Thursday, January 23, 2014

10 Tips to Enduring Your Child's Rainbow Loom

1) Break it to your kid early and often that you will not be wearing all the bracelets they gift you. Sure the first time it’s easy to react like you just got a blue box from Tiffany’s. But by the twentieth band your child expects the same reaction despite the fact they just made you one ten minutes ago.

2) Avoid YouTube-Lady-With-Long-Nails-No-Polish who does instructional videos without a child in sight. She has mastered the starburst, fishtail, triple single and more. But why is she playing with a Rainbow Loom? All by herself? For what appears to be for hours? YouTube-Lady-With-Long-Nails-No-Polish will make you sad.

3) There are never enough c-clips. There are always more rubber bands than clips. This is a conspiracy. It keeps you buying more and more bags of bands in order to have enough clips. It's like when a drug dealer gives a customer their first hit for free. That's how they hook ya. After the first bag of bands, you are just another sucker "chasing the dragon."

4) S-clips suck.

5) Starburst will drive you to the edge of sanity. You need a degree of some kind to get through a Starburst instructional video. And the fact that it's being conducted by Ashley a nine year old only makes things worse. 

6) Every time you successfully return a rainbow loom rubber band to its case you get chocolate, or a glass of wine. Because you will find them everywhere. Places you can't imagine. Bonus: Open up the vacuum cleaner and you'll hit the jackpot. Book yourself a Spa Trip for that one.

7) Rainbow Loom cases are essential. Without a case chaos will ensue. Of course the case should be included with the Rainbow Loom but it isn’t.  It’s a racket. (see #3)

8) Empower your child with a mantra for the moments they lose their mind over a rainbow looming error. I suggest, “Stop. Breathe. Try again.” or “If you don’t stop hyperventilating I am going to send you to your room and throw that Rainbow Loom out the window!” One works better than the other.

9) YouTube-Lady-With-Long-Nails-No-Polish really does have the easiest to follow videos. Watch her in small doses unless you need a good cry. French Manicure, maybe? Anyone? Anyone?

10) Just remember the hell we put Mom and Dad through with our craft projects. Hook Rugs? Shrinky Dinks? Chalk it up to the "cycle of life" or "circle of love" Whatever. And remember, "Stop. Breathe. Try again."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Racism, Homophobia, Misogyny: Five Reasons We Are Not A Post Racial; Post Anything Society

The transparency that Facebook,Twitter and YouTube provide gives us a rare view into the racism, misogyny and homophobia that use to take place behind closed doors.

Here is a sampling of the stories that I have seen posted online in the past few weeks.

1)  Dasha Zhukova the editor in chief of a magazine posed sitting on a chair designed to look like a black woman dressed as a dominatrix with her legs in the air and the seat strapped to her backside. The image makes me sick.

2) Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt killed herself after a journalist Caleb Hannan exposed her as a transgender person in a article despite Vanderbilt's urging that Hannan keep it private.

3)Michael Douglas was widely criticized for using the word "mincing" in his acceptance speech for Best Actor at Golden Globes. He played Liberace and described his concern that he was perceived as "mincing'" by his director in a previous project. Instead of correcting his error in his SAG award acceptance speech he went on to make jokes about who was "on top" and "two handers" What an asshole and what a careless disregard for the feelings of others.

4) Madonna called her son the N-word on Instagram. After some backlash she proceeded to  apologize to anyone she offended and referred to the N-word as a "term of endearment"for her white son. She has two black adopted children. Isn't that adorable?

5)The U.S. Skating Committee chose fourth place U.S. Nationals skater Ashley Wagner (white, blonde hair, blue eyes) over the third place winner Mirai Nagasu (Asian-American) for the Olympic team. Wagner, 22 has the opportunitiy to compete at other Olympics.  The average age of an Olympic Skater is early twenties. At 29, Mirai may not have another chance. She earned it. Wagner didn't.

A few more:

On the CBS show "How I Met Your Mother" the actors appeared in yellowface. Now that's comedy.

This article about the casting of Sasheer Zamata (SNL's first black female since 2007)  is prejudicial gobbledygook.

Jared Leto a straight, male actor is winning awards left and right for portraying a transgender character. Why wasn't a transgender actor cast in the role? Here are some suggestions Alexandra BillingsAlexis ArquetteLaverne Cox

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. If people in the public eye are willing to be careless with their words and actions just imagine what people who aren't in the limelight think and feel. Racism, sexism, prejudice run deep. This culture is in the thick of it.

I have two choices. I could avoid all media or I can use my Facebook page and blog to share these stories in hopes to illuminate and remind people we have a long way to go.