(Guest Post by Todd, The Bullshit Observer. How I know Becky: I’m just another blog-mirer.) New Years day, My 5 year old and I took a break from watching college football to play wiffle baseball in the back yard. At one point he had a little tantrum and threw his bat. As is my fatherly duty, I scolded him. “OK, not cool. You don’t throw your bat when you’re upset, Nick,” He picked up the bat and hit a few. Then he threw his bat again and I immediately barked, “Nick, that is unsportsman-like conduct,” somehow expecting him to know what that means. “What does that mean?” he asked. “It means that it’s….not cool….and….not how you are supposed to behave when you play baseball,” I said, somewhat feebly. “It’s not respectful of the game or your fellow players,” I added. Then I thought, “Well, what the hell does that mean?” Then I started thinking. Where has the idea of sportsmanlike conduct gone anyway? I just watched at least a half-dozen college football players get busted for late hits, pushing opponents, and celebrating in their opponent’s face. That kind of behavior seemed normal. Even routine. Then it occurred to me that the ideal of gentlemanly conduct (which “Sportmenship” is based upon and which can be defined as acting with an acute sense of respect and propriety), is one that is in dire need of a revival.When I pledged a fraternity in college, the active members made us “poopies” (pledges) memorize a poem by John Walter Waylen entitled, “The True Gentelman.” It goes like this:
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
The idea of this passage was clearly too good for the fellows that made me memorize it in the back of a station-wagon at 80 miles per hour with a hood over my head and then recite it while a match burned down to the tips of my fingers. Oh precious irony. Oh precious Neosporin. As we hop back into our lives this January 2nd, let us take a moment to absorb this ideal. Ladies too, for this is surely a gender generic idea with a gender specific name. Unlikely though it may seem, especially during an election cycle, it is possible for this true gentleman/gentlewoman ideal to make a comeback. Let us resolve ourselves to expect nothing less that this. Because if we start expecting dirty, underhanded behavior from those around us, above us or in the spotlight, then we will have accepted it and we will have succumbed to it and then the new ideal will more closely resemble Machiavelli’s The Prince. In a sense, that’s really what this blog, Deep Muck Big Rake, is all about. Isn’t it?
Posted by Todd @ 2:43 pm
Oy To The World, the Chinese Is Come, Let Jews Receive Their Food!
Aviva and Devra are in da house! Merry Christmas Ya’ll! Maybe you aren’t expecting a holiday greeting from the Two Jew Crew, but when Becky asked if we would guest blog, we requested Christmas. Why? Because we know
You People our Christian mishpuka should be able to spend time with their families, so we shall work today so you don’t have to! (So when Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur roll around return the fave. K?)
Jews and Chinese Food. Add Christmas to the mix and you get a Holy Trinity representing a Trifecta of Treyf. Why is this night different from any other night? Why on this night do Jews eat at Shun Lee instead of at home? From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day Jews are making their Kung Pao pilgrimages. Even
Working Mother Magazine Jews can’t tell you where this longstanding holiday observance originated, we only know it’s tradition. It’s how we roll. Everyone should know more about Jewish holiday observances beyond, “They tried to annihilate us. We survived. Let’s Eat!” If Becky where here, she would no doubt be calling out the people striving to be our nation’s leader to tell us why Jews eat Chinese food On Christmas.
Hillary should know. Fred Thompson may have the secret. Is Barack is just one consonant away from unlocking the mystery? Oh hell. Move over politics! Let’s dish…
Believe it or not, the combination of Jews and Chinese food is an ancient custom – OK, not biblical ancient nor is it an Ancient Chinese Secret, but it does appear to go back to the late 1800’s – no putzing around!
“In lower Manhattan, immigrant Jews opened delicatessens for other Jews,Italians ran restaurants for other Italians, and Germans had many places serving primarily Germans. But Chinese restaurants welcomed everyone. As a result, even in the 1890s both Jews and Italians usually felt more at home in Chinese restaurants than they did in each other’s eateries.” (Originally published; “New York Jews and Chinese Food: The Social Construction of an Ethnic Pattern” by Gaye Tuchman and Harry G. Levine)
Fast forward a few hundred years and it is still generally true. Chinese food does not include dairy products. The fear of mixing a little dairy with your meat isn’t an issue. (You say, “Pork!” We say, “Kosher house, not Kosher stomach.”) Look, Chinese food became a status symbol for our people during The Depression – immigrant Jews who ate out at Chinese restaurants identified themselves and others as being chic and sophisticated-why should we want to change that practice? Is it so terrible? Who does it hurt? Don’t you want your mother to be happy?
Nowadays, you can find many eateries willing to open their doors to make a buck on Christmas, and you can find quite a few folks who would rather buy a meal instead of cook one. However, it wasn’t so long ago, Chinese restaurants were about the only option for eating out on Christmas day. Another bonus to Chinese food on Christmas is the holiday repast is available before or after the matinee. Just because Christmas is not a Jewish holiday, does this mean no Jewish observance? Feh. Whatever your observance, we wish you Good Fortune and a very Merry Christmas!
Posted by Devra and Aviva @ 8:43 pm
Parents face jail for truancy in children
Editorial writer Joseph H. Brown said sending parents to jail for not sending their kids to school is a good thing: “Making Parents Accountable.”
When it comes to our public schools, accountability is mandatory. That’s why we have the FCAT here in Florida and the No Child Left Behind Act at the federal level.
Teachers and administrators are held accountable, he said. So are governments and schools, he said, but parents aren’t.
There’s one important component in the education process, however, that always escapes accountability: parents.
That’s about to change, though, because Circuit Judge Ross Goodman in Escambia County plans to charge parents of chronically truant students with misdemeanors and the possibility of jail time. (His wife, Marci Goodman, is a judge in Santa Rosa County and once sentenced a woman to two years in jail for keeping her child out of school for two years.) This came about because 583 students (of 40,000 total) in his county were absent without an excuse for at least 30 days last year.
If the parent is not sending the child to school, then I can send the parent to jail. — Circuit Judge Ross Goodman
Brown says everyone else is held accountable, and it’s time to hold parents accountable too. My question is, though, when teachers, administrators, schools and governments fail children, do they go to jail too?
This isn’t new. Parents across the country were arrested for their children’s truancy, according to a 2005 article in the Christian Science Monitor. And they’ve established similar programs in the United Kingdom.
What do you think? Should parents go to jail if their children are chronically truant from school?
Posted by Becky @ 2:37 pm