Monday, June 23, 2008

Disney and the fame game

I have a confession, Mamas...I am a closet cartoon-geek. Actually I'm a closet kid's-programming geek. That's right. I watch it all.

When people ask me "Did you see [insert name of popular sitcom or drama here] last night?" I always smile and say. "With two kids in the house, my television is always on Nick, Noggin, PBS, or Disney Channel. I don’t get to watch anything else. Har dee har har. Crazy kids!"

Truth is, even when my kids aren't home, my television is still on Nick, Noggin, PBS or Disney Channel. I can't get enough of it! I've seen every episode of "SpongeBob Square Pants" and still watch every day. "That's So Raven" (the early episodes) and "Hannah Montana" are hilarious. "The Wonder Pets" are adorable. "Backyardigans" rock. And "Sesame Street" is still the place to be in the morning. And, no matter what anyone says, Avatar: the Last Airbender is the best show on TV as far as I'm concerned.

Now that you know my secret, it should be no big surprise that I've also peeped the Disney string of musicals."High School Musical"(#1 and #2), and the latest Camp Rock, which premiered this past weekend.

Which leads to the question that prompted me to write this post...How long is Disney going to milk the whole fame-hungry/ star-struck/ mean girl vs. good girl plot lines? Can I please turn on the Disney channel and not see some bitchy chick (i.e. rich, blond, popular and pretty with a pack of equally nasty possibly multicultural minions) snobbin' it up and looking down on another girl (i.e. middle class, loner or new in town, brunette, possibly Latina, with self-esteem issues)?

And let’s not forget the nice little plot twists that had me throwing Doritos at the screen during Camp Rock: girl tells lies to fit in...lies catch up to girl...girl is alienated...but girl's singing and booty shaking prowess bring her back into the fold of popularity, earns her the attention of hunky boy, and teaches bitchy girl a lesson in humility.

*dry fricken heave*

Fame, sing, dance, look at me! Sing some more, dress up, dis other girls, watch me do this move! I may be a sucker for these shows, but I’m a grown-ass woman. I know this crap is make-believe. I understand that self confidence doesn't come from how well I can dance or carry a tune (thank God!) or how much attention I can command with my looks. Can a 7-year old say the same?

How 'bout now?


What about now?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Knocked-Up High, USA

Check this out, Mamas.

Now please... pick your jaws up off the floor and get yourselves together. Surely this is not a shocker. Not after the uproar last October when some high schools started administering contraceptives without parental consent. Many-a-Mama was madder than a sacked cat about that one... How dare the school administer birth control to my kid without my permission! Huff, huff, grrrr!!!

Understandable, really...sort of. But at this point, with the teen birth rate up, condom use down, and the disturbing news on STD rates for teen girls; handing out a few packs of pills almost seems like throwing a cup of water on a forest fire.

Our kids need guidance in a BIG way, and not just about being sexually responsible. The teens in Massachusetts are becoming pregnant on purpose. This is a whole new ballgame. It goes WAY beyond the standard sex ed. lesson. These girls are looking for love and acceptance and don't see anything wrong with bringing a new life into the world to get it.

How do you even begin to address that?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Does anyone else smell fried brain?...

…Because someone obviously left their thinking caps on too damn long when they came up with this brilliant little gem that I discovered on Shaping Youth. A few facts on why this new product has my usually comfy panties in a big 'ol bunch:

Also called: drank, syrup, purple drank, purple, purp, oil, sip, the list goes on…

What is it: A mixture of Promethazine w/Codeine cough syrup, fruit flavored soda, and a jolly rancher candy for extra flavor and color.

How it's made: Put it all in a styrofoam cup and enjoy. The codeine is mainly responsible for the euphoria felt after drinking sizzurp. Promethazine causes motor skill impairment, lethargy, and extreme drowsiness. If it doesn't have promethazine, it ain't real sizzurp. --from Urban Dictionary

Of Note: A popular rapper has confessed on more than one occasion, his addiction to the beverage, and there have been rumors of him going to rehab to get de-sipped. Houston's DJ Screw allegedly died in 2000 from OD'ing on the stuff. Rapper Pimp C, also allegedly died from an overdose of sizzurp and a pre-exisiting sleep apnea condition

And NOW…we have Drank; a beverage designed to mimic the effects of the more potent sizzurp. Drank's "low and slow" effects stem from herbs like valerian root (which you can also get as a tea to help you sleep), rose hips and melatonin. From the company's press release:

From design to production, every aspect of this calming drink was inspired by today’s popular hip hop artists who embrace the much sought-after hip hop lifestyle that encourages people to capture a stress-free state of mind. (Village Voice)

Stress free state of...whatever. Developing a product based on some homegrown hooch that has left a number of people dead or hospitalized is bad karma. It's like making crack candy or heroin juice that you drink with a candy syringe.

With an eye-catching can, cool urban design, grape-tastic flavor, and carbonated fizziness, how many kids are going to pick up this stuff to mimic their fav hip hop stars? And how soon before they realize that its herbal-y effects aren't bad... but adding some of the real stuff would be better?

Monday, June 9, 2008

June is jumping!

It's well into June, Mamas. Can you believe it!?

I ended May on a bit of a high note. I was bobbin' my head to Karina Pasian's 16 @ War and feeling the groove. But I'm done now. Dragged kicking and screaming back to the pitiful reality of why Karina's song is so relevant. Take your pick...

*The sorry selection of video games for girls has spurred some game makers to do something about it. What girl would want to kick butt in a virtual fantasy world when she can just be a fashion-obsessed-make-up wearing-secret-diary-keeping-fame-seeking-supermodel wannabee?

*How can we help spread the message about teen chastity? I know! Let's put catchy slogans across girls' booties! No one will miss it there!

*Not quite sure what to say about this.

*And how refreshing! Now even us old gals can snipe, backstab and bitch at each other to build our confidence and find out who's the prettiest! Hooray!

On the flip side, there are MANY fantastic and empowering conversations happening all over the internet about these very issues. Lots of smart Mamas(and non-mamas) out there are sick of the same old same old....

*An interview with M. Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It.

*Great post and even better comments on the What About Our Daughters blog that explores this same issue.

*The Top 10 reasons why kids shouldn't see Sex in The City from the Packaging Girlhood blog.

If you come across any more good stuff, please pop back in and share.

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