the words these 11-year-olds are decimating in the first round alone and yet I can spell the final, winning, championship word in my sleep? Trust me when I say, I'm just not that smart when it comes to these things. I am the girl who a few years ago, once asked in all sincerity, "What day is Cinco de Mayo?" A student of Spanish I am not. These wordmongers could eat me for lunch in a spelling bee. So trust me when I say it is a sad day in American when this here writer can spell the winning word of the national spelling bee. Yet "Laodicean" is ranked among the most "difficult words" and fit to challenge these top spellers? America, I am concerned.

You probably think me to be a bit melodramatic. After all, it's a spelling bee for goodness' sake. Perhaps I am overreacting, but humor me anyway. Let's go over some of the winning words of the last decade or so, shall we?

2008 - guerdon
2007 - serrefine
2006 - Ursprache
2005 - appoggiatura
2004 - autochthonous
2003 - pococurante
2002 - prospicience
2001 - succedaneum
2000 - demarche
1999 - logorrhea

Those are definitely some tough words. Some of the most difficult words to spell are actually quite short. The above words present a challenge because their pronunciations can throw off the speller, as do the silent letters and particular word origin. I know for a fact I couldn't spell 95% of them without at least being off by a few letters. So what is my beef with "Laodicean?" Quite simply, it's a very easy word for anyone who has ever cracked open a stinkin' Bible. Please note: I do not think the Bible stinks...it was merely an idiomatic expression. See how cool words can be? Moving on.

"Laodicea" is a pretty standard, run-of-the-mill Biblical word. "Laodicea" was an ancient city and the "Laodicean church" was often referenced in the Bible. And why do I know this? Because as early as I could be scolded for telling my classmate to "shut up," I had the Bible drilled into every crevice of my cerebral cortex. There was a time when people of many different religions, ethnicities, and walks of life actually had read or studied the Bible at some point in their lives. Not for indoctrination, but for educational purposes. Fancy that! If you go back a few generations, you'll fine few among them who can't quote at least one scripture from the Bible. Today, there's a whole segment of young Americans who can't even name the first book of the Bible.

While some dismiss it as merely a historical text or a bunch of "old stories," even the most atheistic of scholars would be remiss to not admit the Bible is one of the single greatest and epic pieces of literary illumination to ever exist on the planet. Not only is it a mastery of allegory, narrative, prophecy, sarcasm, hyperbole, verse and metaphorical brilliance, it also happens to be the best selling book of all time, ever, period, no contest. So much historical context and literary insight has been drawn from the Bible it's difficult to find the point where the Bible ends and our nation's history begins. Just reading the Bible cover to cover instantly puts the average person light years ahead of their peers in terms of endurance and subconscious insight. To this day scholars remain in all out war about what certain scriptures and passages of the Bible infer. I've witnessed it at the halls of my very liberal, very secular university. Safe to say, the Bible is a pretty important book.

So it is quite interesting to me that in 2009, and among the most challenging of challenging words and supposed best and brightest subjects "Laodicean" is even intended to present a real challenge. My how far we've fallen away from being a learned society. I wonder if anyone has drawn a correlation between the incredible generational success of people of the Jewish faith in America and the fact that many (though not all) young, Jewish teenagers in America actually have a rite-of-passage where they have to learn and memorize the Torah, the Talmud or at least part of its contents? It's something to ponder.

Perhaps I'm playing with a few ideas that need to be fleshed out, but I think there is something to be said for historical literacy. I've previously written about how robbed this generation is of the privilege of being well-versed in our nation's founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights. Just the simple act of digesting eloquent wisdom writings produces transference like no other.

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Why Privilege Isn't Enough
May 14, 2009

There have been a few trending news stories in the media I'd like to comment on particularly because one hits close to home. Over the years I've noticed our culture has a strange fascination with what I call "well to do" crimes. We simply can't understand how it is that supposedly "good" people from "good" upbringings who went to "good" schools could ever commit any type of heinous crime. When someone from the "wrong" side of the tracks commits a crime, we chalk it up to their upbringing, but if someone is clean and well-spoken, we want to run forensics on their kindergarten lunchbox and dig all into their past to find out where things "went wrong." I do not understand the fixation people have with figuring out why people do bad things.

The way I see it, sinners sin. What's not to get about that?

Sometimes I think the world needs to stop watching so much Oprah. Wake up members of humanity, people are not inherently good (aren't you glad you came to read this cheery message, today?). There is nothing in the history of civilization that points to a society where people were just born onto the earth and woke up the next day to declare, "You know what? I think I'm going to do the right thing today." "Maybe I won't own slaves." "Maybe I won't slaughter innocent people." "Maybe I won't be a dictator." "Maybe I won't claim I discovered land that was already inhabited." The world we live in is not an after school special. It is a world full of people who have to wake up every day and make a decision if they will choose life or death and choose right or wrong. It is a world where peoples' worldviews are not always formed in healthy environments.

Do you see this picture?


This is the man we all know as Adolf Hitler. What has always been interesting to me about some of the people who have left a legacy of death and destruction in their wake is that they were once babies too. Am I the only person who finds that totally crazy? Yet it's incredibly humbling and a reminder to us all that we all had a clean slate from which to begin --- the opportunity in our lifetime, to choose what path we'll follow.

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My Black & White Life
April 22, 2009

The older I get, and the more I set my sights on starting a family, the more reflective I am on how our cultural and spiritual upbringings affect the core of who we are. While I believe that our spiritual upbringing (or lack thereof) is probably the most foundational aspect we receive from our families, I think culture plays a significant part as well. Take corporal punishment, for example. The largest contingency of spankers in America is likely the Christians and for obvious (to me) reasons. The second largest contingency of spankers likely consists of people of color. I know many African American families who are not Christians, but do spank their children. Ambra's theory is this: if you live in a America and you are not considered a person of color or not a Christian, nine times out of ten you probably don't believe in spanking. I could be totally wrong. We'll never know now will we?

I use that little scenario to illustrate a simple point. As an African American I can wholeheartedly say that black families often raise their children very differently than "White" Americans. I realize this isn't a white and black world, but in many ways both literally and figuratively, I believe "black" and "white" represent two different extremes and I shall use them for the sake of convenience. All my brethren of color, feel free to use my logic as a template for your own culture.

There was a time in my life, however brief, when I thought I was a white kid. It was a fleeting thought and it almost got me killed. When I was ten years-old, my mother made me mad and in an attempt to manipulate her, I threatened to run away. I'd seen many of my friends from school use this tactic and it worked on most of the sitcoms (except the Cosby Show) so I figured I'd give it a shot. I wholeheartedly expected to receive some serious ministering to my backside, but my mother decided to run psychological warfare on me. Given this expectation, you can imagine my chagrin when my mother responded to my threat with, "Fine by me; just don't take anything you didn't buy."

Don't take anything I didn't buy? Wasn't expecting that one. I thought, where on earth did this woman come up with these snappy retorts? As a child growing up, there were times I seriously considered surrendering my uterus to the authorities for fear I'd never be able to match the ingenious rejoinders my mother pulled out of thin air. Surely my children would suffer from my lack of brilliance.

The next hour was agony as I tore apart every crevice of my room, searching for something, anything I'd purchased with my own money. After rifling through every drawer, sadly, I came up short. My clothes, books, and personal items all laid claim to the same financier: my loving parents. After digging a bit further into my messy closet, the one thing I managed to find was a pathetic-looking pink clay jewelry box with green flowers painted along the sides. It was one of the better pieces among the graveyard of my overambitious school art class projects. There was a time I could’ve sworn I'd be launching my own Plazgraff collection and no one could tell me otherwise. It is a sad day anywhere when you are running away to live on your own and all you have to your name is a poorly constructed piece of pottery. (Coincidentally, this reality would repeat itself twelve years later when I moved out on my own for real.) The four walls of the jewelry box were kind of lumpy and the handled top I made shrunk in the kiln so it didn't exactly fit perfectly. It was ugly and not well constructed, but in that moment, it was the most beautiful thing I owned.

I stuffed a few useless knickknacks into my precious jewelry box--some Bonne Bell lip gloss given to me by a friend and a few sticks of gum. It was summer so I didn't need a jacket. On my way out the door I bid farewell to my mother. I didn't bother waking my father from his nap to say goodbye. This was all a ritual I thought, and any moment my mother was going to beg me not to leave. I journeyed outside about fifty yards from our home and found a spot where the grass and the sidewalk meet. Just me and my ugly jewelry box there sitting on the curb. A few neighborhood friends in our predominately black neighborhood were out riding their bikes. They came and sat and commiserated with me. I told them my story of escape from the evil dictator formerly known as my mother. In many ways I was their hero. I'd done the unthinkable and managed to come out without unscathed.

After a good hour of watching blades of grass grow, it was clear that my mother called my bluff. Clearly I hadn't thought this one through and found myself missing home more than home missed me. I packed up my pride (and my jewelry box) and headed back to the house. Standing at my parent's doorstep with my tail between my legs, I regrettably rang the door bell. As if I were a turkey whose thermometer button just popped out, my mother looked pleasantly expectant to see me. I apologized to her and was banished to my bedroom to "think about" what I'd done. I never appreciated my parents as much as I did that day. As I headed up the stairs, my mom called out behind me,

"Oh and by the way…that jewelry box? You made that at your expensive private school. We paid for that too!"

Right then I knew I was officially indigent. That was the first and last time I ever ran away. That type of behavior might've worked in other households, but my mother wasn't having it.

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Celebrity Hubris
May 21, 2007

There are days (though few in number) when I am absolutely astounded with celebrities and the ignorance of their own inconsequentiality. Granted, we all like to inflate the importance of our own existence every now and then, no? The difference between the average person and those who hold a larger market share of media air time is consciousness. That is to say while the average person has enough sense to know when they have an inflated sense of their own fabulousness, certain celebrities do not.

A recent opinion column in the Los Angeles Times affirmed my long held suspicion. Theodore Dalrymple writes:

The cult of celebrity is not new, but it is increasing in its scope and effect. At one time, people wanted to simply gawp at the famous, and possibly dress like them. Now, many take their moral and political opinions from them.
Lord help us all if we are taking our moral and political cues from the likes of Angelina Jolie, Rosie O'Donnell, and dare I say, Robert Sylvester Kelly.

As though it weren't bad enough that Rose O'Donnell might be vying for a slot as the new host of "The Price Is Right," now R&B singer/pedophile, R. Kelly is comparing himself with Martin Luther King.

In a recent interview with Hip-Hop Soul Magazine, Kelly said,"I'm the Ali of today. I'm the Marvin Gaye of today. I'm the Bob Marley of today. I'm the Martin Luther King, or all the other greats that have come before us. And a lot of people are starting to realize that now."

Quite possibly cold hard evidence R. Kelly is smoking crack. To that end, he is possibly right in comparing himself to Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye. Kelly and his publicist have been back-peddling since the New York Post first ran the quote. Kelly's publicist has since clarified that Kelly was simply pointing out that he's a prolific songwriter of his time.

Generally speaking, writing and producing a lot of hit songs isn't exactly the qualification for joining the ranks of Martin Luther King. And if I recall correctly, Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) was quite the outspoken activist during his reign as heavyweight champion. He was outspoken against the Vietnam War among many other things and despite my issues with the Nation of Islam and just about everything he stood for, at least the man stood for something. That is a heck of a lot more than Mr. Kelly can say.

What disturbs me more than anything is the fact that people (who deserve to be in jail) such as Kelly and others who shall remain nameless continue to feel comfortable talking up their own egos because there is little to no accountability. Instead, the masses still buy albums and bother interviewing him for the sake of selling magazines. To boot, so-called advancement organizations like the NAACP are idiotic enough to nominate the man for an image award while he was under indictment for charges related to child pornography. Way to go NAACP.

It is interesting to me how rarely we make the connection between talent and the need for character. It's as though a person's giftedness or talent somehow make them exempt from moral standards or accountability for their sphere of influence. If our culture is truly drawing opinions and moral conclusions from such characters, doling out moral byes is dangerous ground to be treading.

Perhaps it is accurately fitting that R. Kelly nicknamed himself the "Pied Piper of R&B." A little research on the history of the "Pied Piper of Hamelin" folklore reveals an ending that is terribly eerie:

"While the inhabitants were in church, he played his pipe again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. One hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and never seen again."
Oh my.

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The Cult of the Offended
March 22, 2006

I'm not sure when, but at some time during the last 50 or so years, Americans decided (either by the collective, or by acquiescence) that one of their rights under God was the right to live life without the presence of offense. Not a day passes by without some adult requesting special treatment as a result of their "offense." The accompanying ritual to this sad, pathetic waste of everyone's good time is a society that is usually willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the offended and will often do everything in its power to ensure that offense never takes place.

What's most interesting to me is how the complaints about "offense" are usually coming from the same types of people. These are the people that crave ambiguity and find fault in simple things like textbook definitions of male and female. Heaven forbid if anything is that simple. But no, the inference that a man who dresses up as a woman is confused is somehow viewed as offensive or my personal favorite cop-out, "hate speech." These are often the same people who don't like words like, "God" (with a big G), "Jesus," "Christ," or "obey the law."

A hilarious display of blatant one-sided offense took place earlier this week, when Amazon.com quickly rushed to correct an error that could have led customers to believe they were *gasp* a company that's doesn't support abortion. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

Amazon.com Inc. said Monday it had modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term "abortion" after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased.

Until the recent change, a user who visited the Seattle Internet retailer and typed in the word "abortion" received a prompt asking, "Did you mean adoption?" followed by search results for "abortion."

Spokeswoman Patty Smith said the automated prompt was purely based on technology, and that no human had made the decision to show the question.

"Adoption and abortion are the same except for two keystrokes," Smith said. "They also, in this case, happen to be somewhat related terms."

Still, Smith said she and other company officials decided to remove the question after receiving an e-mail complaint and deciding that it raised a valid concern.

The concern being what? That people might get the silly little idea that adoption is an alternative to abortion? Or that Amazon.com might lose credibility were customers to think they were anything but abortion supporting progressives?

Either way, the woman's complaint is a waste of time that could be better spent working on tools that can help them get my books to me more quickly, thank you very much.

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Rights & Responsibilities
March 6, 2006

Amid a stack of popular mis-conceptions espoused by our Western society is this rampant idea that freedom equals a person's ability to do whatever it is that pleases them at any given moment. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" seem to be muddled figments of five men's imagination. While unalienable the rights may be, clear and concise, they are not. What's most interesting to me however, it that the discussion of "rights" is almost never coupled with an equal analysis of "responsibilities." No "right," whether perceived or reality, exists without a corresponding responsibility.

The phrase "personal responsibility" has become politically charged over the last decade or so, being inappropriately branded as "right-leaning" propaganda. Regardless of political affiliation, background, or religious denomination, at the very least and in the very end, we are all accountable for our lives. Yet instead of trumpeting this doctrine that might actually set people free, we continue to fan the flame of a culture that encourages extended periods of youthfulness, reckless abandonment, and fabricated euphoria. A culture of temporary consciousness is like a dog that returns to its vomit. Just six months post-Katrina and Bourbon Street was already back to bumpin' Mardi gras style. America's entitlement and double-mindedness is thick in the air and it's starting to become pungent.

We're going to entitle ourselves all the way to destruction.

It's not enough that up until recently nearly every other state in America allowed most forms abortion to be performed. Since the South Dakota state legislature passed a bill outlawing abortion in all circumstances, every money-hungry pro-choice group from the four corners of the universe has come out of the woodworks to fight it because heaven forbid that in just one state, no unborn children will feel the wrath of the purpose-destroying vacuum.

Even more telling of stronghold-brand bias were the news headlines which at a glance read,

"Abortion as a crime: a nightmare reborn"
"Is Roe vs. Wade Doomed?"
"Is South Dakota Abortion Bill the New Gay Marriage Amendment?"
"An Act of Social Cruelty: South Dakota bars abortions"
The blood of the unborn cries out from the ground and I promise, their story of victimhood is far more convincing than NARAL's.

Most pro-choice groups have attempted to shade their ill motives by focusing their arguments on exceptions and not rules. The average abortions performed in America aren't a fix for rape or incest. Instead, the majority of abortions have become the solution to the chain of compromising and reckless decisions of both men and women that ultimately reaped an undesired and unloved consequence.

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The Danger of the Ugg Theory
November 15, 2005

Back from my online slumber, it does me great pleasure to announce that 50 Cent's biopic flick "Get Rich or [end up in hell] Tryin'" was beat out its opening weekend by none other than the heart-warming tale, "Chicken Little." Sometimes it's the small victories that make me smile. With much of what is currently being propagated through mass media, it's easy for us to throw our hands up in disgust, declaring our multi-sensory media to be a mere reflection of all that's wrong with the world today. To be honest, I'm not so sure this is the case. Television, movies and music don't follow the culture. Instead, they dictate, prophesy, and cast vision and ideology to the culture. We become what we eat.

Television is quite clever really. Every week, in 30-minute or 1-hour increments, philosophy and worldview can be disseminated to the masses, one channel, one reality show, and one series at a time. I am not now nor have I ever been a conspiracy theorist. I like my television and tune in regularly to get my unnecessary fix. Will my children be doing the same on a regular basis? Not under my hawk-eye watch. I am increasingly concerned by the suspicious and subliminal doctrine that consistently hits our airwaves. I'm not fond of using a pop culture references as a launch off for intelligent discourse, but it's been awhile so indulge me for a bit.

This fall, ABC announced a new show, "Commander in Chief," starring Geena Davis as President Mackenzie Allen. Via this new show, all of America has been introduced to the idea of an acting female president. Wow! What coinky dink! While the natural mind ponders how cool the fake scenario would be, the more rational me is inclined to see something so blatant as a postured attempt to ready the American people to vote a female Democrat (whose first name rhymes with "Killer Bee") into office. It is commonly known that despite Democratic loyalty, liberal America isn't quite ready for a woman in the Oval Office (and for reasons I will expound on later, I pray we are never ready).

Yes; the theory sounds crazy. I mean, how on earth could a piddly television series affect the voting decisions of the American people? I'll tell you how. Image creates desire. I call it "The Ugg Theory." For those who are unfamiliar, "Uggs are a popular brand of sheepskin boots currently being fanatically purchased by millions of men and women throughout the world. Incidentally, Uggs are also arguably the most hideous fashion trend to grace America since the days of hammer pants. My theory is simply this: as uggly as they may be, if you see enough pairs of Uggs flashed before your eyes, eventually you will accept them. Soon after that, you might even like them, and if you're a reluctant follower of trends, you might even buy the darn things. So ask me why $119 later, the very pair of shoes that were once the object of my ridicule are now sitting in my closet? See it enough times without counter reinforcement and you're bound to buy in.

But this is not about fashion. This is about worldview (also known as the perspective through which people dissect and comprehend life).

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What I Love About America
October 5, 2005

Joseph C. Phillips (please rise for the mention of a Cosby Show alum) has asked a few of us to write about why we love America. That's an episodic endeavor so I'll probably attempt it later this week when I'm not sleep-deprived. In the meantime, Michael Bowen's list, "100 Things I Love About America" started the first meme I actually thought worthy enough to contribute to. And yes I sure did just finish that sentence with a preposition and start this one with a conjunction. Hi, my name is Ambra Nykol and this is MY website. Grammar is all relative here.

I didn't have time to get to 100, but with all poignancy aside, here are 63 things I love about America:

  1. The overflow of leather-bound Bibles and the freedom to read those Bibles.
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. The Grambling State University Marching Band
  4. Weddings
  5. 20 nail salons within a 5 block radius
  6. The South
  7. The Reflecting Pool
  8. Washington D.C.
  9. Worship Music
  10. Baby Dedications
  11. The New York Subway
  12. Private Schools
  13. Apple Computers
  14. Bacon
  15. eBay
  16. Times Square
  17. the Cheesecake Factory
  18. The Gap
  19. The Right to Bear Arms
  20. Lake Washington
  21. AAA
  22. 24-Hour Walgreen's
  23. Ukrop's
  24. Free Wi-fi
  25. Overpriced coffee
  26. The Debit Card
  27. Google
  28. Jazz
  29. Bill Cosby
  30. Elevator Music
  31. Front porches
  32. Cobblestone roads
  33. Philly Cheesesteaks
  34. The Blue Angels
  35. Collard Greens
  36. Manhattan
  37. Cable Television
  38. Salmon
  39. Dallas, Texas
  40. Strawberry Lemonade
  41. Trader Joe's
  42. Cotillions
  43. Walla Walla Onions
  44. American Apparel
  45. Chik-Fil-A
  46. Northface
  47. Choices
  48. Burgermaster
  49. Jeans
  50. Granny Smith Apples
  51. Nordstrom
  52. The Cosby Show
  53. Peach Cobbler
  54. Barnes & Noble
  55. Hip hop
  56. Malls
  57. Strawberry Shortcake
  58. TiVo
  59. 24-Hour Fitness
  60. Leather
  61. Snood, Minesweeper, Tetris, and Solitaire (otherwise known as the world's most addictive computer games)
  62. Sundays
  63. The Grand Canyon (from a distance)
So I've noticed that the majority of these items have to do with food. Forgive me for being a glutton. Take Cobb's meme and run with it. I think this one is fantabulous.

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Thursday's Missive: What do you take?
September 8, 2005

I'm lifting this idea from another blogger whose name escapes me right now because I am a lazy websurfer and I don't write things down, nor do I discipline myself to use "favorites," or any of the great web tools out there for keeping track of the blogs you read.

So you have to leave your house. The situation is pretty serious and you're not quite sure the house will be there when you return. Let's just say hypothetically, you have about 15 minutes to decide what to take. You may be leaving on foot, loading up your car or even hopping on a plane. Either way,

What must absolutely come with you?

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Fun in the Culture War
August 30, 2005

The danger with people who sit by passively and act as though the events and attitudes of this age have no direct correlation with the quality of life of the next generation is that they are sadly mistaken. In fact, single-generational thinking (as often typified by those who have chosen to enter into relationships in which they cannot procreate) is to blame for much in our society. These "sadly mistaken" individuals can often be heard making commentary like, "What's the big deal?" and "I don't really care what people do in the privacy of their bedroom," and "In the end does it really even matter?"

I submit to the "sadly mistaken" that yes it does matter.

The dangerous thing about the war on the culture is that it doesn't run around announcing itself. There are no pop-ups next to your television that emerge at the slightest hint of convolution. No one calls you up and says, "Hey, by the way, your child's history book is going to plant seeds of confusion that will require at least 5 years of deprogramming."

No.

Like TLC, the culture war creeps. You know, it keeps itself on the down low. Next thing you know, television is semi-pornographic and 12-year-old girls are having sex. Let's take a stroll down today's culture war lane:

Humans on Display at London Zoo
The AP reports:

Caged and barely clothed, eight men and women monkeyed around for the crowds Friday in an exhibit labeled "Humans" at the London Zoo.
..............
"Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals ... teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate," Wills said.

The exhibit puts the three male and five female "homo sapiens" amid their primate relatives. While their neighbors might enjoy bananas and a good scratch, these eight have divided interests, from a chemist hoping to raise awareness about apes to a self-described actor/model and fitness enthusiast.

The human is "just another primate" eh? Throw out morality, self-control, and conscience. Man is just another primate and therefore subject to all primal urges, right? Add this one to the mounting evidence that the religion of evolutionism (because yes, it is a religion) wants your sensibility.

It's Alright for Kids to Cuss at Teachers
At least that's what a UK school has decided. In an effort to curb foul language, authorities at an upper school in Wellingborough, England have decided to enforce the 5 strikes rule. According to the UK's "Daily Mail," the new policy is as follows:

"Within each lesson the teacher will initially tolerate (although not condone) the use of the f-word (or derivatives) five times and these will be tallied on the board so all students can see the running score...Over this number the class will be spoken to by the teacher at the end of the lesson."
Charming.

The "Transgeneration"
In case you were looking for reasons not to watch television this season, the Sundance Channel has announced a new show which will follow college students as they seek to "change more than just their major." On this show, the boys are not boys, nor are the girls girls. In fact, each sex wishes it were the opposite. This concept just disturbs me beyond measure. While I am certain this program will be presented in true "feel good tv" format, I wonder how truly far from our original purpose has humanity fallen? Glorified confusion is dangerous no matter how it is served.

PC Pre-School Teachers Wanted
A friend forwarded me this local Craig's List job advertisement for a pre-school teacher which included the phrase, "Applicants must also be familiar with Anti-Bias philosophies." Somehow I don't think this sentence is referring to racial profiling. "Anti-Bias philosophies?" Please.

And the battle ensues....

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City

I Have a Talk Show