Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Break! Whooo!

Today is the first day of Spring Break for Champaign Public Schools, and I have been spending it in my underpants watching March Madness. We're planning on taking it easy this break, and may go up to Chicago next weekend. I have never been a big "Cancun" style of Spring Breaker anyways; in four years at Bard, I spent my Spring Breaks in Montreal, New Hampshire, and Vermont (twice). Suffice to say, there were not many people going topless or "Girls Gone Wild" camera crews about. Thankfully.

I don't know about you, but man, my bracket is busted. (Ohio?? Seriously, Ohio??) Last night, Robyn said this to me: "You're a bad gambler. Which is different from being a problem gambler. You're a bad gambler, and you know you're a bad gambler. So I don't really mind." Until I bet our life savings - or Robyn's copy of Jane Eyre from 1943 - on Gonzaga making the Final Four. ("But honey, it's a Sure Thing!")

Speaking of sports.... Robyn's dad wrote us a letter that included the following:

Ask Joel why the Oregon football players keep getting arrested. That is typical behavior of University of Cincinnati players, but unusual for Oregon where people are nice.
Sigh... I was hoping to continue the charade of making my future father-in-law believe that Oregon is "where people are nice*," but I guess the game is up. A simple Google search ought to clear up the air a bit:

June 18, 1999: Eco-Terrorists Given Free Reign

July 23, 2001: In Oregon, Anarchists Act Locally

September 26, 2008: Beavers Win, Ducks Riot

September 26, 2008: Eugene Party Escalates Into Riot

October 31, 2008: Eugene Police Trying to Prevent Halloween Riots

Why do the Oregon football players keep getting arrested? Well, that's just how they roll in Eugene.

electric-kool-aid-acid-test **

Sadly, the West is today producing freaks of a much less noble streak. In yesterday's Spokane, WA Spokesman-Review (Go Zags!), the following story ran: "Sali Resurfaces, Criticizes Immunizations":

Former Idaho Congressman Bill Sali resurfaced in Idaho politics today, testifying against child immunizations at a state House committee he once chaired and scheduling a Statehouse announcement on this final day of the candidate filing period - which then turned out to be just an endorsement for another candidate.

Sali, a conservative Republican, lost the 1st Congressional District seat to Democrat Walt Minnick two years ago after serving one term; before that, he was a longtime state lawmaker known for clashing with members of his own party....

... At the House Health and Welfare committee, Sali spoke out against child immunizations, saying, “I grew up in a time when childhood diseases were something you had as a child, and I had mumps and I had chicken pox and I had measles. I don’t spend any time worrying about whether I’m going to have those diseases. If a parent decides they want to have their child exposed and have that natural immunity that should never be held against them in any way.”

Sigh... "I grew up in a time when childhood diseases were something you had as a child..." "And dammit, if you had polio, then you just dealt with it! You pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and you stuck to those Nazis and Commies and Nazicommies, and said to them, 'Dammit! I'm an American, and my parents have decided that they want me exposed to this disease that was identified as a global epidemic in 1910 and that in 1952 killed 3,145 American children and paralyzed 21,269 others and that that decision to test my natural immunity should not be held against them in any way!' And that's why we won World War Two! And the Cold War! We had mumps and chicken pox and measles, and we never once let anybody ever tell us what to do!"

* "Where People Are Nice" would be an awesome state motto, by the way.
** From the "Merry Prankster History Project":

Around 1973/4 they became involved in something called the Bend in the River Council which was an attempt to influence Oregon's political and environmental decisions. Kesey and Babbs travelled to a number of towns around Oregon where they held open public "town-hall" meetings to discuss local area concerns and recruit interested parties. A large "Council" meeting was held on July 4th at Bend, Oregon where these "citizens of the state [were] given the opportunity to peruse, review, consider and express opinions on possible directions for the next 25 years" (I'm quoting from the BITR proposal that was circulating at the time).

Has anyone ever heard of this before? Can anyone point me to where I could learn more about it?

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