From a media and political communication angle AND a mother angle, the Sarah Palin story is getting heightened scrutiny (see the MotherPie story with the update). New media is driving this cycle. A Google Trend search shows the buzz of this, below. The role of mothers is a huge issue. Does how she mother have a bearing on how she might carry out her other jobs?
National Enquirer has her on the cover, too with the headline Sarah Palin's Dark Secrets.Will important issues be discussed, or is our culture's convoluted feelings about the role of women and motherhood going to overshadow everything? This makes me think about mothers in our barbie-doll times. America has an issue folks and it's not what some think.
Sarah Palin's rhetoric put muscle in the meat of things with ethos and pathos. But what we continue buzzing about is another thing, entirely, and says a lot about the U.S. culture of moms.
There are all sorts of scandals here. Bristol Palin's pregnancy at age 17, unwed, seems to shock many. I seemed to be the only one shocked by NYC's females who postponed having children until late, late, late. That was so different from my experience in Oklahoma and Texas, but now Bristol's teen pregnancy raises questions: Why must women wait so long, with the average age for first-time motherhood creeping up for years now? Why should it take so long for married couples to feel they can take on children, or for young women and men to feel that they are secure enough with their careers to commit to marriage and parenthood? NYSun 's editorial may make us think about these things.
Points about how taboo stories get vetted in online media outlets and how they get amplified and eventually legitimized and why perhaps McCain is tamping down the buzz so that Palin's brand can be presented, managed and controlled from the campaign marketing side is what is at issue, too. Or is it what should and shouldn't be important in selecting our political leaders?
Major newspapers, magazines and networks no longer play their traditional gatekeeper role in the digital age, as was evident during the eight-month period when the National Enquirer was charging John Edwards with fathering an out-of-wedlock baby. Mainstream media outlets ignored the allegations until last month when Edwards acknowledged the affair (but denied being the baby daddy). Is this media bias? Or a problem with gatekeeping?
Is the news media being "vicious" as the McCain message crafters contend? Howard Kurtz yesterday took this up in today's War Against the Press. Today he writes, that in her speech last night she was relaxed, confident and charismatic and that "McCain and friends are going to continue running against the media--as should have been clear from Steve Schmidt's comments to me that news organizations are on a vicious mission to "destroy" Palin.... running against the press is old hat in Republican circles." He has it right on the crux of the policial crux of the message with the media, BUT CULTURALLY, WITH WOMEN AND MOTHERHOOD, THIS ISSUE IS MUCH, MUCH MORE TWISTED AND DEEP.
It is only partly about working moms (must a women be a good mother to be a good leader?). It isn't just young girls getting pregnant, either, that is at issue. Megan McCurdle in The Atlantic touches on the online gossip going on: Sarah Palin lied about sex? So let me get this straight. Bill Clinton using a White House intern like a cheap whore in the Oval Office and lying about same under oath: not a problem. Sarah Palin relieving her sixteen year old of the burden of raising a special needs child: a huge character issue. This sounds like a parody of the ridiculous beliefs that social conservatives attribute to liberals writes Megan McArdle The Atlantic.
(I thought it quite funny that she called her husband "a package" and old white men wore buttons for the "Hot Chick" at the Republican Convention last night). Since when are men packaged and mothers seen as hot chicks? Maybe since now.
Mothers have always worked to do the best for their families, trying to juggle and balance all. Mothers have stood on a sacred, mythological pedestal. What is fair, unfair, legitimate and what is the role of our media, serving as watchdogs? These issues of motherhood are touching all sorts of cultural issues. Maybe this will be how Palin makes her mark. All on the mom issues.
Lipstick on a pitbull of mothering? Now reality, in all its messy, crazy, funky glory, has flooded the party, in the comely, crackling form of Sarah Palin, writes the NYTimes. Yep.
This is the thing that I find very interesting: I'm hearing of the brides planning their last hurrah with their bridesmaids, the bachelorette party, where it is not just the brides that attend, but the brides, bridesmaids and their moms and they go to Las Vegas to do this.
I've not done this. Nor has anyone I've known personally, but in this age of moms glued-to-the-hips with their children, this is something I find very interesting.
Vegas? I've never been. But seeing Bette Midler and Cher perform in their big acts there might make me wanna go.
Anyone planning a bachelorette party that I know? Has anyone seen the shows?
I've taught my family - my husband and two of my three children who are living at home this summer, how to conserve water by taking quick showers. Water in Santa Fe is precious. We have toilets that are efficient.
Santa Fe takes water conservation seriously. This drawing at left, by Tatyana Stavrowsky, was the grand prize winner in the city's 2008 5th annual Children's Water Conservation Poster Contest.
With my leg in a boot cast, I couldn't do the Public Hike into the Closed Santa Fe Watershed this summer but it is through promoting an awareness such as this (coordinated by the Santa
Fe Watershed Association, in cooperation with the City of Santa Fe,
U.S. Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy) that we become aware of our role in protecting and managing our natural resources.
Santa Feans reduced their water use by 40% from 1995 to 2007. The dedication to conserve water has been extraordinary, with per person usage dropping from 168 gallons per capita per day in 1995, to 101 at the end of 2007. Santa Fe has achieved low per capita water demand levels through the implementation of a comprehensive set of ordinances that require Santa Fe's citizens and businesses comply with water conservation requirements designed to provide financial incentives to conserve water. With 1 - 2 million visitors each year and their added water use, the city's urban area (population 87,641) conservation record is remarkable. Checking on trends such as these (Santa Fe Trends 2008 -pdf) is what I'm doing when I'm not hiking.
Hopefully I'll get back up to hiking speed soon to check out the view from the mountaintops.
The soap is shrinking but guess what? The price is the same. All the best for profits for Dial, the oldest American deoderant soap now owned by a German company. Look how it is shaved out on the top and bottom.Have you noticed this? Companies are cutting back. Soup in restaurants is more watery, portions are smaller, and you find less product in the same packages. Well, my soap is no longer the same bar, shape-wise.
So when you try to cut back in these economic times, you pay the same for less product while food and gas prices soar. The average family is spending $4,655 more on items like gas, food, housing and health insurance.
Sun on the skin: With the debate about sunscreens, health and vitamin D), here's what I'm doing for my family (50% of our population is deficient). I tell them to get 15 min. of sun three times a week at non-peak intense sunray times without sunscreen so the body can best produce Vitamin D (which I define as 9:30 - 4:00 here in the high desert of Santa Fe and when we lived in Houston, 10 - 3). But still, we have to, at our high altitude, be sure we're wearing the right sunscreens in peak hours.
Buy the right sunscreen: I put together the links below for the products I'll be buying after going through the recent investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreen products (4 out of 5 contain chemicals that may pose health hazards or don't adequately protect skin from the sun's damaging rays. Some of the worst offenders are leading brands Coppertone, Banana Boat and Neutrogena). For ease of ordering - click the links to buy them directly from Amazon:
Living Wills: After a story involving a relative, I printed out an Advance Health Care Directive (link here for a copy) and we're having all of our children sign this and we're telling them where they are kept. My mother said for her father, my grandfather, who died nine years ago, she taped it near his door so all medical people would see it. She and her friends keep copies in their glove compartments in case of car wrecks.
Don't burn, don't brush death without a living will, buy and budget wisely and get that Vitamin D to be healthy. So says this mom!
Off to visit two daughters in Texas as of '07. Dallas was one of the three cities (along with Houston and NYC) to gain in population last year.
How to Train a Husband is a top 10 article on Newsweek reviewing a just-released book, What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage
and I bet it becomes a top gift for brides-to-be! In 2006 Amy
Sutherland wrote an article for the NYTimes which became the most
e-mailed story of the year. I may go out w/ my newlywed daughter in Dallas to pick this up.
Feminism All Mixed Up? I ran a story on Fashion and High Heels that got a lot of traffic (high heels equate to Chinese foot binding, imo) at the same time that a study came out in Italy that high heels promoted good pelvic muscles (for women, it said) at the same time that Boing Boing highlighted an article about
how high heels were not good. I read the comments on the articles and
these ways that women are dressing for men at risk to their own (foot)
health made me go over to check out Morton's Neuroma,
one side effect of heels, from which I suffer from time-to-time. My
NYC podiatrist, foot doctor to the big sports teams, had articles all over
his walls quoting him regarding damage women in heels suffer from,
foot-health wise. Then there is the trend to waifish, anorexic-looking androngynous male models. My husband and I have had discussions about these trends. Seems things are mixed up in ways that aren't good for women? Or men? I don't think a book would ever come out by a man on How To Train a Wife. That was so 50's, wasn't it? Matthew Kahn brings up
lastest research about how love puts blinders on people. This truism
is why we should work to keep romance alive. Being in love increases
the ability to resist temptation. Romance. Right. Young kids don't
Final thoughts:Republicans are happier than Democrats (link via Jill); "after 40, it's just patch, patch, patch," says Allison's mother; feeling lonely can make you sickby
desensitizing glucocorticoid receptors, cutting off the immune control
and anti-inflammatory effects of cortisol, a stress-related hormone
that also helps regulate the conversion of carbohydrates to energy; and
additives in food products really do make children hyperactive.
And, to conclude my long ramble, if I could go back and work harder to change some things as mom, I'd work for
more recess and art, music and language studies in lower grades and
later school beginnings (10:00 - 6:00) for high school students with
mandatory sports and healthy food and media studies courses available.
I wouldn't have had such conniption fits about the decline of cursive
There. That is what I think is important to ramble about. Today. Texas, Here I Come. Yee Haw Cheers.
There is a folk art rooster/chicken theme that has been going for quite awhile in my kitchen, starting at our Texas country place awhile back. Gallos y gallinas.
Awhile back I was bemoaning the demise of the apron when lo and behold I came across this cute one, below right, with two big front pockets, at the Santa Fe Farmer's market. It has a cute red rooster fabric coated with plastic. You know in NYC I spelled cooking: TAKE OUT or DELI. Not here. The apron was $16, is made in Mexico by Gloveables, Inc. (email@example.com).
I don't want the cooking chez nous to become mute or mutant (yes, with Los Alamos not too far away, I've been reading up on atomic food). I'm also concerned with transgenic food, franken food and all of those freaky food things. They are about as appetizing to me as cheez whiz casseroles. I also like discovering new food issue blogs like Law for Food. After watching the NYC transfat ban happen and the activists that led it to happen, it makes me very cautious about what and how I eat in our country. Eating out can be risky. Have you seen the colleges that are now serving fast food on campus? You can't be a chicken about food things and health. You have to have gallina (courage) to live food-smart. I'm not as cocky as my dad is about being smart about food stuff. He will hen-peck you if you let him. He's a real Food Policeman.
My Navajo chickie collection has grown over the years. If you want one, you can find them at Wind River Trading in Santa Fe (505) 989-7062. That is where I found the two up top, left, that sit above my kitchen cabinets. Tell them MotherPie sent you and they might give you a discount.
Just thought I'd cock-a-doodle do about these things...
Popular Mechanics lists the 25 things men need to know and of course fatherhood isn't even on the list. I guess they do that by instinct?
The agony of the broken connection of birth mothers and children
would be different than sperm dads who purposly set out to be fathers
without connections. Or is it? Technology is making things more
complicated in other ways. Stories of parents learning on the
playground that their children are related - they share the same sperm
donor and tales of grown children trying to track down sperm fathers to figure out their personal identity puzzle. An article defining sperm fathers asks,"For at least a decade, there has been growing national concern about
the trend of "father absence." Men who abandon their biological
children are now subject to DNA testing, child support orders, even
jail time. They are stigmatized as "dead-beat dads." How then can we
explain the glorification of the "donor dad"--the most absent of all
I do thumb love with my youngest daughter. xoxoxo. Txting is her form of communication. To my husband's blackberry I send ((hugs)). My son does cell and txt but won't do email. My oldest gets my love via email and cell. My mom? Landlines and email. My brother? emails but he only reads the first line on his treo.
Love is complicated. I'm excited for parent's weekend to give mother love in-person. ;) Live love is best. My latest oft-repeated phrase to my husband, "Have I told you today that I love you?"
I used to sign my personal letter closings (when I wrote them) -- Love, (me). Here I just say Cheers and if I love ya, I'll link.
As mothers, we learn to read the faces and expressions of our children. We also learn to understand the facial expressions of others.
Presidential Candidate John Edwards presents an uneven expression, leading to distrust. Neuroscience can show us that true emotions play on one side of the face and masking on the other. I forget which side is which for the "real" emotions but this is why Bush's smirk makes us uncomfortable.
Reason and logic are sometimes not used as much as gut feelings and emotions, especially with politics.
The role of semantics and neurology in politics is something I'm interested in. Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University, has a book, “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation,” and it is one that might make for good reading.