What Happens When You’re Hungry?

Sadly, this is so me when I’m hungry.  Been like this since I was a wee tot and haven’t changed since!

Moomin and Lost

While scouring the net for new Moomin treasures, I came across a fantastic post on Matt Madden’s blog about a strangely mysterious connection between the Moomin tales and the popular American TV series Lost.

I’ll have to admit that I never properly got into Lost.  Perhaps it’s too profound of a show for me, but I just remember thinking, for f***’s sake, can’t we just get on with the story, i.e. get off the bloody island?!  But I digress.

Clearly, I’m not a Lost fan but I am a huge fan of Moomin.  And after seeing the connection between one of my all time favourite stories, “Moomin’s Desert Island,” and the first season of the show, I might just give Lost a second chance.

Just to give you a taste, the story of  “Moomin’s Desert Island” begins with a helicopter crash, hurling the Moomins onto a small desert island.

After the Moomins gather their senses, they venture out in search of food.  Moomin Mama goes hunting and finds wild boars.  Meanwhile, Moomin is out digging a hole when he encounters something unexpected just under the surface…a hatch!  Sound familiar to you Lost fans?  This desert island plot sure does make for a good story, one so good that the producers of Lost couldn’t give up!

Not O-Kay

The results are in from the UK 2010 general election and it would appear that the voters of Britain have made history in producing the first hung parliament since 1974.  Unsurprisingly, there has been growing speculation as to what could happen as a result of the negotiations that will follow.  Again I’ll leave the analysis up to the experts, but who really knows what goes on behind those closed doors?

I suspect that even Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg aren’t even sure themselves at this point, especially not on the wee bits of sleep they’ve gotten over the past few weeks.  In-party tension is rising, and so are blood pressures.  Meanwhile, I’m left to wonder if the media could back off a bit and let things run its course.

I say this because I was shocked by Kay Burley’s interview of a protester in favour of proportional representation outside of the Lib Dem meetings.  Why interview someone if you’re just going to shout over them?  That’s a bit out of order, if you ask me.  And what’s with thinking that 65% of the British public voted for a hung parliament? Somehow, I get the feeling she’s been misinformed.

Surely, 65% of the voting public voted for their party of choice, which unbeknownst to them would result in a hung parliament.  There wasn’t a box to mark with ‘hung parliament’ on it.  I don’t know much about Kay Burley, but she reminded me a lot of Bill O’Reilly.  Kay, darling, a word of advice: learn to have a bit more tact and leave the bias out of your reporting, please.  It’s giving me a bit of a headache.

Parenthood

While Outnumbered (BBC1) is centered on the challenges of raising three small children, Parenthood (NBC) focuses on the development of the parents themselves.

Casting all stylistic critique aside, the drama as a whole ignites a good balance of laughter and tears.  Although not everyone may be able to identify with the precise socio-economic or familial backdrops presented in the Braverman family, it is the basic scenario that is universal to all parents and children.

What counts is being able to appreciate the feeling of being defeated and completely shattered after a day with an impossible child or the difficulty of letting go of your adolescent children and allowing them to grow.  It is also acknowledging the frustration of not always being able to maintain your own identity as a person and not being swallowed up by your role as a parent.

Admittedly, the most recent episode left me feeling a bit guilty toward my own parents, especially my mum.  Always my port in the storm and never giving herself any “time off,” I haven’t really taken the opportunity to get to know her as a person.  Perhaps now would be a good time to start.

Outnumbered

Although I absolutely adore all of the brilliantly batty (or, should I say bratty) children on Outnumbered (BBC1), Sam Wollaston may have a point about the reality of today’s children and their parents.  I would definitely agree that what makes the series so good is that it is, in fact, a spot on snapshot of a typical middle-class family.  The clever use of improvisation and allowing real opinions to be voiced with little to no censoring is what I love most about it.

I do hope that the show, although highly entertaining, will help parents re-evaluate what it means to parent (especially those that can identify with the Brockmans).  Unfortunately, the lack of respect for parents and elders, or anyone in general, is starting to become a universal theme.  Why are parents so afraid to “parent” anymore?  Are children nowadays really that different from when we were growing up?  Or is it just that society is becoming far too lenient when it comes to disciplining our children?

We have become so overly concerned with using “positive” words or making children feel good about themselves when sometimes a bit of honesty or constructive criticism may actually save them from bigger trouble in the future.  It would definitely save parents a lot of headache and heartache later on.

My favourite quote is from Series 1, Episode 2, when Pete, played by Hugh Dennis, gets into trouble for a “racist” remark made toward a slightly overweight Turkish boy.  As the poor chap was stuffing yet another packet of crisps into his mouth, Pete apparently said to him, “You could do with Ramadan lasting all year round, couldn’t you Kamal?”  I thought that line was fantastic!  I don’t see anything racist about that, actually (and am sick of people throwing around the word racist when it’s not appropriate).  In fact, it shows that Pete is aware of different religions and that he is concerned about the boy’s health.   Although I would’ve gone about it in a different way, my point is, why do teachers have to dance around core issues at hand for fear of offending someone?

The episode also reminded me of when I asked one of my student’s parents if they had their child read at home.  They said that he only likes to play play video games and they did not want to upset him by making him study or read.  I suggested that they “encourage” him to read for 30 minutes a day to help improve his reading. Their response was, “Oh we have, but he doesn’t listen to us.  He just yells at us to shut up.”   Their response wasn’t surprising, but the fact that I had to be so careful with what I said and use the word “encourage” was rather annoying.  The fact is, their child is reading way below his expected reading level.   Am I the only who cares?

Perhaps what I should have said was, “If you continue to allow your child to play all day and never force him to study or read (and allow him to talk back to you like that), then you could end up with a partially illiterate child.  He could grow up to  tyrannise  you because you were too soft on him and you will have nobody to blame but yourself.”  Of course, I would never say anything like that, but again, I think you see my point.

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Series 3 is expected to air this week!  It’s really a gem of a show and I hope if you haven’t seen it yet that you’ll give it a chance.