Thursday, October 20, 2011

Three for Thursday: Must-See Documentary, Lessons from the Sox & Travel Ball

Be Sure to Watch (Or DVR) 'Miss Representation' Documentary

I’ve previously written about the powerful documentary, Miss Representation and how movingly and chillingly it lays out statistics and displays images to prove its case that the media treat women horribly and that this treatment has a dire impact on women, our daughters and our democracy. Featuring interviews with a wide range of women of all political stripes -- from the worlds of entertainment, political science and journalism -- Miss Representation is a must-see if you’re raising children who are learning from the media what it means to be female.

One of the saddest statistics in the documentary: The one about how 7-year-old girls and boys, in roughly equal numbers, say they want to be president but once they turn 15, the number of girls who want to be commander-in-chief plunges dramatically. (I reviewed the documentary, and the impact it has on kids here.)
I urge you to watch and/or tape/DVR the documentary which premieres tonight at 9 on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). It is slated to be repeated on OWN at 1 a.m. on Friday Oct. 21 and 10 a.m. on Saturday Oct. 22.

Lessons from the Sox

You know that horror story that’s continuing to unfold on Yawkey Way, the one about our family’s beloved Red Sox players phoning it in at the end of the season, drinking beer in the clubhouse while playing video games and eating buckets of fried chicken during games as the team collapsed in epic style, dropping from the American League East leaders to falling out of the playoffs?

In my house, the ongoing ugly saga has provided a host of heartbreaking lessons, teaching moments if you will:

The Importance of Loyalty: We heard a radio interview with a Picket Fence Post family favorite, Dustin Pedroia, who refused to push his teammates under the bus (even if they deserved it) after the media were filled with stories of ill-behaving ballplayers (which included reports of obnoxious behavior including drinking beer in the dugout, something the team angrily denies). Pedroia was honorable and modest and said he wants to play his entire career in a Red Sox uniform. They don't make many like him anymore.

The Importance of Hard Work/Cost of Not Working Hard: Pedroia, by all reports, gutted it out all season, as did Jacoby Ellsbury who had a good year. They earned and continue to receive our respect Those who seemed to be phoning it in (*cough Lackey*), and who have been described as failing to listen to the team’s trainers to keep fit, are finally being called to account for their slackery.

The Damage Done By Betrayal: When very personal information about now ex-Red Sox manager Terry Francona was divulged, gossip about his marriage and his health, many people were steamed because it appeared as though folks from the Sox organization dimed him out as a way to pin blame on him. Though one of the owners, John Henry, denied that he was behind the personal reveals – the Boston Globe said that “a team source” told them that “Francona was distracted by marital issues and his use of pain medication” – some believe that the organization is culpable for the trashing with ESPN’s Gordon Edes writing, “the slime bucket is never far from reach on Yawkey Way.”

The Olde Towne Team sustained some tarnish over the past few weeks. The luster of those two recent World Series wins has been diminished. The Picket Fence Post kids are learning the hard way that baseball is sometimes harsh business and that, regardless of who’s playing/coaching/running the team now, they won’t be there as long as we fans are. To some players, they’re just wearing a company jersey and they don’t care what jersey it is. And it shows.

Travel Ball: The Good and the Bad

The results are in: Both The Girl and The Eldest Boy made travel basketball teams. This is both good and bad.

Good: It’s good in that neither of them had to suffer the indignity of getting cut (as one of them did last year). They’ll both play at more competitive levels and hopefully improve their play, perhaps learn a few valuable things along the way.

Bad: This means that they will have at least one in-town team practice and game a week AND one travel team practice and game a week. Four separate events, minimum. (You have to play on an in-town team in order to also be on a travel team.)

More Bad: The Spouse is going to coach The Eldest Boy’s travel team and has signed up to coach The Girl’s in-town basketball team. This is good for the kids, who love having The Spouse for a coach, but for me, that means that for two additional weeknights, The Spouse will be unavailable and I’ll be on my own should The Youngest Boy have a hockey game or practice. (The hockey practices are not on one set day or time and we sometimes receive precious little notice when the times are set.)

At least I can remind myself that basketball games are held inside, in climate controlled environments so I won’t freeze like I do when I watch the hockey games. However the downside is that I can’t sip coffee in the gym.

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