Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Another strip out of 50% Wool 50% Asinine by Scott Hillburn.

More Thoughts About the Dumbest Generation

"The decline of school-supporting leisure habits--lower reading rates, fewer museum visits, etc.--created a vacuum in leisure time that the stuff of youth filled all too readily, and it doesn't want to give any of it back. Digital technology has fostered a segregated social reality, peer pressure gone wild, distributing youth content in an instant, across continents, 24/7. Television watching holds steady, while more screens mean more screen time. What passes through them locks young Americans ever more firmly into themselves and one another, and whatever doesn't pass through them appears irrelevant and profitless. Inside the classroom, they learn a little about the historical past and civic affairs, but once the lesson ends they swerve back to the youth-full, peer-bound present. Cell phones, personal pages, and the rest unleash persistent and simmering forces of adolescence, the volatile mix of cliques and loners, rebelliousness and conformity, ambition and self-destruction, idolatry and irreverence, know-nothing-ness and know-it-all-ness, all of which tradition and knowledge had helped to contain. The impulses were always there, but the stern shadow of moral and cultural canons at home and in class managed now and then to keep them in check. But the guideposts are now unmanned, and the pushback of the mentors has dwindled to the sober objections of a faithful few who don't mind sounding unfashionable and insensitive."

p. 200 of The Dumbest Generation by Mark Baurerlein

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thomas Has a Very Valid Point

I'm named after the Apostle Thomas and portrayed him once in a short musical. I love this comic. I found the comic online here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another Argyle Comic

- from the book 50% Wool 50% Asinine by Scott Hillburn

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Here's a funny "Argyle Sweater" comic parodying To Kill a Mockingbird. It's from 50% Wool, 50% Asinine by Scott Hillburn.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some Thoughts About TWILIGHT and Christianity

A man I respect introduced me to the following video. Whether you agree or disagree, it does raise some very interesting points that are worth thinking about, discussing, and contemplating.


Even though I have a mountain of other books I'm reading, I recently came across this book, The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein, and purchased it to read. Even though I'm not currently teaching, I try to stay abreast of educational trends, theories, etc. as well as what young people are into. The book is chock-full of facts and figures about the young people in our country and how instead of becoming more intelligent they are actually becoming more ignorant. What follows are a few quotes from the introduction to the book.
"We have entered the Information Age, traveled the Information Superhighway, spawned a Knowledge Economy, undergone the Digital Revolution, converted manual workers into knowledge workers, and promoted a Creative Class, and we anticipate a Conceptual Age to be. However, overhyped those grand social metaphors, they signify a rising premium on knowledge and communications, and everyone from Wired magazine to Al Gore to Thomas Friedman to the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation echoes the change....

And yet, while teens and young adults have absorbed digital tools into their daily lives like no other age group, while they have grown up with more knowledge and information readily at hand, taken more classes, built their own Web sites, enjoyed more libraries, bookstores, and museums in their towns and cities...in sum, while the world has provided them extraordinary chances to gain knowledge and improve their reading/writing skills, not to mention offering financial incentives to do so, young Americans today are no more learned or skillful than their predecessors, no more knowledgeable, fluent, up-to-date, or inquisitive, except in the materials of youth culture. They don't know any more history or civics, economics or science, literature or current events. They read less on their own, both books and newspapers, and you would have to canvass a lot of college English instructors and employers before you found one who said that they compose better paragraphs. In fact, their technology skills fall well short of the common claim, too, especially when they must apply them to research and workplace tasks.

The world delivers facts and events and art and ideas as never before, but the young American mind hasn't opened....

Teenagers and young adults mingle in a society of abundance, intellectual as well as material. American youth in the twenty-first century have benefited from a shower of money and goods, a bath of liberties and pleasing self-images, vibrant civic debates, political blogs, old books and masterpieces available online, traveling exhibitions, the History Channel, news feeds...and on and on. Never have opportunities for education, learning, political action, and cultural activity been greater. All the ingredients for making an informed and intelligent citizen are in place.

But it hasn't happened....They have all the advantages of modernity and democracy, but when the gifts of life lead to social joys, not intellectual labor, the minds of the young plateau at age 18. This is happening all around us. The fonts of knowledge are everywhere, but the rising generation is camped in a desert, passing stories, pictures, tunes, and texts back and forth, living off the thrill of peer attention. Meanwhile, their intellects refuse the cultural and civic inheritance that has made us what we are up to now."

Monday, August 09, 2010

A Couple of Star Wars Videos.

Here's a couple of funny Star Wars related videos. The first is from the zany people at Improv Everywhere who go around New York performing seeming "random" acts of "improved" hilarity.

The second is from the folks at CollegeHumor.com. It pokes fun at some of the "myths" surrounding Sept. 11th by using Storm Troopers talking about the destruction of the Death Star.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Final THE WIZARD OF OZ Reminder

A final reminder, tonight is the beginning of the final weekend for The Wizard of Oz. If you're anywhere near the area (Highland, IL), you'll want to stop by.
I hear the Cowardly Lion would win an Arts for Life Performance award if Highland, IL were 4 miles closer to Clayton, MO. You really don't want to miss out.

The Wizard of Oz
Produced by Hard Road Theatre in association with the Highland Arts Council and sponsored by Scott Credit Union

Final Performances:
Fri., Aug. 6, 2010 @7:30 P.M.
Sat., Aug. 7, 2010 @7:30 P.M
Sun., Aug. 8, 2010 @2:00 P.M.

All performances are held at the Upper Elementary Auditorium, 1800 Lindenthal Ave., Highland, IL 62249.

Ticket Prices: $9 adults, $8 seniors, $7 children

For more information go to www.hardroad.org

Another Oz Comic

Here's another THE WIZARD OF OZ comic strip. This one's from the book The Wild and Twisted World of Rubes by Leigh Rubin.

At the Other Premiere of THE OTHER GUYS

So, late yesterday afternoon I went with my brother to St. Louis. St. Louis beat 19 other cities out in an online voting contest to hold the Other Premiere for THE OTHER GUYS, a new movie starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Ferrell and Wahlberg were scheduled to make an appearance and my brother is a huge Ferrell fan. The red carpet line-up was scheduled to start at 7:30P.M.

The first celebrity to appear was one that was completely unexpected: the one and only Don King.

The radio DJ's who were emceeing the event were completely caught off guard by that one. They weren't as surprised when a couple of expected guests arrived shortly after: Ozzie Smith & Mayor Francis Slay.

The DJs recoginzed some St. Louis Blues players, but they had no idea who any of the St. Louis Rams were, including offensive lineman Phil Trautwein who was dressed in a giant Elf costume. Poor Rams. Maybe if they'd win more than 1 or 2 games a season, people would start caring about them again.

After a couple of hours waiting near a barricade (and seeing one woman almost faint from heat exhaustion nearby), Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg finally arrived.

The Mayor gave them keys to the City of St. Louis. Ozzie Smith gave them Cardinals jerseys with his number, but with their names. Someone from the Rams gave them Rams jerseys. They chatted for a bit. Then they "drove away" apparently to return to the theatre to take some questions from people who were lucky enough to get in to see the movie. Overall, it was quite a memorable evening.