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Like A Sore Thumb

I hate to fly on airplanes. From the yellow plastic keg cup oxygen masks to the idea that a car seatbelt is going to save you in a plane crash, everything that’s supposed to make air travel “safe” seems to be ridiculously far fetched.

One of the only things I do like about air travel is the airport. The airport is the transportational equivalent of the shopping mall; every town worth anything has one, and they usually have the same basic essentials.

While they may differ in design, modern airports share the same basic desire to offer us overpriced haircuts, shoeshines, and sandwiches, coupled with partial strip searches and futuristic hand chapping technology.

What’s not to love?

Something I’ve learned in my travels is that when I’m flying back into Portland International Airport, from anywhere else in the world, I don’t actually actually need to know the gate number that my flight is leaving from: I just need to know the airline I’m flying with.

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Freedom From Discipline

You’ve no doubt heard about the high school athlete who was disqualified for dropping an Eff-Bomb during competition? After failing to clear the Pole vault, he cursed and then was disqualified from the meet.  His disqualification cost the entire team points, in turn costing them the state championship.  People got up in arms about how something so small and un-athletic could cost so many so much.

The athlete admitted he was wrong, and admitted the mounting pressure caused him to accidentally slip up.  Now adults are applying pressure to change the rules.  It’s disturbing how quickly, and strongly, pressure can build.  Which reminds me…

I recently saw a movie so disturbing that I still think about it before I fall asleep, and I saw the movie two weeks ago.

I don’t often set out to watch disturbing movies, an evening encounter with Hannibal Lecter cured me of that, but my friend Aaron invited me to go see it and  Aaron has excellent taste in movies, music, and pants, so I and several friends agreed.  We saw a movie called “Hanna” which was a brilliant, post-modern Fairy Tale.

Now when I say Fairy Tale I don’t mean it in the “Disney Princess Story” way we’ve come to expect.  I say it in the Horrifyingly Germanic way that children’s stories were told about 200 years ago.  As Dwight Schrute consistently reminds us, Fairy Tales were told to children for educational purposes as opposed to entertainment value.

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Worse Than We Want It To Be

There’s very little that’s right about the life of Barbara Millicent Rogers.  Since graduating from Willows High School in Wisconsin she’s been torn apart for her impossible beauty even though she’s enjoyed a very successful career as a schoolteacher, veterinarian, astronaut, jazzercise instructor and baby sitter while serving in the National Guard.

Despite these “Aaron Spelling approved” contributions to feminism, Barbie is once again under fire for promoting an unhealthy image of beauty and desirability for young girls.  This week Galia Slayen, a former student at Portland’s Lincoln High School travels the morning talk show circuit with her own creation, a “life size” Barbie who is a dramatic representation of  eating disorders.

That Barbie represents a miniature totem of the American idealization of beauty can’t be disagreed with, it would be like trying to say that cigarrettes aren’t addictive.  Everyone would believe that you had an agenda that you were trying to push and you’d lose all credibility… and an election.

But what if the problem wasn’t just what OUR LOVE of Barbie tells us about beauty?

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