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Her Storyline

In Empathy, Popular Music, Television, Thats' Life, The Sunday Bully Pulpit, Unemployed on May 15, 2011 at 8:00 AM

#bullDogNATION’s Sunday BULLY Pulpit

Susan Lucci. Unemployed.
Help! I need somebody,
Help! Not just anybody,
Help! You know, I need Someone…
Help!

Susan Lucci has lost her job. Aw. After 41 years playing the oft married Erica Kane on ABC’s All My Children, Susan Lucci is Unemployed.

Hello, Susan. Welcome– to the continuing, real life drama starring 9 million American People and their children, All The Unemployed.

Of course, it’s not going to be fur you as it is fur all the People in the cast of All The Unemployed who are not you. All the Not multi-millionares, not self employed owners of their own companies. All The Unemployed not with beauty products and jewelry lines being sold on QVC. All The Unemployed not pulling down writer’s royalties.

So sop up those tears, Susan! Your income producing capacity is still solidly intact. And don’t forget you have the added good fortune and (not to mention) security of being in a healthy, happy marriage with the husband of your youth, the man of your dreams and in a house and home (perhaps several of them even) filled with cherished mementoes of the beautiful family you both successfully reared together.

Talk about “winning!”

Just because you’re fortunate and wealthy, however, doesn’t mean I can’t empathize with you. I know having a job

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money

I understand. I know what it’s like firsthand, Susan. Here. Dry your eyes. Take a moment to reflect on Her storyline. Now here is Someone who really has somethin’ to cry about. Her real life storyline began in November, 2009. She can only hope someday She’ll be fired from this. Who knows, you may even ask yourself what all your drama is really all about. Up next, the all not-so-new, all consuming, all daytime, nighttime, continuing lifetime drama…

All The Unemployed (multiple marriages not included).

Look at me. Still languishing here in this place some might call Hell. I just listened to Jason Reitman today as he discussed, in an interview with Robert Seigle on NPR what he learned from his experience working with “real people who had lost their jobs” for his newly released movie Up In The Air” starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga.

“If you’d asked me before I did this movie, ‘What’s the worst thing about losing your job in this type of economy?’ I would’ve probably said the loss of income,” Reitman explains. But as I talked to these people, that rarely came up. What people said, time and time again, was: ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ … It was really about a lack of purpose. They would say, you know, ‘After I finish this interview, I’m going to go get in my car, and I have nowhere to be.’ And I can’t imagine thinking that every day.”

“I can’t imagine thinking that every day” young Mr. Reitman said. We’re not just thinking it, Mr. Reitman. We’re feelin’ it and that, I can tell you from experience is far, far worse!

Imagine getting up every morning with no one in the world expecting you. No one who knows or cares if you’re even ALIVE or not. No one irritated because you are late.

Days blend into weeks. Weeks into months. You check and recheck the calendar reminding yourself what day of the week it is. The Today Show is a touchstone.

There is no greater hell than to have to begin and end each and every day having had nothing to do. Nothing to think about. No Where to be. No one to be with. Never hearing the phrase “See you tomorrow.” I go whole days, weeks, months even, without ever having to part my lips to make a sound. I can go equally as long not hearing anyone say my name.

The phone never rings.

Death of a SalesmanAbsolutely, you are right, Mr. Reitman. It is not the loss of income that is the thing. I used to always joke that if I wanted to work soley for money I’d be a prostitute. No, it’s not the loss of an income that we miss most.

Work is the anchor of a life. Look what happened to Willy Loman, for god’s sake. Everything you do in life is because you work. Work is not a privilege. It’s a RIGHT! There can be no Life, Liberty or PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS without WORK! Work is the American dream!

Once you have your job and feel secure in it and have adapted to the routine of collecting and managing the paycheck, that’s when

L-I-V-I-N-G actually starts to begin. Every plan, every decision, every thought, even your commute to and from work each day is predicated upon the completion of those allocated eight hours and the blessed assurance you’ll get to repeat that routine all over again tomorrow.

Then there are the dribbling, mundane routines and rituals. Before work you may do a load of laundry, drop the kids off with caregivers, stop at a drive through for a McGriddle, stop at the dry cleaner, plan dinner.

Sliding the card key through, getting the green light, entering the place where you go every day, where you chit-chat about those mundane, shared experiences with co-workers, grocery shop on your lunch hour, online bill pay, multi-task, and pitch in for birthday cards, cakes and balloon bouquets for co-workers you hardly know (and likely don’t even like). You’re at work. You have a job.

After work, complain about traffic while listening to tomorrow’s water cooler topic on the radio; pick up the kids, stop at the grocery store or Pet Smart or Target or just head straight home because dinner has to be made, the dryer has to be emptied, the carpet needs to be vacuumed, homework needs to get done, bills are in the mailbox. Everybody has to pee.

Meal time, bath time, quality time, bedtime. All the while your mind’s already reflecting on tomorrow’s in-basket, (how much gas is in the car?) e-mails that need to be responded to, deadlines, projects, your special work algorithm or just the everyday joy of the everyday routine of everyday people doing what they do every day– anchoring their lives so they can orbit all the things they really love and care around all that. There can be no family, no friends, no food, no music, no TV, no NPR.., no…“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and J-O-B is the sun!”

Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

There is no community without people who are working. Studs Terkel wrote a book about it. Real people don’t give a s**t about “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” All they wanna do is work so they can live, make their parents proud, maybe even in the same neighborhood they grew up in. Grow their childhood friendships, marry their childhood sweethearts, share the old neighborhood and most cherished memories with their children and then check out, kick the bucket so to speak, realizing some measure of satisfaction with the content of their lives.

People have to be working to do that.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

That’s Her story. Talk about a work in progress. See, Susan, unemployment often contributes to estrangement from family. It did fur Her. Unemployed People are often too ashamed to let their families know where they are or how they’ve ended up. They’ve lost everything. Now they sit among things that are not their own. They dwell in interior spaces that are not an expression of themselves. Joyful experiences are few and far between. They isolate themselves. Conceal everything.

free music

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now those daya are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Don’t worry, Susan. You and I both know this will never be your story but I understand you feel awful now, though. It’s a terrible thing to have to let go of something when you’re not ready. I understand you’ll miss your work routine, certainly the character, the friendships you’ve cultivated because of your long association with the show.

But you are in a blessed position to reflect on your experience with fondness. After all, All My Children has been very, very good to you. You had 41 years. You never have to look back with fear or financial uncertainty or even anger. Maybe you should do less crying on TV and be more grateful about all that. If you won’t do it fur yourself, do it fur your fans. Do it fur me.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me
Help me..,
HELP me… Oooooo…. ♫♫
Goodwill Energies I project
Upon each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life. Today.

Integrating 4 and 5

In Children's Literacy, K-12 Education, Popular Music, Songs On Saturday, Thats' Life, Tv Show Theme Songs, Writers and Writing on May 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Hello Everybully! Welcome! To Songs On Saturday!

Last week was so nice we’re doin’ it twice, including another song from my heretofore unreleased compilation called Stupid Pet Sounds.

This week, Songs On Saturday integrates four of my favorite things:

  • People
  • Randy Newman
  • music and

The Five Aspects of Literacy: Reading, Writing, Listening, Thinking and Speaking (in That order)!

Huh? What’s literacy got to do with Songs On Saturday or music at all? In general even?

I’m glad you asked That. BOL! Music involves listening, yes, but it also involves reading. I enjoy reading music lyrics. Reading about the musicians. Reading about the music, reading the notes. Reading about the instruments. There’s a lot of reading involved with listening to music! Lyrics, the words to music, are written by songwriters.

Songwriters are not always musicians or recording artists. They don’t all sing, play an instrument or even read music! Some songwriters “hear” the music in their heads or the lyrics may come to them at 2 o’clock in the morning forcing them from sleep, compelling them to write them down. Lionel Ritchie and Smokey Robinson have produced Grammy Award winning tunes that began with little more than the hook or a simple phrase. Then they labored to construct the song, often collaborating with others on the project.

Some songwriters are accomplished musicians but not performers. People like David Foster, Paul Williams, Burt Bacharach or Bernie Taupin. They write the songs that make the whole world sing. Their talents are sought and highly prized by big name entertainers such as Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Elton John.

A handful of songwriters are not only celebrated musicians and composers who accompany themselves with instruments, they also write their own songs. These musicians belong in an exalted class of musicians, Singer/Songwriters that include Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Carole King, Adele– and

Randy Newman?

O-Tay sure, many of you were first introduced to Randy Newman because of unarguably one of the funniest TV theme songs in sitcom history. The show wasn’t too bad, either. Very funny.

free music

Listen to Randy Newman's Short People | 1977

But Randy Newman is more than just a writer of hilarious sitcom theme songs. He’s a Singer/Songwriter whose satirical lyrics make you think and at least in one famous instance, made a lot of People speak as well.

In 1977, Randy Newman released a tune called Short People. “Short People” was widely misinterpreted by a public just beginning to experiment with the latest phenomenon in social sensitivity– political correctness. This new attitude had the unintended consequence of generating a great deal of publicity for the song and unwelcomed controversy for Randy Newman.

Randy

At first blush, the song appears to be ridiculing of Little People, with phrases such as “nasty little feet,” “stubby little fingers” and “dirty little minds.”

Mr. Newman was compelled to publicly defend his use of a literary device, the figurative intent of the word “short” and to appear on many late night talk shows to explain the song’s intent which was to call attention to how silly and small bigotry looks, sounds and actually, in fact, is.

When asked whether he anticipated the irony of the lyrics would spark such a firestorm of criticism, Mr. Newman responded: “I didn’t. I thought, all you gotta do is listen. It’s not like it’s James Joyce. [Then] I realized the medium wasn’t great for that. People don’t listen to music like that…”

Newman went on to record other songs that examine and mock bigotry: “Rednecks” and “Half A Man.”

In a 2003 interview fur The Sunday Times Mr. Newman went on to respond further about people missing the point of his songs: “To write indirect songs with characters that aren’t yourself as the narrator is not the best way to achieve commercial success. I mean, irony, who’s got the time? But it’s what I do, and it’s what I can’t help but do. I couldn’t write like Elton John if I tried.”

People under the age of 30 will, doubtless, recognize the distinctive voice and banging, saloon-like piano playing of Randy Newman from all the Disney Pixar films he’s done the music fur, namely the Toy Story films.

Now that you’ve clicked on all the links to learn more about Randy Newman and all his impressive achievements in a long and remarkable career, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. And so now… without any further ado, Songs On Saturday proudly presents ThatOne performing his soon-to-be hit (in his own mind) “Small Bulldogs!

Small bulldogs got no reason
Small bulldogs got no reason
Small bulldogs got no reason
To live

They got little legs
Corpulent behinds
They march around
With determined strides
They got little noses
Protruding bottom teeth
They got big fat cushions
On their plodding little feet Well we Don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small bulldogs
‘Round here..!
Bulldogs are not the same
As you and I
(They’re cool and don’t lie)
Bulldogs are brothers
Hear this long, heavy sigh
It’s a wonderbull world! Small bulldogs got no buddies
Small bulldogs got no buddies
Small bulldogs got no buddies
To love
They got little stubby legs
Make ‘em walk so slow
You got to pick ‘em up
And motivate their “Go!”
They got wagons & strollers
That go squeak, squeak, squeak
Make those purring noises
When they sleep, sleep, sleep
They got grubby little toe nails
Funny little minds
They grab you by the heart every time

Well we… don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small Bulldogs
Don’t want no small bulldogs
‘Round here..!

Goodwill Energies I direct
Toward each and every one of you
Each and every day

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”
That’s life today!

Literacy Learning Is

In Childrens' Literacy, K-12 Education, Music, Popular Culture, Television, ThatOne WORD, Thats' Life on May 10, 2011 at 6:09 PM

ThatOne, here! The world’s bulldog Champion Fur Children’s Literacy! I’m here today as a public service to promote children’s literacy. Not only do I want everybully to be able to read and write, I want everybully to be whole, literate, thinking People all the time. ‘Cause I’m the Champion Fur Children’s Literacy!

People should be thinking all the time
Thinking all the time
Thinking all the time

Thanks, Eddie.

What'choo talkin' 'bout, That?

Well, Literacy is the ability to read and write.

Dictionary.comdefines literacy as:  

So is simply knowing how to read and write enough to make one a literate Person?

With reference to textbooks, an ancient writer once wrote:

“To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion [to them] is wearisome to the flesh.” Eccl 12:12

Even way back then, there were way too many cooks– uhp– I mean books. Yes, textbooks contain a wealth of important information. They’re useful. I love them! But really, with the vast array of subjects and topics and interesting things to do and know today, how much time could you reasonably devote to reading them all?

Visited the library lately? Just look at all the books on the shelves there already. Do you think reading just one book on any one subject would be enough?

And what about your schools and teachers? Can they be expected to provide all the knowledge and information you need to help you become a successful, contributing member of today’s rapidly changing, increasingly integrated, global society? 

No.

That’s why literacy learning is so important. Literacy, in all its aspects, involves Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and Thinking. Literacy learning completely integrates the whole Person and the totality of  life’s experiences.

Being a literate Person involves more than mastery of the conventions of reading and writing. It’s more than merely being able to read and write. Literacy is the ability, together with a strong, compelling desire, to learn how to learn.

A literate Person is, in a WORD, a thinking person. They not only know where to get answers to their own questions, they know how to get them as well. They have learned how to learn. They also appreciate learning is a lifelong phenomenon. It quite literally is the never ending story. But it doesn’t have to be all work. Opportunities fur learning are ubiquitous. That means everywhere present!

Don’t believe me?  Okay, so what are you looking at right now? Now think about it– Everything has a beginning. That shirt you’re wearing has a maker. Every building has an architect. Every book has an author. Every word has a meaning. Every answer brings up another question. That’s being a literate Person.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Pedagogy of Oppressd Ppr)

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire forcefully articulated that genuine learning can only occur within a context that is meaningful and relevant to the learner. Literacy, he insisted, is an active phenomenon, deeply linked to personal and cultural identity.

Its power lies not in a skill based ability to read and write, but rather in an individual’s capacity to put those skills to work to make meaning fur his or her self in the world. 

Literacy involves Reading. Writing. Listening. Thinking. And Speaking. I’m always modeling literacy behaviors. Each are grrreat and fun to do. Here. Take a look at what I just wrote! Umma call this

Literacy Seuss!

You can do them all alone.
You can do them in a group.
You can do them while at school,
When at work or on the stoop.
You can only just do this
or you can just do that
Read and Write combine the pair
It doesn’t matter Let them stare
You are thinking “I don’t care!”
You can Listen, Think and Speak all the time
and any where!

Did I sound like Dr. Seuss? Maybe just a little bit? BOL! See? Literacy rocks!

That’s why I am your enthusiastic and tireless Champion fur Children’s Literacy! And why I’m always sniffing out interesting and fun ways to encourage Reading, Writing, Listening, Thinking and Speaking.

WORD dogRead my blog. Click on the highlighted links and read some more about the People, places and things I blogged about! Read what others are saying about what they’ve read.

WORD dogWrite a comment on my blog. Shoot me an e-mail. Follow me on. Friend me on Look! Four fun avenues fur you to write. And the best part–I lub to read what you write!

WORD dogListen to the music and the videos I link or actually include in my blog, and to what others are saying about my blog or the content.

WORD dogThink about the things you’ve read about on my blog. What have you learned? What have you learned about what you already know? Any questions? Think about the answers to your questions. Need more information? How would you go about finding it?

WORD dogSpeak talk about what you read with others. Each one Teach one. Teach someone else what you’ve learned. Speak about what you think with your parents, teachers, and friends. Even your furriends! BOL! You just might have your very own personal WORD Reader dog sittin’ right there next to you. Or lyin’ there. BOL!

Reading, Writing, Listening, Thinking, and Speaking. So much better than just knowing how to read and write!

Goodwill energies I project
Upon each and ever one of you
Each and every day

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning..”

That’s life today!

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