slyvermont: (chocolate)

Beloit, Wis. -- When they welcome the class of 2011 in the coming weeks, American colleges and universities will be saying hello to the generation born as the Cold War was ending. For them, a Russia with multiple political parties and a China with multiple business enterprises seems quite normal. They’ve grown up in a time of triumphant capitalism, where it’s common for stadiums to be named after corporations and where product placements have always been yet another clever way for companies to sell their wares.

Each August for the past decade, as faculty prepare for the academic year, Beloit College in Wisconsin has released the Beloit College Mindset List. Its 70 items provide a look at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of today’s first-year students, most of them born in 1989.  For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead.

All about the class of 2011 )
Have a good time at Dragon Con, everyone!
slyvermont: (typewriter girl)
[profile] rosiewook linked to and commented on an article that ran last Sunday in the New York Times, about today’s “amazing girls.” I’m commenting here, instead of having a really long response on her journal.

The article focused on a group of girls at an affluent suburb of Boston. These girls really are amazing – they take high-level academic classes, pile on the extracurricular activities, and feel like they have to be thin and beautiful and dressed well, too.

First off, in the general scheme of things it’s hard to feel sorry for a bunch of affluent girls living in one of the wealthiest communities in the country. Their problems are laughable compared to the daughter of a single mother in Harlem, for example. But as a woman, and as a mother of a daughter, I found the article fascinating and I think it does capture the life of a growing section of the population. And it raises some very troubling issues.

Some random comments and responses to Paula. Beware – lengthy!

slyvermont: (Tonks)
Caroline got into her first college! University of Wisconsin. She was quite thrilled, skipping down the stairs, a huge grin on her face.

I’ve seen two movies in the last week, The Queen and Casino Royale (the latest Bond movie). The Queen is about the dramatic week in England when Princess Diana died, and all of England except the royal family went into paroxysms of grief. Tony Blair was new in office as PM, so a lot of the movie explored the relationship between him and Queen Elizabeth (played marvelously by Helen Mirren). The day Diana died we were in Cape Cod staying with friends. Coincidentally, their au pair, Angela, was from Great Britain. Jane and I discussed how to wake her up and break the news to her, figuring that she would be devastated. When Jane finally did it, Angela couldn’t care less and went back to sleep. She was the one Brit (besides the royal family) who was indifferent. I remember that week checking the British papers online, being astonished by the outpouring of grief and the indifference of the royals.

The characterization of Prince Charles was interesting – he came off as a mix between a weak-willed ninny and a concerned father and ex-husband. It was at moments flattering and at other moments not. His father, Prince I can’t remember his name, came off as a total asshole. All he wanted to do was take the princes out “stalking” (hunting). Fresh air and all. He seemed to hate Diana more than anyone. Good movie: I recommend it.

Casino Royale was fun. Violent and bloody – there was a horrible torture scene, and I don’t understand how it got a PG-13 and not an R rating. The emphasis was not on megalomaniac bad guys wanting to take over the world with super weapons – it was a more personal, smaller story. It takes place just after Bond becomes OO7, so before all the other movies (it’s like being in a warped time machine). So we learn a little about Bond before he became a suave womanizer. Not that he wasn’t a suave womanizer in this movie – although he had sex with only one woman. The plot was convoluted (of course); the first blond Bond was OK, and they certainly figured out lots of ways to show his chest and abs. Which were fine to look at.

Funny moment in the office yesterday. A lady calls up to tell us that someone shot and killed her pet duck in her backyard. After much discussion about this in the office (is it duck season? Did it look like a turkey? Who cares?) one reporter comments – “a duck is killed. The turkeys are thinking, cry me a river.”


slyvermont: (Default)

March 2012

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