Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy National Poetry Month

Check out the Favorite Poem Project;

Ralph Fiennes and Bill Clinton are among the readers who have taped readings and musings of poems that speak to them.

"...50 short video documentaries showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. The videos have been regular features on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature."

Ralph Fiennes Reads Shakespeare's Sonnet 129

Tony Award winning actor Ralph Fiennes reads a Shakespearean sonnet in this video posted by Galley Cat;

Monday, April 2, 2012

Was Weiss' Tiger Mom the creation of a new genre of parenting guides?

From the New York Times;

Amy Chua’s book signaled a new approach to parenting literature: outing yourself as a more unyielding kind of parent.
Amy Chua may have to hand off the title of Tiger Mother to Dara-Lynn Weiss, whose article in the April issue of Vogue painfully detailed her effort to get her 7-year-old daughter, Bea, to lose weight. 

On the Internet, Ms. Weiss was quickly excoriated as one of the most “selfish women to ever grace the magazine’s pages,” wrote Katie J. M. Baker in a widely distributed post on Jezebel that drew more than 600 comments. ABC News sternly reported that “Mom’s Diet for 7-Year-Old Daughter in ‘Vogue’ Sparks Backlash.” 

Ms. Weiss had her defenders: Some online commenters praised her for tackling her daughter’s weight issues, pointing out that it was Bea’s doctor who said that there was a problem. Others wondered if her frank discussion of it made Ms. Weiss appear tone deaf. (Bea “didn’t strike anyone as ‘obese,’ but, in truth, I liked that the word carries a scary, diagnostic tone,” Ms. Weiss wrote.) One commenter on wrote, “I’m pretty sure Weiss just handed her daughter the road map to all her future eating disorders.”
Then on Monday, Random House made an announcement that dumped gasoline on the flames: Ms. Weiss had scored a book contract.
“Fat-Shaming a Child Into a Book Deal,” a headline on Salon huffed in protest.

As someone concerned about shaming children and the responsibility of parents to help their children manage their diet and exercise, the issue seems far more ocmplicated than the headlines flashed in local publications.