It’s Race Time, Sports Fans!

2 Mar

What was intended as another boring weekend turned out to be one of the busiest in recent memory. Sleepovers, Nerf battles, park visits, and racing got packed into a two day extravaganza. It was great–but is this what going back to normal feels like?

The most excitement I was expecting in my weekend was doing my taxes on Sunday afternoon. I got all my forms to fill out the “more difficult than it should be” tax form, but in truth, it’s a lot less complicated now that I only work for one company. Back when I was a consultant, and I had to fill out up to three state tax forms, it was a bear. (Pro tip: never work in Maryland.)

However, I never got to any of that. Instead, someone texts us right before candle-lighting to confirm a playdate for one of my daughter’s friends. Cool–almost forgot about that. Then a family friend stopped by later that night and realized he forgot to invite Asher to his son’s birthday party. They were going to K-1 Indoor Racing on Sunday; well, of course, we said yes.

So after services on Saturday, the wife and Eliza went out to the park to play with her friend Sophie and her mom… who came back with them. So I had a nice time half-reading, half-talking to Sophie’s mom while the girls had scads of fun. (I don’t get to use the word “scads” very often–my great-grandma last used it in 1914. True story.) Meanwhile, my son was over at his neighborhood friend’s place playing Nerf battles in their house (not MY house). That took all day for both of them, and Eliza and Sophie had so much fun, they asked if Sophie could sleep over.

Why not? It turned out to be the first time that Sophie ever successfully stayed the night anywhere. They had THAT much fun.

Which led to Sunday, where we almost forgot about Asher’s Hebrew tutoring session, so the cantor and him had a quick half-hour on Zoom singing, and then we went out the door. Because they put this racing place in an industrial park, and no signage, I made three wrong turns before I found the place. Asher was at least 4-5 years older than any of the other kids at the party, but because they met at a Montessori school, this is not that unusual. They did three races around this track in side a warehouse. (To my non-Arizona readers, you HAVE to have this inside, otherwise, it would be too hot to use for half the year.)

This was expensive as hell and not something we could do more than once a year, but thankfully, I didn’t pay for any of it! When I did something similar his age, it was outside, and it was with little lawn mower engines… and I’m sure it cost much less comparatively.

Anyway, they topped off Sunday afternoon with both my kids hanging out with different friends, different activities, and my wife even getting to hang out with her friend while I got to play computer games. Lord, that was a good weekend! Even before this shutdown, we usually only did one of those things–we crammed in four events! Are we overcompensating? Is it just a strange confluence of different events? Did you go go-karting as a child? Let me know in the comments below!

“Halsey Acted Stupidly”

1 Mar

I finally forced my son to watch The Hunt for Red October with me, one of my favorite movies, and (of course) he ended up loving it. However, one of the quotes sent me down a rabbit hole which proves to me that “hindsight is 20/20.”

As an amateur historian (got the training, not paid to do it), there’s a conversation where Ramius (Sean Connery) asks Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) what books he writes for the CIA. Jack replied, “I wrote a book about Admiral Halsey called “The Fighting Sailor,” it’s about naval combat tactics.” To which Ramius thinks a moment and says, “I know this book. Your conclusions were all wrong. Halsey acted stupidly.”

Fleet Admiral William Halsey with Admiral John McCain, Sr. (Senator McCain’s grandfather)

This line is delivered while they’re waiting for the torpedo to destroy them, so it’s intended as a joke in the movie, but it does bring up the question, “Was Halsey acting stupidly?” I found this great article where someone outlines in detail why Halsey was NOT stupid and thought it was brilliantly explained. If you don’t have the patience for the whole story, it revolves around the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 1944, fight for the Philippines in WWII. American Admiral Halsey gets suckered into chasing after some Japanese carriers which turn out to be decoys. He sends a message to organize Task Force 34 and support 3rd Fleet, which was supposed to be protecting the army landings. 3rd Fleet CO hears this message, thinks Halsey is covering the landings, and proceeds to sail away after other targets.

Except TF34 doesn’t exist yet, and due to another mistake, the ships didn’t form up. So a smaller task force (“Taffy 3”) of 6 American Escort Carriers, protected by 3 Destroyers and 4 Destroyer Escorts has to take on the MAIN JAPANESE BATTLE FLEET with 4 Battleships, 6 Heavy cruisers, 2 Light Cruisers, and 11 Destroyers. Here’s the amazing thing–the Americans win–in the most lopsided naval battle in history. (Sidenote: one of those destroyers was called the USS Johnston, no relation.)

Now many historians (including amateur ones like Clancy) argue that Halsey should have seen through an obvious feint, or at least, ensured there was actually ships going to TF34. People forget they can only go off the information they have AT THAT TIME. Japanese carriers were a real threat to Halsey’s battle line. If they were real, that meant he had found the main Japanese battle fleet, and was steaming towards the guns. He believed his flank was covered by 3rd Fleet and he had to engage the Japanese before they threatened the army landings under General MacArthur (another controversial figure).

A more recent example would be the lack of WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq. It was the main reason for invading Iraq in 2003 during George W. Bush’s administration, Our spies said Iraq had WMD’s, our allies said they had them, Saddam Hussein himself said they had them… and yet when America takes over the country, no WMD’s. Suddenly, America’s justification for overthrowing Hussein vanishes, and people wonder if it’s was all just a charade to invade in the first place. Did President Bush know they didn’t exist? We won’t know the answer to that (if ever) for another couple decades, but if you take away the real threat that Iraq threatened to drive Israelis into the sea, it’s easy to criticize in hindsight without considering what Bush knew AT THAT TIME.

It’s easy to criticize in hindsight, but in the real world, you don’t have that advantage. You never have all the information. Another example, one part of the FBI knew that Osama was planning the 9/11 attacks, but couldn’t convince their superiors it was legit. All you have is the information in front of you. So maybe we can cut some folks some slack when they make a mistake. Accountable, sure, but understandable.

Am I giving Halsey and Bush too much credit? Does the “the evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones?” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2.) What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

“There’s a piece of Maria in every song that I sing.”

28 Feb

“Never ask an artist about their art.” Mostly because they’ll give you a long rambling answer that doesn’t tell you anything or the answer is disappointing. So when I woke up with a Counting Crows song in my head, I had to find out who Maria is.

Unless you grew up around the same time I did, you’re probably not a fan of Counting Crows. I find that I tend to gravitate towards lead singers whose vocal range is similar to mine and Adam Duritz fits that bill. He’s the white guy who wore dreds for twenty years and was labeled by MST3K as the most repulsive thing in the universe. Anyway, in at least four songs I can name, Adam sings about a girl named Maria, including their most popular, Mr. Jones.

The great thing about the internet is that you can find answers to just about anything really fast. Whether they’re the correct answers is up to you. When Counting Crows hit the scene in 1992, the Internet wasn’t that robust, so you were left with wondering on your own? Who was Maria? From the lyrics, I guessed that she was an old girlfriend that he treated rather bad, felt bad about doing it, and then never quite got over that fact. That was my guess because… well, that was my experience, right?

Well, someone interviewed Adam and asked that very question. Turns out the answer was disappointing. Maria is… Adam. It’s just the feminine form of himself that gives personality to his experiences. Well, that’s either a) deep or b) too up his own butt. But hey, it’s his songs–let him write about whatever he wants!

This is probably why Pearl Jam never explained the story behind their hit song, “Jeremy,” because as cool as the song and the video is, the real answer would be disappointing. Certainly I can remember looking up Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “Hold Him Down,” which has a lot of violent imagery, and learning that it was really about beating up his brother as a kid. Gee. That’s exciting. (blink) Okay, what’s next?

So when I write about the Terran Associated States, and you think to yourself, “Wow, that’s a cool term–where’d you come up with that?” I should probably keep my mouth shut. But because I’m a fawning attention whore, I’ll more likely blurt out, “It came out of a game I played at a church picnic.” Plus, all the normal names for governments have been taken in other sci-fi universes: Federation, Confederation, Republic, League, Union, Alliance. You have to find more obscure references in history: Madras Presidency, Anglo-Irish Ascendency, Brotherhood, et al.

Have you run into this trouble before? Or does finding out the truth behind the art make it more significant to you? Let me know in the comments below!

Rules for Thee, Not for Me

27 Feb

It used to be great to be a celebrity–you could drive drunk and the cops would escort you home without a ticket. Well, this new reality has come home to politicians in the United States–that you can make a rule and think it doesn’t apply to you.

Before I start blasting both parties, let’s start with a recent celebrity who made the news: The Boss. Now I’m not a Bruce Springsteen fan. I kinda like his music and I -really- hate his insufferable political rants. It must have been the Vietnam War when we started caring what politics a movie or rock star had. (Sidenote: Vietnam vets STILL hate Jane Fonda.) However, I have a problem when a park ranger decides to make an example out of Bruce by daring to defy his orders. He took one shot of tequila–still below the legal limit–and then got on his motorcycle. But because the ranger specifically told him to not do it, this woods cop got his butt hurt, he arrested him.

What I find even more insufferable is that this happened in November, and some a-hole decided to use it to blast him for his super bowl ad in February. I kinda liked the ad, but when I realized it was the Boss talking, I thought, “How are we supposed to meet in the middle when you claim loudly that everyone to the right of Trotsky is evil?”

In the end, I don’t mind celebrities getting away with rule breaking because their actions don’t affect me. I don’t buy the Boss’ music, I don’t go to his concerts, I don’t fund him–but enough people do that allow him to rant all he wants. He gets to do that. Politicians thinking they can do the same thing DOES disturb me, because these people DO affect my life.

Take Gavin Newsom, governor of California, who has maintained the highest level of lockdown in his state due to the COVID outbreak. I’m not here to argue whether that was a good idea; I know that Gavin thinks its stupid because he decided to go out in public, in a large group of people, unmasked. He supports keeping public schools closed for “safety,” because it doesn’t apply to his daughter, who goes to a private school which has been open. The rules for you people, who don’t how to run your lives, but Gavin is smart enough to run his own… so why should he follow the rules that he himself wrote.

Hypocrisy runs on both sides of the aisle, say when Senator Ted Cruz decided to take his Cancun vacation while his state froze and had unbelievable power shortages. Now you might say that Ted is a US Senator and really doesn’t have much direct action that could help his constituents, but he could have been on the phone, bugging the president, and making an effort to help them. I don’t need him to fly back to Texas and hand out cups of soup, but staying in his office in Washington would have sufficed.

But to go on vacation is really tone-deaf. Plus there was the lame excuse of “oh, I was just escorting my daughter.” Sure, once you get to Cancun, the resorts are like little fortresses, and they’ll be safe, but your daughter has a daughter has a mom that could escort her just fine. Were you gonna jump back on a plane to Texas? Hell, no–so own up to it! Say, “I planned this trip to Cancun months ago and I’m going to go. I can call the president from there!”

But that looks bad and it should. You can’t preach against gay rights and then have gay sex in an airport terminal. You can’t send elderly folks back to infect their nursing homes and then claim you are a paragon of leadership. Own it and let the voters decide if you’re the person they want to represent them.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox, but what do you think? Did I hit both sides equally? Should politicians be accountable to the same laws? Let me know in the comments below!

Whatever you’re doing, it’s not enough.

26 Feb

Every so often, my wife makes me read non-fiction books. If she’s read them as well, then they’re pretty good. Then there are the books she suggests “you should really educate yourself.” So reading a book about raising daughters turned out to be an exercise in futility.

Naturally, I want to be a good father to my daughter. She’ll be hitting puberty any day now and it’s important to be prepared for lots of things. So I ended up reading Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, MD. I mean, after all, she has an MD after her name, she must know something, right? And she does cover a lot of different topics. Things to do, things not to do. How to be supportive, but allow her to independent. Girls are different than boys (I know, radical statement), so naturally how they approach different milestones is different than how I would approach it with my son. Plus, since he’s my clone, I can understand him a whole lot better, because I’ve been through most of the same situations.

But with girls, I don’t have the same experiences, so I read this in order to be ready. After a few chapters, I noticed a pattern. The chapter would start off with 1) Here’s what you do, 2) here’s what you don’t do, but as they get older, 3) something outside your control might screw up all your hard work. For example, a father “is the first man a daughter falls in love with.” Model healthy relationships, treat her with respect and love, show her how she should be treated with friends and family. However, they might fall for a guy who treats them like crap, and this causes emotional scarring that will undo a lot of the work you did before.

Thanks, Meg.

So what you’re saying is “the only thing you can really control is how your daughter perceives you.” Life has a way of taking you places you weren’t expecting to go. (That really should be one of my maxims.) Fair enough. Often when I don’t feel like playing with my kids, when they prompt me, I do it anyway. Because I think of it as an investment in the future. “Remember that guy who took care of you and played with you the first 20 years of your life? You don’t want to throw that old guy out on the streets, right?” 🙂

So putting Meg’s advice aside, perhaps the best advice was one that I read was a post that said, “I want you to have bad sex.” (I wish I could find it.) It was beautifully written, but it was a father writing to his daughter saying, “I want you have all these experiences. Some of them will be bad, some will be good, but I want you to have them all.” So if all I can control is my own actions, then I’m going to do the best with my daughter… but accept I can’t control what happens when she goes out the door.

I don’t wrap her in bubble wrap, but comfort her when things go wrong. I have to accept things will go wrong. That’s the true strength of being a father–seeing your kids go on without you. And the easier you make that at the beginning, the easier it will be when they finally leave.

But I could be talking out of my behind–what do you think? Is there a better book that gives advice to fathers? Is there advice you wish your dad told you? Let me know in the comments below!

The Neighborhood’s Gone Downhill

25 Feb

“Gentrification”–such a weird word. Taking a neighborhood, improving it, then making it too expensive for the original inhabitants to live in. The alternate is to let it rot that even the inhabitants don’t want to live there. Do you take the tradeoff?

I was thinking of Baltimore, because I’ve been reading The Expanse books, which one of the main characters actually faked his own death to get out of. Having worked in Baltimore for six months, I can sympathize. Where I worked was one of the snazziest, gentrified places in the city: Harbor East. Right on the waterfront, yachts, restaurants, walking paths, new buildings–absolutely gorgeous. But it didn’t take much to figure out that they had to demolish a bunch of really old houses in order to build this modern marvel.

In fact, I could walk about a quarter mile and see exactly what Harbor East replaced. Bad neighborhoods that you only dared walk through during the day. Murders every other night and plenty of lesser crimes in between. Downtown even looked shabby compared to Harbor East. This is not that unusual in the world. Even my town of Tempe, Arizona, Apache Boulevard which runs out of Arizona State University used to be where all the fraternities had their houses, liquor stores, and all the low-cost motels for the visitors. Not the nicest of places. Then then ran the light rail through there and poof! All those houses disappeared and got replaced with nicer apartments. Because now those with money could afford to live further away from campus.

The liquor stores shifted to lesser desired neighborhoods or renovated other buildings to fill that gap. The cheap motels were replaced by AirBnB years ago. The frats were moved to a consolidated block years before, anticipating the move. And the poor housing? Moved down the line; they could use the light rail, too, but less conveniently and a longer commute.

To quote one of my favorite movies, “We’re now a nice local bar none of the locals can afford.” Gentrification may be inevitable. You can only live in a new suburb as far out as you are willing to travel for it. Yes, you can take the commuter train from Harper’s Ferry, WV to Washington, DC, if you’re willing to ride for 2-3 hours. Which means it’s more convenient to live closer to where you work.

Or is it? The one good thing about the pandemic is that it finally made companies realize that you CAN work from home for most white collar jobs. So why should a company be based out of New York City when they can save money basing themselves out of Pigeon Forge, TN? You don’t fire anyone and save state income tax. And if the cities aren’t pulling in that income, how are they going to maintain this infrastructure? If the neighborhoods go downhill, why won’t those who can move to Pigeon Forge? We’re already seeing this in California.

Honestly, I’m not against gentrification, mostly because it’s not my neighborhood. I grew up in a small town where the lack of the factory means it’s slowly falling apart. So if a NYC company came to Morrison, started putting up their flat pizza stores and Starbucks, a lot of the locals would complain… but they’d still be local. Then again, I’m more of a gypsy, but what do you think? Is there a balance between gentrification and maintaining the local culture? Let me know in the comments below!

Stranger in a Strange Book

24 Feb

Who is John Smith? The protagonist in most books has a simple name, understandable motivations… in other words, forgettable. They are taking the place of you while you walk through the universe. Because there’s a price to be paid if your protagonist is too exotic.

After reading The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, I realized that he rotates between three or four main characters, of which one is American, two are Thai, and one is Chinese. It’s set in Bangkok, so that makes perfect sense, and you’d think that a guy with a complicated Portuguese name is going to be comfortable with characters with strange names to American ears. But Paolo struggles with this same problem. When you have to crank out a last name like Chulalongkorn (actually the name of King Rama V), you start using nicknames or first names fast. When I lived in Thailand, it seems Thais understand that, and are comfortable being referred to by their nickname because their real name is so long.

However, it doesn’t have to be just names. For example, when I sat down to write Drag’n Drop, I thought I would make my main character the dragon, because… that sounded really cool. However, it quickly became clear to me that if I wanted a two-ton flying machine running around an alternate New York, and not have him be a shape changer… he wasn’t going to be in all the scenes. So I invented a guy and a girl to hang out with him to go to all the places where a big green dragon just wouldn’t fit in.

The more I thought about it, though, my main characters were generally white guys, but do NOT have easy names, because… well I’m a white guy with a slightly uncommon name. You would surprised how often Marcus Johnston becomes Mark, Marc, or Markus Johnson. I generally refer to my characters by nicknames. In Defending Our Sacred Honor, I thought it would be fun to call my main character Javier Jackson, but he became Jax instantly. Fatebane is the name of the main character, but it’s not the name he was born with, for reasons that are clear in the book.

Predatory Practices is the only book I was involved with that where there was a non-human main character. However, his name was Heth… because the complicated three name alien nomenclature wasn’t practical most of the time. Mind you, I wasn’t the main writer on that, but I thought Ed did a great job creating a believable alien culture that was still relatable to the reader.

In the end, though, I am an American, and although I reach out to readers all through the world, I’m sure when I slip, my references are uniquely American. Since I prefer to write sci-fi, I hope it’s more universal. However, I’ve read books that use references that are distinctly English or Irish or Japanese and my mind hits a speed bump when I read them. I remember reading an article by a Czech, and since I was working through Google translate, I didn’t catch an idiom when I was writing it down. It was only talking with my Czech friends that they explained the reference.

What do you think? Have you been taken out of a book by all the strange names? Or do you not mind a main character named Massaponax? Maybe it’s better if he goes by Mass. Let me know in the comments below!

Sometimes Madame LaFarge Has to Die

23 Feb

As an author, I get it–it helps to kill off a main character now and then to keep the stakes real, and not feel like a comic book. However, it needs to be important to the plot, and not just… happen.

I don’t wanna give away the spoiler for what I was reading, but man, it really irked me when one of the main characters (not the POV character) suddenly dies. I had to actually go back and read the scene again because it happened so fast! The character just dies and the author just moved on to the next scene! Apparently the author addressed this in a later interview, “We were telling a war story, people die in war, and I realized that our characters hadn’t really felt that loss yet.”

Seriously? When the author killed another character earlier in the book, at least it was the chapter end, and it was very obvious. “Oh, you blew his head off.” It was important, it was clear, and even if it seemed random, it advanced the plot. This read like an afterthought. At this point, I should remember what my father-in-law said, “If you don’t like my story, write your own!”

But I also remember what my friend Nathan said when he had to read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. He said, “I love Madame Lafarge. It’s obvious the author loves Madame Lafarge. But the entire plot was leading up to her and the guillotine. Sometimes Madame Lafarge has to die.”

I liked this phrase so much that–although it’s not one of my maxims–it is one of the guiding stars when I write my stories. It IS important to have the stakes be high in a story. In a comic book, the main characters will never die. Or they’ll die, but come back in a couple episodes. Or they’ll die and become the villain. But they always come back. When you have to kill a character, the other characters should have to deal with the consequences. It SHOULD make the struggle real. In real life, people die suddenly and without warning. But this is a story–you don’t invest several hundred pages just to kill someone off as an afterthought. That’s not making the struggle real–that’s a late edit.

Oh well, not my universe. Thinking back to Dickens, my grandpa used to misquote the famous lines at the climax, probably he never read the book either. “It is a far better thing I do… then to say hello to you!” I thought it was hilarious. But what do you think? Have you run into senseless deaths in stories? Killing off the POV character at the end of a book is material for another post. But have you ever thrown a book across the room because you were so mad? Let me know in the comments below!

What is obvious to some…

22 Feb

I made sure to introduce Monty Python’s The Holy Grail to my son at the earliest age possible. So when we sat with other geeks, Asher knew all about it. Then someone asked, “has he seen Life of Brian yet?” I said no. Why? Because he simply wouldn’t get it.

Why wouldn’t he get it? Because he didn’t grow up in a Christian culture. He went to Jewish schools until he was in 3rd Grade. We go to synagogue every week. The only connection he has with Christians are his friends, and as teenage boys, they’re less likely to talk about faith except in the passing. He barely knows about Jesus’ story, Christian holidays, and the New Testament… except from what we taught him.

So although it’s an incredibly funny film, for my son, most of it is only funny in context. Which means I’d have to explain the film as he watched it; that would make it homework and kill the joy out of it. So I figure he should probably discover it later on his own. However, that’s led to another problem… all modern comedy is based on Python. Every single comedic ensemble that Asher enjoys learned initially from watching Python. I tried showing him an episode of Flying Circus once and… he just didn’t get into it. Some of it dated, but more to the point, he’s seen so many other groups do similar jokes, or (gasp) do them better.

It’s like having film students watch Citizen Kane. By modern standards, it’s an okay film; solid, not amazing. It’s only when you have someone explain why the film is amazing that you actually understand. Before Orson Wells, all films showed a scene in front of a backdrop–the camera didn’t move, the lighting was always bright to show the actors on screen, there was no variation. It was much more stilted production. Citizen Kane created cinematography.

The reason you don’t see that when watching Citizen Kane is because every film after that is based on Citizen Kane. So all the ingenious concepts got copied by everybody else. It’s like rewatching The Matrix–you’re not wowed by bullet time or the inventive use of green screen. Thankfully, it’s still a good film; the fight scenes are still enjoyable, but you’ve seen similar stuff since then.

So will Asher seek out Life of Brian? Who knows? But he’s not clamoring for it. There are so many options–so many other movies he wants to see–that unless someone watches it with him, I don’t think he’ll seek it out on his own. Which is a different post for a different day; the loss of a common canon. But what do you think? Would Life of Brian still be good without knowing much about Christianity? How many films do you drag your kids (or someone else’s kids) to, because you know that if they watch it long enough, they’ll love it? Let me know in the comments below!

Non-Political and Totally Educational

21 Feb

I listen to a lot of commercials, so naturally, I hear a lot of BS. So when I hear a pro-life non-profit suggest that they are “non-political and totally educational,” I have to question that statement. But maybe it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it.

This is not a post about abortion; this is about the messaging of abortion. The folks who put out this radio ad are called Pro-Life Across America. Now I don’t like this ad, not because I’m pro-choice, but because it’s so cutesy. You’ve got either a sister or a mom talking to their five year old about how you can hear a heartbeat at 18 days, or moving at 10 weeks, or smiling at 12 weeks. Then Mary Ann Kuharski, the director of PLAA comes on and tells you that they are “non-political and totally educational,” and how you can help.

Now my initial thought was, “the second you promote pro-life, you are political,” but when I thought about it… they’ve got a point. Take the more activist version of the pro-life movement. The old guys who stand outside of abortion clinics with giant signs, usually VERY graphic, and shout at women who try to go into the building. To quote a great song:

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom that said he was in love
He said, “don’t worry about a thing, baby doll I’m the man you’ve been dreaming of.”
But three months later he say he won’t date her or return her calls
And she swear, “god damn, if I find that man I’m cuttin’ off his balls”
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walking through the door
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner and they call her a whore
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to choose

Everlast, What It’s Like

PLAA is not marching in front of the Supreme Court building (although some of their members might), their job is reach out to scared, recently pregnant young women, and convince them to keep the baby. They do this through ads and billboards. In my town, there’s a place near Arizona State University called “Crisis Pregnancy Center,” which I know is a pro-life center, but most people don’t. Politics aside, they are totally educational. They’re not going to provide you any drugs, no medical visits, they’re going to point you to folks who will help you through the pregnancy and beyond.

There is a whole network of services out there to support new mothers, shelters to live, day cares to help with the baby, ways to help pay for medical care… but you need a way for these young women to find this information out. So yeah… the more I look into it, the more I respect their approach. I disagree, but it takes away one of my arguments: “You care about having the baby, but don’t give a damn what happens to the baby after that.”

Doesn’t mean I like the cutesy approach any better, but at least, I can see that they’ve thought this through beyond putting up billboards. But what do you think? Is better messaging the key to avoiding political blinders? Is my definition of “political” too broad? Do you get annoyed at cutesy ads too? Let me know in the comments below!


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Movers Poetry

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