24 February 2009

Where is your patriotism, Utah?

Welcome to Jeopardy. Do Doo Do Do Do Doo Do Do Doo Do Dooo (you know the diddy)

The category is: Quotable Authorities of 2009

The Answer is -- "Greatness is never a given."

The tall skinny guy with the glasses, buzzes in with "Who is Danny Boyle?" No, any other takers?

"Who is Rick Wagoner?" Eh! Also incorrect from the regal black woman in the middle.

"Tina Fey?!" No! I know she's your hero, Ellen, but at least phrase it in the form of a question.

Seriously... the list of possible authors to this generic remark is seemingly endless. You may be surprised to hear, then, that the quote and it's orator are under scrupulous criticism in Bountiful, Utah.

The forementioned quote was displayed on a junior high school electronic message board as part of the scholarly mission of one social science faculty to connect students with prominent historic and current event figures. This particular quote was given by Barak Obama, our current President of the United States, during his inaugural address.

A group of parents decided that this quotation and, they add, any quotation of current politicians, are inappropriate. "Our tax dollars hard at work!" they begrudgingly proclaim on their anonymous protest flyer, alongside a picture of the electronic message board displaying the reference with Obama's animated profile.

The school remains confused. Shouldn't our students be aware of the declarations of the man who leads our country? Why would a "group" of parents choose to communicate this hostile and unpatriotic message in secrecy? What is it about this particular quotation that is offensive?

I'm going to go on a shallow limb and say that there's a chance that these protesters would not be so agitated if someone else had been cited on the same words. The political race this last November was very close and segregated. Even McCain acknowledged and discouraged in his resigning speech that there would be citizens, after the race, inclined to be unsupportive towards the competing party and elected official.

Checks and balances are part of our democratic system. It is important to analyze our leaders actions and have an educated opinion on policies enforced. This allows us to make informed voting decisions in later years and ensure the choice brings success in leadership to our nation.

Beyond the secret communications of disapproval, what kind of message are we sending to these junior high students if we proclaim a lack of patriotism in not supporting President Bush's decision to go to war, yet decline Obama five neutral words. I suppose I was under the impression that all parties would, at least, acknowledge that Barak Obama is our current leader; maybe give him a chance to sign a document or present the State of the Union before kicking him off our public electronic message boards.

13 February 2009

Who knew Katie Chandler was famous?

The other day I needed to retrieve a photo off Facebook to update my LinkedIn profile (Yes, I got on Facebook at work, and Yes, we can no longer steal unsecured internet at home.). That sentence may give off the impression that I'm an avid social networker, but that is not the case. I rarely peruse the walls of Facebook anymore, and friends are frustrated that I can't keep them more updated of my life's events and photos.

So I wasn't too surprised when I noticed that a whopping six people had requested me as a friend since I last logged-in. Most were the usual, "Wow! I haven't seen you in forever," or "I suppose we can be casual Facebook stalkers." But one friend request was completely unusual. Not only did I not recognize the woman's profile pic, but her personal request message didn't register either:

"I love your books."

Hmmm... my books. I've always secretly wanted to be published, with only little hope that I can make it into The Friend with my most recent drawing of popcorn popping on the apricot tree. Does she know that I'm the main content editor for my former boss' new book? No, I suppose that wouldn't quite count as my book anyways. Maybe she saw my mother/daughter anti-smoking television ad from Sitka, Alaska that was created and aired in the 1990s, thinking that someday it will become a best selling novel.

Okay, so I'm not even close to a famous author. She's obviously mistaken. I even googled myself to check it out. I know well enough that there is a famous singer/songwriter, Katie Cavanaugh, who looks like she could make a great living in the Folk art world. Yet, never before have I googled my new married-self. Google had my Facebook picture on display (Note to self: Change profile settings to block public view). Then below the Google Facebook reference, was a book about a Ms. Katie Chandler by Shanna Swendson.

Click, click, swivel, swivel; and there I was, a five book series. Katie Chandler... the witch (???) from Texas who goes to New York to become a corporate marketing phenomenon. If it wasn't for the whole Texas thing, I might think my dreams have been discovered and published.

I'm determined to read at least the first book now. I'm famous in chick lit, who can pass that up? If it's good I'll tell the author I need to be the star of the movie when Summit Entertainment produces. Katie Chandler as Herself.... Has a nice ring to it, huh?