Tag Archives: Dog Biscuits

A Field Of Waving Hands

by Richard

Where did all that enthusiasm go, dudes? Where did it go?

For those of who aren’t following this bit of blog religiously, a little update is in order. As part of the growing up and getting out initiative, I’ve gone out and gotten a new job outside the home.

I’m currently a Title I Tutor at a local elementary school. I’ve previously talked about what a great school it is, full of dedicated teachers who are giving these lucky kids a fantastic education.

What really struck me this last week, though, was the kids themselves. For the most part, whenever a teacher asks a question she’s answered by a forest of upraised hands, most of them waggling back and forth like a hyperactive dog’s tail after he’s just discovered coffee-dog biscuits.

Seriously, dudes, these kids really, really, really want the teacher to call on them. Heck, even kids who don’t know the answer to the question are raising their hands, sincerely hoping they will miraculously find the answer once the teacher calls their name.

Is it that these little dudes and dudettes want the teacher to validate them? Because, to the young, the teachers and other authority figures are important, nearly as important as pleasing those same figures?

Or is it that the kids want to be seen as smart? After all, this is an elementary school, well before those times when being seen as the smartest kid in the room is a detriment. Do they actually want to be seen as knowing the answers? Do they care?

I’m not sure. All I do know is that they do want to be called on. They do want to answer the question. No matter what the question was.

There’s certainly no shortage of persistence in those rooms. If the teacher calls on one kid, the hands go down slowly and reluctantly, simply biding their time until the next question is asked and the hand can shoot up once more. And the kid who just answered the last question? Her hand is back up there with all the rest.

That, dudes, is enthusiasm, no matter the reason behind it. It’s a familiar lament, but if we could only bottle that enthusiasm and sell it to the old and the tired. Anyone older than 17, in other words.

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Dude Retro Review: Live And Let Die

by Richard

For some reason, my youngest little dude, Speed Racer, has become heavily into James Bond. He’s never seen one of the movies, nor has he read any of the original books. But he says he loves the character and wants more. So I gave it to him.

Big mistake.

I ordered Live and Let Die, starring the Roger Moore version of Bond, from Netflix and sat down with Speed Racer, Zippy the Monkey Boy and my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Nigh Perfect, and watched a James Bond movie that I remember absolutely loving when I was little.

At about 30 minutes into the movie, I remembered that I also used to love eating dog biscuits when I was a little dude. (long story and not something I need to go into here. Especially because it’s pretty embarrassing.)

This movie was terrible. Released in 1973, Bond, as is his wont, tried to tie into the zeitgeist of the late hippie time and early libertine 1970s with success ranging from horribly inappropriate to just plain awful. And it was quite possibly one of the most racist movies I’ve seen in a long, long time.

I won’t comment on the clothing as movies tend to reflect what’s going on in the fashion world around them and, let’s face it, the early 1970s were no fashion nirvana and that’s only looking at the ties they wear. I mean, those things were so wide Lindsey Vonn could have skied on them. (Hey, look! A topical reference! Well, only a couple of weeks out of date so not all that bad.)

No, the problem I had with the movie were the appalling stereotypes filling out the ranks of the secondary characters. First off, there’s the so-dumb-it’s-a-wonder-he-remembers-to-breathe Southern sheriff with a cornpone accent so thick you can barely make out the words between dribbles of tobacco spit.

Then there’s Solitaire, played by Jane Seymour in her first major role. A typically ineffective woman who sticks around so James has someone to rescue and to look at him admiringly. Rosie, played by Gloria Hendry, is supposed to be a secret agent and a double agent, but comes off as a horribly clichéd scardey woman, who can’t help but get freaked out by a dead snake and a hat with a chicken feather on it. Good thing James Bond is there to comfort her.

Finally, there’s the movie’s portrayal of blacks. It’s so appallingly horrible I was cringing most of the way through the movie. On the small Caribbean island, blacks are hootin’ and hollerin’ voodoo followers, all wide eyes and open mouths (I could swear I saw Amos and Andy in there somewhere) and just plain dialogue. In America, black people are depicted as the worst kind of stereotyped pimps, with feathered hats and huge, decked out cars that a real person wouldn’t have been caught dead in. I really felt sorry for the actors who thought they were getting a big break by playing in a James Bond movie.

Seriously, do not rent this movie. If I could give negative numbers I would. As is, I’m giving it 1 dude out of five, if only because I could actually follow the razor-thin plot, not that I wanted to. It also gave me a good incentive to take a nice long shower after, although it didn’t make me feel clean.

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