Friday, January 15, 2010

Ill Stay at Home Moms Soldier On!

I should have called this post: Female Slave Mentality and Stay at Home Moms

I want to know why otherwise intelligent women allow biology to overwhelm their commonsense when ill?

Here I am pregnant and suffering from bronchitis and yet I am trying to entertain a houseguest, keep our home clean, and care for my becoming-sick-too child.

If I were an ill man, I'd be in bed moaning right now. So why do I feel the slightest obligation to be upright and moving? Why am I doing this rather than taking care of myself first?

I'll tell you why, stay-at-home moms have no recourse when ill. If I were working and had H in daycare, I could call in sick, drop H off, and rest. Not an option. I'm not sick enough to justify I leaving work, but if I weren't a stay-at-home parent, I'd have called in sick myself.

But that's not it either. If I really wanted to, I could find a way to take care of myself. Here I am an woman raised to believe in herself as a person. Who never once held back because she was a girl (including entering the men's room when really urgent). Yet when it comes to I and H, my first reaction is to always take care of them first. I don't want to be a martyr on one hand, but sometimes it just seems so expected - even by me!

Why is that?

Is this just a girl thing?

Is it our education system?

I'd really like to know.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Disney Finding Nemo Movie Review

For those of you who've seen Finding Nemo (and ya'll should by now it's quite old), here is our analysis (other than it's just a fantastic flick).

Finding Nemo is the perfect conservative/anti-socialism movie.

The macrocosm ocean world of Marlin searching for his son presupposes both freewill and that other characters would rather do good and help another person in need than not.

As Marlin searches, some characters can not help their baser nature (barracudas, jellyfish, and seagulls), some struggle to overcome it (Bruce the shark), and others are helpful even when it goes against their nature (Nigel the pelican). But the overwhelming majority of ocean dwellers are just plain nice folk (Dory, schools of fish, sea turtles, most reef dwellers, whales, etc.).

This positive view rests on the belief that doing good of one's own volition is the natural tendency of the majority. This is a conservative value (and perhaps typically anglospheric in its high trust nature).

The microcosm world of Nemo trapped in the fish tank, shows that even strangers in the same prediciament will try to help another. The fish in the tank could have easily devoured Nemo. Instead they worked even harder to free him - especially after learning his imminent fate and of the hope his father's search naturally brought.

These fish all wanted to escape to the ocean despite most never having lived in it and realizing it would be fraught with danger. The tank offered the perfect socialist dream - free food, comfortable living environment, dental entertainment but it was not enough. The freedom to make your own life and live by your own choices was paramount.

The ocean world is dangerous, but the lesson Marlin learned is that those dangers should not prevent you playing your full part in the world (and that Gill learned that using people to achieve your personal ends is wrong). Marlin and Gill are both nannies -- Marlin in the precautionary "don't do anything that might possibly hurt you sense" and Gill in the "I know best what's good for all of us" sense -- but both realize the error of their ways.

It's a shame that socialists haven't learned the error of theirs.

See the movie, it is so worth it. Or at least visit, for clips and previews.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Los Angeles Smog v Houston Smog

We are now at the place we meant to come to, and have successfully unloaded the compressor off the truck at Glendale, California. The trip over here brought us, as we had expected, through the worst of the morning traffic, but, to be fair, it was not as bad as we were expecting it to be.

One of the things about Los Angeles that Dad and I can't help but notice is the unusual amount of smog here. It is so thick that it obscures the view of the mountains in any direction, unless one is nearly on top of them, and it coats everything white with a layer of grudge.

How these people could criticize Houston for its pollution is something that greatly puzzles us, there'sless smog in Houston.

Dad was constantly coughing during the trip over here as a result of the thick smog. While we were in the general Pasadena area, I managed to catch a glimpse of the downtown skyscrapers through a wide pass in the hills.

I tried to take a few photos of them, but I am not sure how they turned out.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Online Book Quiz

Online Book Quiz

How many books do I own?

Goodness. That's a difficult one. Most of my college library was dispersed to, erm, buy beer. I lost a lot of my London library when I moved here, but between K and myself we must have well over a thousand. K just won about twenty editions of Shakespeare plays from an online sweepstake...

2. What’s the last book I bought? Last book I ordered was Pasteur's Quadrant by David Stokes (I'm researching the distinction between basic and applied science for a paper):

Last book I physically bought was Andrew Robert's Napoleon and Wellington, a great read that I left in England, grumble grumble.

Last book I was given was The Gallifrey Chronicles by Lance Parkin (thanks, Chad!), which I devoured in one sitting but found ultimately unsatisfying:

Three for the price of one. I feel like a book megastore.

3. What’s the last book I read? Arthur Hermann's To Rule the Waves, a history of the Royal Navy and how it changed the world (Edward Vernon, the father of grog, was opening up Spanish ports to free trade 50 years before Adam Smith). A fantastic book, which has made me buy some rum. Arrrr.

4. What are the five books that mean the most to me? In chronological order of authorship:

Homer: The Iliad. I had to read it in the original without having read it in translation first. I have never been more amazed by a work in my life. Fagles' translation captures a lot of the feel of the original.

Cicero: In Catalinam. Not exactly a book, but a collection of four of the masterpieces of political invective. Inspired me to become a debater.

I'm ruling out Shakespeare, where I'd probably nominate Henry V, but it's really a play that you should watch (you can't really recreate the Catlinarian Orations, so I'm happy to regard them as more a book now). So I'll move forward quite a bit to Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. The only thing to make me laugh so hard I fell off a chair before Terry Pratchett.

In similar vein, A G Macdonnell's England Their England is probably just as funny, and contains the best description of a cricket match as seen by a bemused foreigner (a Scot, in this case, Mr Bruce will be glad to hear). I'm so glad to see it back in print.

Finally, to finish on a slightly depressing note, I'll nominate Myron Magnet's The Dream and the Nightmare. No work better summarizes the disastrous failure of the 60s social experiment and why the left are wrong on everything. Things that work well in theory are often disastrous in practice and that we should tamper with age-old ways of doing things at our peril. It's recognizing that that makes a conservative, I suppose.

There we are. I don't believe in passing on chain letters, so I won't invite others, but those are my answers, for what they're worth.