Tag Archives: Innocence

Cory’s In The House: Bristol’s House!

1 Jun

…Okay. Admittedly, that’s how rumors get started. But when I heard this “story” last week about Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin planning to do a reality show together (with Kyle’s older brother Christopher) while also fostering their still new and budding relationship, I tripped. Hard.

Tripped because the idea of Kyle dating the daughter of a woman who has clearly had no problem with encouraging, inciting and in many cases thinly-veiling her own racist tinged behavior seemed appalling to me.  Tripped because all the undesirable portrayals surrounding Bristol and the Palins; Kyle was now possibly allowing them to tarnish his cookie cutter image. Tripped because in my mind, what in THE heck was The Disney Kid doing with Caribou Barbie’s Kid?!?

But after I sat and really thought about it, I had to severely check myself!  The God’s honest truth of the matter was simply that I was projecting all of my “aversion” (to put it mildly) for Sarah Palin, onto her daughter; a young woman, who although made some unfortunate decisions early in her young life, had done nothing to warrant anyone’s ire, least of all mine.

And while I wasn’t particularly a fan of what I believed was her “reconciled daughter” image for the sake of her mother’s political aspirations and later, of her unfortunate and rather rigid movements on Dancing With The Stars last season, the more I saw of Bristol on the show (and out from under her mother’s wing), the more I slowly began to admire her tenacity and resolve in proving that she was more than simply a political pawn.

I mean, for all the “tabs” it appeared that Sarah Palin had laboriously tried to keep on her daughter, Bristol seemed to use the show and her newfound “freedom” to make friends (enter Kyle), gain exposure for herself and to ultimately reveal to America a bit more of her identity than just the depiction of the-girl-from-Alaska-who-had-a-baby-and-whose-mother-ran-for-Vice-President that we’d all come to know and expect of her.  What I also had to concede that I’d come to respect about Bristol was the fact that post-Levi Johnston and the 2008 elections, she had not let her mother, social pressures, political circles or anyone else for that matter, dictate what was or wasn’t suitable for her life.

With Bristol, Kyle and Christopher’s reality show currently in the works (where the trio will be sharing a residence in Los Angeles and she will be speaking to teens and promoting abstinence) and speculation surrounding Kyle and Bristol’s “dating” status, the Hollywood buzz seems to have immediately zeroed in on Mama Bear’s complete and utter displeasure.  In fairness though, I don’t know what mother would be comfortable with their daughter sharing close quarters with two young men (and having their exploits recorded and aired for all posterity), no matter how wholesome their images or lucrative their television careers.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be what’s been eating Sarah.

Where many tabloid and political outlets alike have pointed to Mrs. Palin’s concern with Bristol frivolously jumping from one relationship to another as the source of her current discomfiture, one has to wonder how in Sarah Palin’s mind could Bristol “possibly” dating That’s So Raven’s little brother and doing a reality show with him (with its principle theme being that of abstaining) be any more unsuitable than being made the poster child for unwed mothers, and being strongly encouraged to marry a baby’s daddy who ultimately turned out to be a Playgirl posing, family bashing pariah; all for her mother’s political gain?

Actually, I imagine one does not have to wonder how Sarah is rationalizing all of this in her mind.

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Wherefore Art Thou Tiana?

15 Oct

During a typical week when I am not returning home from work at an unholy hour, checking subject and predicate homework, bathing a deep-sea diving toddler, or getting dishpan hands from cleaning and shutting down The Pack Kitchen each night, I try to sit and have at least a few precious moments of quality time with my family.

Such was the case last night when the big girl and I curled up in front of the television while she proceeded to tell me about her day and explain her athletic prowess at school during a game of crab soccer.  Since she insisted that we watch one of her favorite (though insipid) cartoon shows while we chatted it up, it wasn’t long before I began to check-out and slowly nod off.  But before I could totally ascend to the blissful cumulous cloud looking pillows in my subconscious, the big girl squealed in pure delight, sending me crashing back down to my lumpy couch cushions.  Stretching my eyes as to appear attentive and awake, I looked between her and the television to see what all of the excitement was about.  Apparently deciding to further capitalize on their princess niche, Disney has come out with a new line of Princess and Me Dolls (just in time for the holidays…great).

Look Mommy, Princess Tiana!

And no longer were they squeals, but all-the-way-turned-up shrieks of delight.  But when I looked again at the commercial filled with whirling dolls and little girls dressed for a make believe cotillion, all of the princesses were accounted for except our beloved Frog Princess.  It wasn’t until the end of the commercial when all of the dolls were lined up together that I finally saw the stunningly crafted Tiana figurine amidst t her princess counterparts, but strategically arranged toward the back of the group.

Wow, until just now, I didn’t even see Tiana in that commercial.

As soon as I said the words, I wanted to slap my own self upside the head, but it was far too late.  Sure enough, the big girl looked at me quizzically with those large doe eyes of hers and began to agree with my assessment.

I know, nobody really watches the Cinderella movie anymore, but I think I saw her the most.

Before I could dismiss the matter of subtle racial classification in advertising though, the big girl pinned me with another curious expression and asked me (the way only an obliviously innocent child could) why Princess Tiana didn’t appear in the commercial for the dolls very much. 

The thing about my big girl is that although she’s been gently educated by my honey and I on the oppression and injustices that people of color have been subjected to in this country, her mind won’t even begin to fathom how such depraved thinking and atrocities could be carried out against a person today, simply because of the color of their skin.  Knowing that made it all the more difficult for me to have this sort of discourse with her, so I turned the question right back on her. I asked her why she thought Tiana got so little face time in the commercial.

Probably because she is their newest princess. She’s only been out for a year, you know.

Right.  Out of the mouth of babes.

Rediscovered Innocence

10 May

If you follow my haphazard ruminations on The Twitter, then you know that last Friday, I was in a bit of a funk with regard to the frame of mind of the young people in this country.  Now as you all know, this concern of mine is not new; there are many posts within The Pack that address my distress over the lack of character, integrity and compassion that seems to plague America’s young people these days.    My newest rant however, has to do with a situation that developed last week during my baby girl’s tennis practice (I will go ahead and shame-facedly admit that my tolerance level was already completely exhausted, what with it being SO hot outside that day, so these children didn’t stand a chance for empathy or redemption in my eyes). 

 About an hour into my child’s practice, a group of about six teens came walking past the courts loudly laughing and joking with one another.  In true hormonally imbalanced adolescent fashion, the jovial behavior quickly turned into shouting and arguing.  Before I knew it, two of the teens were in a full-on swear fest (so much so, I was blushing at the mere arrangement and use of their sentences enhancers). 

 It got so bad that several of the tennis coaches had to actually stop the practice and say something to the offenders.  One young lady in particular couldn’t have cared less about having been chastised, and continued on with her tirade.  Even I and another parent addressed her and asked if all of her carrying-on was necessary, to which she mumbled rudely under her breath and finally walked away. 

 Now, as mortified as I was at 1) having had these little girls exposed to such vulgarity at a tennis practice 2) hearing a group of young people (and especially a young lady) speaking so disparagingly to one another and 3) witnessing the entire group’s total amusement at the offensive exchange, I was more sad than anything that not a single one of these kids seemed the least bit concerned at how their behavior had adversely affected the people around them.  In an effort at damage control, I spoke to my daughter on the way home about what happened and asked her if she had any questions for me as to why those “big kids” were behaving so badly.  With the wisdom that only a child could have, she told me that they probably just needed more positive influences in their lives, and she knew that it was not okay for her to act the way they had in public (who knew…I just might be raising my kids right mom!).

 With our juvenile delinquent experience behind us, and in an effort to make up for a broken play date a week prior, on Saturday I took my baby girl and her friend to see Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Greek mythology nerds *namely me* rejoice).  While the movie was based on a book series that my kids enjoyed reading and touted a PG rating, there was still some questionable language in this movie not quite suitable for these smart but susceptible 3rd graders.  And as luck would have it, my daughter’s friend would ask me to clarify said language once she heard it. 

 Basically, once the protagonist realized that one of his mentors wasn’t crippled as he originally thought, but was instead a centaur he questioned the newly discovered demi-god about his form.  The mentor revealed rather jokingly that he had a “real horses @$$.”  With huge doe eyes and a query on her brow, my baby girl’s friend asked me in a loud whisper, “what’s an @$$?”  After I explained that it was a rude way to say “butt”, and she politely corrected me by saying “bottom,” I had an epiphany. 

 Maybe, just maybe our youth aren’t as lost as I’d initially thought.  The fact that these two little girls have been exposed to enough of the world to know that the Iraq War was a result of September 11th, and have memorized all the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s anthology, yet don’t identify with swear words, certainly gives me hope for the future.  I think that the events of Friday and Saturday have given me more than enough reason to take a step back from my usual “Teenagers are the Devil” diatribe and instead do my part to ensure their stable and functional existence in society.  I’m pleased to say that it looks like I will be becoming a mentor.

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