Tag Archives: Anchor

You Will Believe. . .

Superman can do anything, but the one thing he does that everybody wants to do is this: He flies.

The freedom he has to take off and just fly wherever he wants, whenever he wants. . . The ability to cruise the heavens and drift over the poor souls trapped at the bottom of Earth’s gravity well, forever anchored to the pedestrian and the heavy. . .

Flight, dudes. That’s what everyone loves about Superman, even before we come to understand the second-most amazing thing about him: He can do anything he wants, but he helps people because it’s the right thing to do.

Now, if you’ve seen the recent movie Man of Steel, you might be wondering who this Superman fellow is I’ve been talking about because it sure wasn’t like anyone in that movie.

And that’s true. I’ve spoken before about my loathing for Man of Steel. It’s a good homicidal superbeings slugging it out in the midst of planetwide destruction disaster porn, but it’s not a Superman movie.

I mean, Pa Kent? The moral backbone who makes Clark Kent into the man who would want to be Superman? Yeah, him. In this movie, do you know what his big moral lesson is?

“Clark, it’s okay to let people die if it will make your life easier.”

Yeah, that’s some good ethics there, Pa. Great job. And don’t even get me started on the whole snapper of an ending. Really. Don’t.

In fact. . .

Let’s all take a breath here. (And by all, I mean, of course, me.) Breathe in the oxygen, breathe out the negativity.

Ahhh. Much better.

So. Back to the premise of the post.

Superman, the real Superman, can fly. It’s so fundamental to his overall physical description that it formed the tag line for his first solo live-action film, with Christopher Reeve.

“You will believe a man can fly.” And we did.

A flying man is never not awesome. Just ask any two-year-old kid. In fact, just ask this two-year-old kid. You’ll see what I mean.

Be prepared to overdose on cuteness for the next couple of minutes.


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Sexist Selfie Suggestions

Selfie is the new  chad.*

And provides the televised talking heads with the latest social shaming technique aimed at the ladies out there.

For those of you dudes with real lives who might have missed this massively important news, the Oxford Dictionaries recently declared selfie, “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” as the Word of the Year for 2013.

Yes, really.

According to Oxford research, the use of the word selfie has increased by 17,000% since this time last year. Judy Pearsall, the Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, further explains their decision in a press release: “Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research program, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use ofselfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year.”

There have also been lots of plays on this word, such as welfie (workout selfie), drelfie(drunken selfie), and even, for you book lovers out there, bookshelfie (shelfie in front of your bookshelves).

Interestingly, even though Oxford Dictionaries named selfie as the word of the year and gave it a pretty thorough definition, it isn’t yet included in the Oxford Dictionary. Yet. I’m sure. Other words that were shortlisted (for 2013’s word of the year) include bedroom tax, binge-watch, bitcoin, olinguito, shmeat, showrooming and twerk (thanks, Miley).

I told you that story (with massive apologies to Bill Cosby) so I could tell you this one.

On CNN’s Headline News, an male anchor, a female guest commentator and a male actor (Dean Cain) all got together to talk about the 2013 word of the year and to show some celebrity selfies and try to decide which selfies belonged in the Selfie Hall of Shame. Watch the embedded video below and then come back. I’ll be waiting.

So. You’ve seen it, yeah, dudes?

First there was Kim Kardashian’s mostly full-body selfie showing off her post-baby physique. Then a shirtless, 70-year-old Geraldo Rivera in a locker room. Then Miley Cyrus wearing a bra and panties in a mirror asking about her hair. Then a shirtless Justin Bieber.

All four selfies were deliberately provocative. All four showed a bit more skin than would normally be associated with a photograph going out in public. (Unless you’re a celebrity, of course. Then, I guess, the normal rules don’t apply.) And, yet, it was the two female selfies that were immediately inducted into the Hall of Shame.

Geraldo got a “pass” because he looked so good at 70, while Bieber’s shirtless selfie simply was a case of “giving the fans what they want.”

So, let’s look at the equation here: Female celebrity skin = bad and salacious. Male celebrity skin = good for them.

Does anyone see the disconnect here or is it just this dude?

Honestly, at this point, I really don’t know what to say. We all know Americans have an unhealthy obsession with sex. Not that sex is bad, understand, but that we obsess over it, but also obsess over making sure it’s never seen, talked about or thought about by anyone but us. We all know there are different standards for men and different standards for women. A woman doing exactly the same thing as a man will be shamed, while the man is celebrated.

But to see it so blatant, so out in the open and to have no one comment on it. . .

Dudes. . . Dudettes. . . This just isn’t right. Isn’t it about time we did something about this? Do we really want our children growing up into such a sick culture?

 

*If you’re not old enough to know what a chad (and it’s cousin the hanging chad, and the second cousin the dimpled chad) is, then count yourself lucky.


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Drowning Is Anything But Dramatic

Here’s the deal, dudes. As summer comes on, more and more of us will be out on the water. As a parent, I found this article to be quite timely.

It also managed to scare the snot out of me. My family and I are big beach folks. For a week every summer, we head down to Florida’s Crescent Beach and frolic, enjoying fun in the sun in the waves and surf.

I thought I was prepared. I thought I knew what I needed to watch for to keep my kids safe.

I was an idiot, as this recent article in Slate will show.

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine; what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their 9-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know—from 50 feet away—what the father couldn’t recognize from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew know what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.

Yeah, I know. Frightened the heck out of me, too, dudes.

There’s this thing called the Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., and it’s what people do when they’re actually drowning. And it doesn’t involve waving their arms and shouting and making a fuss so they can be seen by the hot lifeguard and dramatically rescued.

Drowning victims actually are very quiet. Breathing comes first, before speaking. If you can’t breathe, you’re not going to be talking or shouting. They are incapable of actually waving their arms as said arms are locked out to their sides and instinctively pushing down on the water to try and keep their mouth in the air and not the water. They can’t stop drowning and perform voluntary movements like trying to attract attention.

From start to finish, the Instinctive Drowning Response will mean that the victim usually is upright in the water, quietly drowning with no evidence of a supporting kick.

According to Dr. Pia and rescue experts, there are a number of things to look for in a drowning victim.

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back

The most important thing, though, is when you’re around the water, stay observant. Make sure you know where your children are, where everyone in your party is. If they’re in trouble, you won’t hear it. So it’s up to you to be aware.


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