The Deep Fried Twinkie Defense

Our suburban archeologist, Lisa Finan, starts us off with her New Year pledge. Feel free to append your self-improvement ideas in a comment.

Every New Year√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Eve I think back to when I was fourteen, when my best friend and I watched New Year√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Rockin’ Eve on TV, hosted by Dick-the-worlds-oldest-teenager-Clark. Unfortunately, we were young enough to party (as it was called in the dark ages in Southern California) but not old enough to do it. So while our parents went out dancing the Fox Trot and drank Cable Cars, we waited for the ball to drop on TV. A lot has changed over the last 30 years. Like the personal and national security of my country. Not to mention our morals and ethics. Back then,  a kid didn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t need playdates because we were safe enough to run outside and play all day until mom called us home for dinner. And our leaders didn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t antagonize other countries to the point that they wanted to bomb the hell out of us, on our soil. We were all pretty much in the clear. It was America the beautiful. And I am waxing nostalgic.

But as some things never change, I still stay up to watch the ball drop. Now it’s with my husband and kids. This year though, I’ll be glad to ring out 2004. I think we’ve besmirched our national character quite enough for one year. I for one am ashamed. In fact, when we were in vacationing in Southern Italy this summer, I tried to play Canadian, but my size gave me away. My husband got away with it because he’s still trim. But I found myself apologizing on behalf of my President for being such a jerk, and that truly, Americans were still ok. We liberated you, remember?

Never mind the President√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s behavior, there√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s an entire laundry list of people and personalities who have behaved badly. And I seriously think we can blame it on the twinkie defense.  The deep fried Twinkie that is www.supersizeme.com. With a steady diet of sugar-fried-salt coursing through our veins, it√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s no wonder we√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re acting crazy. And yes, TV is also a culprit. I used to think that was out the the question. But viewers insist on watching people like themselves eat maggots and relish in the fact that participants get fired, well, need I say more? I√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ve taken matters into my own hands and locked my kids out of channels that contain maniacal, sugar frenzied, toy-ridden commercials blasting at ear piercingly high decibels.

That done, there’s still the matter of the criminals and bullies. Take Martha Stewart for example. She was a naughty one this year. Always pretending to be the picture of perfection while going postal on her staff everyday. There’s a work ethic worth emulating. I’m sure she’s happy to get “this ridiculousness” over with. Ah, then there’s Abu Ghraib. Yeah, thumbs up Lindy. That’ll be a nice one for the family photo album someday. The Pistons/Pacers basketbrawl was a keeper. Nice sportsmanship guys. The kiddies are really looking up to you and your multi-gazillion dollar contracts. And last , but certainly not least, those permissive parents who were too busy pull out a bag of vegetables and a chicken breast out of the freezer for their kids which nicely contributed to a national epidemic of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in children.

I√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m ashamed that Americans are in such a carbohydrate induced stupor that they√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re not bothered that 35.9 million Americans live below the poverty line √¢‚Ǩ‚Äú 12.9 million of them children. I think these were the numbers that inspired Roosevelt to institute the welfare system after the Depression. I√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m positively rigid when I think that 42 percent of Americans still think Saddam Hussein was "directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out" the 9/11 attacks. That Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld couldn’t find time to personally sign letters of condolence to the families of troops killed in Iraq. And that Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz couldn’t remember the number of soldiers who’d lost their lives in Iraq. There never was a kinder, gentler nation.

So, in order to make a more perfect union, in my house at least, I have decided, character building, versus nation-building, begins at home. As one of the few parents I know who give my children age appropriate chores, they’ve got more coming in 2005. We’re going to give to the food pantry and help out once a week at Tony’s Kitchen. stlukesmontclair.org. And there will be more vegetables, less TV and more chores. Sounds simplistic. But at least it’s a lifestyle I can defend.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Well I suppose this is a byproduct of winning the election. Now (and for four more loooooong years) we will have to listen to the left bleat, wail and gnash their teeth about the supposed morally superior of the 48% and it’s very *necessary* corollary (Because, how ELSE to explain their loss at the ballot box?) the supposed stupidity of the 51%.
    Bleat away…
    Anyone nostalgic for a time when “progressives” were FORWARD looking and practical?
    (oh, that reminds me)
    I need to reconfirm my hotel reservation for Washington DC on the 21st.

  2. I too miss the simpler times of my youth.
    No, I didn’t put this guy in office either, but the country did and like it or not he is our president for four more years. As pissed as I am about some of the things our government officials have been doing I would never go around trying to pretend to be Canadian. I am PROUD to be an AMERICAN…ALWAYS! My ancestors (and I) fought for our rights to be called Americans and I will not besmirch their good names by denying who and what I am. Being stationed in Italy many years ago I can tell you that they have not liked America since we saved their butt’s in the war. It was and still is very embarrassing for them, but they never came here pretending to be something they are not, they were/are still proud of their ancestry. If you are so unhappy with our government, you should have been more active during the campaigning of whomever you wanted in office (you can never be too active). It is as much your fault as it is anyone√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s that Bush has four more years in office. No, I was not that active either during election time, but I am not publicly or internationally bashing my country or its leadership.
    Now, with regards to what you said about raising your kids…Good for you to be so active in your children’s development. They are the future.

  3. There was a forced tone of moral superiority in this piece. Which wasn’t at all necessary. And wasn’t surprising, either. But if you really want to feel rueful, o author, you might ask yourself why, given this assumed high moral ground, you nonetheless assume you have the right to feel rueful for the rest of us. Would you really have felt that much better if, say, John Kerry had won the election? Get over it.

  4. The 51 percent are stooooopid, stupid.
    You’re all bloody handed bottom feeders and stupid, stupid.
    Did I mention how stupid you all are to vote for such a moron.
    I mean come on, you voted for George Bush.
    George Bush. You are STUPID.
    Yes, fifty one percent of you are dumber than the blood under Bush’s finger nails.
    And I’m proud to be an American too.
    Not a stupid one though!!!!
    And thats purty dumb.
    Did I mention you are stupid.

  5. cathar,
    Yes, you are right – not suprising at all.
    Rather like “Extry, Extry, Glen Ridge Leftie Ashamed to be American – Disses working Moms”
    No news there….

  6. p.s.
    I always love the “miss the simple times from my youth” sentiment.
    Times weren’t simpler – WE were.
    Just because when Ms. Finan was a lass SHE wasn’t aware that her country favored appeasment of the likes of Hussein, doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening.

  7. I love any mention of Dick Clarke as the world’s oldest teenager. I met Mr. Clarke’s sone once when I was in college. His son graduated two years ahead of me. This at a time when Boethius was still teaching philosophy.
    Anyway – kudos on the soup kitchen work!
    It’s interesting to see that in the current resurgance of religion in the public square that some one has decided to act on what Jesus said instead of just memorizing his more quotable quotes.

  8. Where is the virtue that neoconservatives claim justifies American hegemony?
    –Paul Craig Roberts
    Where?
    In Bush? In Abu Graib? In Chenyburton?
    In Right of Center’s poised posts.
    In the 51 percent’s homophobia?
    Where’s your virtue, warmonger?
    Bliz. Blam. The fats in the ham.
    Right of Center, you’re a tired old clam.

  9. “… decided to act on what Jesus said instead of just memorizing his more quotable quotes.”
    Here is a good one to act upon.
    MATTHEW 7:1-5:

  10. RofC: Not meaning any offense but you should probably know that quoting the bible to jusify a claim is simply not relevant to the 80% of the world that is not christian, not to mention the many of us Americans who are not as well.
    Yes we’re going to hell…what ever.

  11. Todd,
    No Christian I, so I don’t believe in Hell. But I do like the bible (most of the parts I have read).

  12. Whoa!! I like this! Cool site! Hey! No mean comments about Glen Ridge – groovy jazz musicians live in Glen Ridge – smile! Happy New Year. Love, peace and happiness.

  13. Bawww-hah-hah-hah!
    Republicans, stalwarts of all that is moral, are going to make it more difficult to inquire into the ethics of their own behavior.
    This, from the party that spent MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars to find NOTHING in Whitewater, Vince Foster’s death, and — ooh! — to detect a blowjob on White House time.
    Thanks to the “conservative” party for looking after my interests.

  14. What’s sad is how these “debates” degenerate so quickly into mere Gasconades. And if there is so much politically based unhappiness in Montclair and environs, I pity the folks who seem so pettily self-centered, let alone self-righteous. The “new Calvinism” may owe as much to Klein as to John, but that doesn’t make it any more likable in Montclair or anywhere else it pops up.

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