Stuff That's Ridiculous

In lieu of my usual witty, well-thought-out posts (haha, I made a joke!), today I'm bringing you a mashup of sorts. (Ironic, because "mashup" is one of my least favorite words. It reminds me of gloppy potatoes on a spoon.) Why the random hodgepodge (which reminds me of hedgehogs), you ask? It's because there are several things on my mind - and rather than devote a single post to any of them, I thought I'd include them all.

So, in no particular order, things I think are ridiculous:

#1 - Pants on the Ground. I don't watch American Idol - does that make me thoroughly unAmerican? Whether it does or it doesn't, I'd be hiding under a rock if I hadn't heard about the "Pants on the Ground" song. I just YouTubed it and it really is funny. This is something that I think is ridiculous in a good way. But unfortunately, it's the only one; the others are just things that irritate me. (Kinda like your mom. Oh snap!)

#2 - The "chicken dinner" scandal in Denver Public Schools. Have you heard about this one? You can read the full explanation here at the Denver Post, but in a nutshell: for Martin Luther King's birthday, Denver school menus were to feature a "Southern-style" lunch of fried chicken and greens. The proposed menu put parents in an uproar, saying it was an offensive cultural stereotype. Really? Last I checked, I was white - I'm talking a "hurt-your-eyes-when-the-sun-glares-off-me" shade of alabaster - and I could eat fried chicken & greens every day (with lots and lots of sweet tea!). MLK was born in Atlanta. He was a Southerner. Southern food was undoubtedly part of his heritage. Is serving fried chicken on his birthday any different than, say, serving corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day? I mean, if the lunch were the only nod to MLK on his b-day, I can see someone being upset. But I'm sure the individual classrooms had their own MLK-themed curriculum. It's lunch, people. Seriously. I can't even believe that there is nothing more significant to worry about than SCHOOL FOOD. Note to the offended parties: let's take the passion you're using to stir up controversy and direct it toward something more productive, mmkay?

#3 - Haiti. Don't even get me started on the Pat Robertson controversy. Ugh. As we know, Haiti - which is already the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere - was hit by a distastrous earthquake on Tuesday. More than 100,000 are feared dead; even more are homeless and without clean water, food, or medical care. These people need help, and they need it immediately.

As a computer junkie blogger, I'm well aware of the astounding power of social media. Facebook and MySpace statuses, Twitter tweets and re-tweets, and all things similar are amazing means of spreading the word. You can reach hundreds and thousands of people with a few keystrokes and one click of a mouse.

I saw plenty of buzz on Haiti, and how we can help, on Twitter yesterday. But I couldn't help but be bitterly disappointed at Facebook. I set my status to say the following (and even attached a link to the Red Cross page so people could see it wasn't a hoax):

Hey guys - want a painless and simple way to help fund disaster relief in Haiti? Donate $10 by texting HAITI to 90999; the money will be added to your phone bill and 100% will go to the Red Cross. As of right now, $1M has been raised by this method!

Alternatively, you can donate $5 in the same manner by texting YELE to... 501501 (via Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation). Please pass it on - these people need our help!  

Twice yesterday I set this as my status. TWICE. Even so, out of my 266 friends - y'all know who you are! - I didn't see a single Haiti reference, nor anyone passing along the info about how to help (except my husband ... thank you, Honey!). Yet just a couple of days ago, I bet 80 percent of my female friends had posted their bra color in their status. And I still love 'em, but I can't help being discouraged at the indifference.

Think about it, you guys. We're not frantically sifting through rubble to find our loved ones, our children. We're not walking by dead bodies in the street because emergency crews can't be everywhere at once. We're not homeless or hungry or desperate, and we haven't lost our most valued possessions. Our national landmarks, the symbols of our country, are still intact. WE ARE LUCKY. If you don't feel like the richest person on earth right now, then look at this.

I'm not climbing up on a soapbox and saying I've done more than most people; I won't be on the next plane to Haiti loaded down with emergency supplies. But you know what I did do? I donated to the Red Cross, and I encouraged everyone I could reach to do the same. There are 250 million people on Facebook, and out of that, at least 120 million log in daily. Now imagine if half of those daily users donated just ONE dollar to a relief fund - that's sixty MILLION dollars!

There's strength in numbers, people. Even if you can't donate money yourself, it costs nothing but a few seconds of your precious time to spread the word to people who can.

Okay, maybe I am on a soapbox. :) Stepping down ...


  1. I hadn't heard about the Colorado lunch thing- ridiculous!

    Going to get my cell to text for Haiti!

  2. I hadn't heard about the Colorado lunch thing either... but it reminded me of a very high-profile incident at the Masters several years ago when Tiger Woods was first on the tour; some golfer made reference to eating "Fried chicken and collard greens" for the celebratory dinner. The same sort of debate ensued.

    Confessions From A Working Mom

  3. I love fried chicken, greens, even watermelon, and I am white as can be! Of course, that wouldn't be a problem here (Denver) as all schools are closed on Monday.

    And while I didn't post my bra color, I didn't do any posting about Haiti - I have been involved in fundraising at our church (about 8,000 members), hopefully that will make a difference

  4. I'm with you on the Facebook v. Twitter disparity.

    I think I saw just ONE other person posting about Haiti on Facebook, to say she was praying for them. Prayer ain't gonna buy medical supplies or water purification tablets.

  5. mmm.. mashed potatoes

    There certainly is a lot of ridiculousness going on.

    Thanks for giving and encouraging others to give.

  6. People are still alive and trapped in those buildings, calling for help, but there is nothing that can be done. EVERYONE should give what they can.

  7. I just posted the Haiti info on facebook myself, along with the info for those who are (like me!) "texting-challenged." We're so fortunate to be safe and healthy!

    As for the chicken dinner scandal, it's ridiculous. I'd be thrilled to have that for a school meal, it's one of my faves!

    And by the way...I'm still singing "Pants On The Ground!" Hilarious!

  8. Three cheers for mashed potatoes from the soapbox!
    . . .and I HAVE been hiding under a rock. . .

    I hadn't heard about text message donations. This is awesome, count me in!

  9. Your not un-American b/c you don't watch Idol....I am so done with Idol but I did hear that song on the radio! OMG is right about the lunch - lets focus on real issues within the school systems and I swear I never saw your status updates - since they changed FB I rarely see anything you & Bets & several others post - its like we're on at different times & I forget I can now click on status'. And FYI - I keep getting emails on FB about posting other comments as your status' to "mess with the boys" what are we in grade school?!?! LOL

  10. Weird, I was just about to text my donation when I read this post.

    Ahem....excuse me.

  11. I had seen it a few times on FB - which is GREAT! I didn't post anything, but I did donate.
    I saw another blogger who wrote about strength in numbers and how to donate. They only had the $10 donation and I added the $5 Yele one for those of us who can't afford the 10. :( I wish I could!
    I also saw a lot of the scam for the "free flights" and "free UPS packages". Don't fall for that one. :)

  12. Excellent post about Haiti- i didn't even realize it automatically went on your bill- how easy. I'm gonna do it and post of FB. Thanks for delurking!

  13. Good points and very well stated. Although I donate monthly to a relief fund that is ready no matter where the disaster, I will go give to Red Cross now.

  14. Not sure why I didn't think to post about Haiti on facebook. I think I was overwhelmed with getting a relief effort going at my school on Wednesday. I did do a tiny piece on my blog though. It's so easy, and if you do the texting thing $10 is such a small amount, there's no reason anyone SHOULDN'T have donated by now. If it helps, I didn't post my bra color either or any of those "lets mess with the boys" things that Denni mentioned. Thanks for getting on your soapbox! I'm with you!


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