Sunday, June 26, 2005

Believe What I Believe or You're Going to Hell

The Education of Shelby Knox

Shelby Knox was from a very conservative, "good Southern Baptist" home. At 15, she got involved with a group of young people in her town of Lubbock, TX and began advocating for comprehensive sex education in her school. Since 1995, Texas public schools have had abstinence-only sex education.

I just watched this documentary on the PBS show Points of View. I tuned in just as Shelby's youth pastor, Ed Ainsworth, was leading a True Love Waits service where he had all of the kids line up in front of their parents and vow before 1) their parents, 2) God, and 3) the church (and, as he said, the whole world) that they wouldn't have sex before they were married.

Now, I'm not unfamiliar with True Love Waits. I was a member of the "Spiritual Life Council" at my university and helped plan a concert with TLW as the theme. However, although I would've thought nothing out of the ordinary of this particular service as a teenager, I'm now appalled at Mr. Ainsworth's tactics.

As the documentary progresses, Shelby begins to see a strong correlation between the Church and intolerance. She also starts to see a strong correlation between the intolerance of the Church and the power of the town's politics.

As she questions, she continues to see Ed Ainsworth for councel. Ainsworth tells her that giving out condoms is wrong and that she needed to consult her Bible. You can imagine his reaction when she decided that the gay kids at her school who weren't allowed to put up flyers on the school's campus for their gay and lesbian club deserved to be helped. At the end of the film, we see Ainsworth telling the gay kids how what they're doing is wrong. The group God Hates Fags (I linked GHF, but I wouldn't visit as the site is harrowing) came to protest because the kids brought a suit against the town. They lost their case and were not able to have their club.

What struck me most was the ignorance. Even Shelby and her parents were ignorant in the beginning, but we saw them progressively open their minds to other views. I wish I would've started opening my eyes at 15.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Way Too Much Time at Blockbuster

I thought no one noticed. Why should they? I thought wrong.

Tonight I went into Blockbuster with no particular movie in mind, but I have a movie pass and I feel like I'm wasting it if I don't go get movies. A lot of times I just get the movies and end up not even watching them. I'm not interested in any of the new releases that I haven't already seen, so lately I've just been wondering aimlessly around Blockbuster.

I didn't think anyone noticed, but when I got to the counter the conversation went as follows: (MG= movie guy)

MG: Well...did ya finally decide on some movies?
(*Me thinking: o.k. so he noticed I took a long time.)
Me: Oh, yeah, I guess so. (haha)
MG: Well, I guess you've probably seen about everything.
(*Me thinking: Oh my God.)
Me: Haha, yeah, I guess so.
MG: Well, you can't go wrong with Mallrats again.
Me: I've actually never seen it.
MG: Oh my God, I can't believe you haven't seen it!
Me: Yeah, crazy huh?
MG: And you've got The Nightmare Before Christmas, that's a good one.
Me: I haven't seen that one either.
MG: Wow, those are two good movies.
Me: Yeah... so I guess it's a good thing I took so much time.
MG: Haha, yeah.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Tom Cruise is Nucking Futs

This article says exactly what I've been thinking.

I've always thought he was super hot and super tallented. I still do, but he is absolutely fucking insane, and the latest shit he's pulling with his chick whatserface that was on Dawson's Creek is completely retarded.

Shame on America for eating this crap.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Oh God!

I was born into a religious home. "We're 'spiritual' not 'religious'" they would say, but religion it was. I thought we were "radical" Christians. We were charismatic in a town where everyone else was Baptist. We went to Christian rock concerts. We really pushed the limits.

I'm 28 next month. Three years ago when asked what was most important to me in life, I literally answered, "To live a life that's a Christian example." Now, I think, "What the hell did I mean by that?"

To my closest friends I've justified my questions for the past few years by blaming higher ed. I've explained away how being around so many free thinkers and people from different backgrounds has made me question everything I ever thought I knew. It is true that others have forced me to think critically about my former foundations of belief, but it's time I own up to it myself. Truth is, I'm glad God put me in a place where She knew I'd have to start thinking for myself.

I've tried to reassure my Christian friends that "I think this time of questioning is necessary, but I'll come out stronger in my faith in the end." I think I'm just now admitting that I'm coming out stronger, but not in the way perhaps they'd hoped.

I'm not giving up on God. I think God represents a whole lot of good that I don't want to give up faith in. What I refuse to do anymore, however, is to continue to ignore the absurdities. Some of those absurdities include:

-The idea that there is one uber belief when there is so much diversity in the world.
-The idea that God is love, but we should dislike homosexuals, weird hairdos, and people of other cultures and religions.
-The idea that the Bible makes any sense and doesn't contradict itself.

Julia Sweeney
did a piece on This American Life called Letting Go of God, an honest description of her own struggles with questioning God. I think anyone who has had to think themselves past their own roots would understand some of the things she talks about. (Hear it in quicktime at onegoodmove.)

Also interesting is a new blog called Bare Naked Christian Ladies. I can appreciate the attempt these Christian ladies are making to step outside the box of stereotypical Christians. Although they too are steeped in their own dogma, I thought the attempt was noteworthy. I may not be sure about the Christian part, but I do want to be naked. I believe in the merit of honesty.

Fabulous Shoes

fabulous shoes, originally uploaded by GrandPoo.

Now that I've talked about something of substance, have a look at Cate Blanchett's shoes. God, she's fabulous!

See the whole photo here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Awareness of Time

Am I simply aware of time or is it a full-fledged obsession? For someone who wastes a whole hell of a lot of time, I sure am very aware of it. It irritates me to watch a movie that's a few years old. Classics aren't so bad because I know it's old. I can appreciate the nostalgia of the movie. But if the film is five to ten years old, I spend my time analyzing things like phone styles, Internet browsers, cell phone sizes or the lack of cell phone use. I drive myself crazy because I can't just enjoy the movie.

I think the types of television shows we have now also contribute to this awareness of time. I, for one, am a shameless television and pop culture fanatic. I eat it up. I love shows like The Soup and Best Week Ever because they "catch me up" on trashy pop culture events without having to have watched a full week of television. I would be mortified to see a rerun of Best Week Ever on the wrong week. Even fake news shows like The Daily Show (my favorite show ever) and Weekend Update on SNL can irritate me with they're reruns. When there's a rerun from even just the week before, I think, "That is SO old news!"

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Kroger Books?

I'm writing chapter one of my dissertaion and took a break to go to Kroger for the makings of a PB&J. I came back with two books because of their 25% off deal.

I bought Douglas Adams' The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide which includes, of course, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I also bought Bill Clinton's My Life which I've wanted to read but not wanted to shell out for the hardcover edition.

I haven't read THG to the G or seen the movie, so I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to heed the advice of several of my friends (and G4tv) and wait to read it after I've seen the movie or go ahead and dive in. I understand why I should watch the movie first. They say that if you've already read the book that you'll be distracted by the differences in the movie. I just don't feel like watching the movie right now. Plus, I'm eager to read it. I need something other than my research to read until The Half Blood Prince comes out. I think I'll go ahead and read it.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Jimmy Fallon Hosts the MTV Movie Awards

Sharing made simple by

Don't get me wrong, I love the Oscars. Oscar season is a sacred time for me, but there's nothing like watching the MTV Movie Awards. My Jimmy Fallon fixation adds to the enthusiasm.

This year on the MTV Movie Awards, we got to see Katie Holmes present Tom Cruise with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall receive a "20th anniversary tribute" award for The Breakfast Club, Dustin Hoffman win for Best Comedic Performance, and Napoleon Dynamite and Mean Girls sweep up three awards each.

Dakota Fanning was as adorable as usual. She is the absolute most fabulous kid. Daryl and Uma won for best fight sequence. Uma couldn't be there, but Quentin brought Daryl and Uma's stunt doubles on stage, which I thought was spectacularly cool. I just watched a documentary about stunt doubles featuring New Zealander Zoe Bell who doubled for Uma in Kill Bill.

About the video… I must. Stop. With. The. Videos. Seriously. I’m not even good at it, but I can’t stop it. Anyway, I happened upon this blog and found this site, which is SO much easier for me to upload video. Not that freevlog isn't great, but this is much easier.

This video features Jimmy Fallon as the host of the awards. Yes, it’s just a video recording of my TV set. Yes, I’m “for real”. Lay off.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"Loving You Tender"

Click to View Film

A film by me, for my family.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Flickr Favorites Page

Flickr Favorites Page
Originally uploaded by Grand Poo Of Awesome.

This is a collection of one of my favorites pages on flickr. Another flickrer, emdot, had posted a t-shirt made from her flickr favorites page.

I thought I'd blog a group of my favorites. People are so damn tallented! How I wish I were. I've got my own kind of special though.

My Cat Harriet

Cat Eyes
Originally uploaded by Grand Poo Of Awesome.

This is the first photo I've posted of my cat Harriet. I'm posting this for the cool folks at Blogger Pets!

My cat Harriet is crazy fabulous. She rocks!

Ethnographic and Qualitative Research in Education

So I presented at a conference this weekend. There were two other doctoral students and our qualitative research professor...who rocks. The other two doc students have already completed their dissertations and graduated. We basically presented our research, and our prof. presented her paper on conducting qualitative research in a predominately quantitative setting.

It was a little unnerving because it seemed everyone else was an expert, but I think the presentations went pretty well. We had a lot of very kind comments such as "quality presentation" and "very confident", etc. I also had someone in the audience who backed up my views on Deaf culture and some of the theoretical battles I faced while proposing my research. She asked to share my research and information with her students, which is nice.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dead Chicken

dead chicken, originally uploaded by GrandPoo.

A masterpeice by Megan. Go make your own at