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LGBT, Life

The World’s First Sweater That Can Accurately Be Called ‘So Gay’

March 24, 2015

In a world where calling something “so gay” is almost without fail a cut or put-down, some smart folks came up with the strangest, and yet ultimately most powerful response: they created the world’s very first truly “gay object.” It’s a sweater. And yes, it is a gay sweater–made from the hair of living, breathing LGBT people.

So you think it’s cool–or even simply acceptable–to call something “gay”? Well, here you go. This sweater certainly is, and you can call it that without argument from anyone.

Source: Mark Joyella | Standupkid

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Why I’m Unfollowing Local TV Stations on Twitter

March 20, 2015

I grew up watching New York City TV, and have held the opinion for years that WABC-TV is a class act. I think back–dating myself in the process–to Bill Beutel, a legend who was one of the few anchors in my years as a local TV reporter who got me to call home to my family to say I’m doing a liveshot with Bill Beutel–record it!

But man, times have changed. I follow WABC on Twitter, but I really think it’s time to unfollow–and that’s not saying I don’t appreciate their news. I do, but the station’s Twitter account is a cavalcade of garbage that wastes my time, and I hate that. This morning, WABC tweeted–in all caps, no less–a story about a woman who drinks soda: “ANOTHER UNEXPECTED SECRET TO LONG LIFE,” the tweet bellows across my TweetDeck. “At 104, Sullivan keeps her doctor on hand.”

Sorry, who’s “Sullivan,” again? Well, as it turns out, she’s a lady from Texas. And she drinks three Dr. Peppers a day. And that, my friends, is that. Worse, if you click on the story, you get this gem of a lede: “One of Fort Worth’s oldest residents is contributing her longevity to Dr. Pepper soda.” Contributing? I give up. Unfollow.

sheepdogThe tweet that preceded the lady from Houston who thinks soda is keeping her alive was this: “PRECIOUS: Farmer live-tweets birth of 10 sheepdog puppies.” Staten Island, at least? Queens, maybe? No. England.

Two tweets before that, we were treated to a selfie taken by reporter Kristin Thorne, dancing. “Reporter by trade, but Always a dancer.” Unfollow.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy being alerted at 4 a.m. by the ABC-owned TV station in New York to a promotional video from a betting company in the UK that features dogs racing, sent in a tweet that read “Too cute!” What, no caps? Well, the thing is, maybe I don’t want this flood of garbage. Just tell me about alternate side of the street, weather, and what the mayor is doing to my daughter’s school. I can get the viral video and soda-drinking old ladies everywhere else.


Source: Mark Joyella | Standupkid

From the Web


Now ‘Movember’ Means Mental Health, Too

November 14, 2014

The grow-your-stache in November public awareness campaign that is “Movember” has, in the past, focused on prostate and testicular cancer. But this year, mental health has been added to the mix. And maybe Movember will help guys do something many simply can’t quite bring themselves to do: talk about how they feel.

As Ross Szabo, CEO of the Human Power Project, writes in the Huffington Post, many men are not feeling well, and suffering needlessly:

Men are more than four times more likely to die by suicide than women. The suicide rate in men ages 35-64 has increased 28 percent in the last decade. We’re shocked every time someone like Robin Williams takes his own life, but he is certainly not alone. Men abuse substances more than women, we experience more antisocial behavior, and men are less likely to seek help for their mental health.

Szabo talks about his own experience in a video, “Moustaches and Mental Health are Manly”. Hell yeah they are.

Source: standupkid

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Kids, Life, Opinion

Dwell Thinks Its Aviation-Inspired Sheets Are ‘Inappropriate’ for My Daughter

October 13, 2014

Here’s the thing about getting overly excited by the arrival of a catalog of high-end nursery furnishings: one way or another, you’re going to get your heart broken. Usually, it’s by drooling over the latest mid-century child’s bookcase, only to discover it’ll cost you $899. But today, with the arrival of the Dwell Studios catalog, my wife and I found a new way to feel deflated: simple sexism.

I never would have imagined how much I love being the father of a little girl. It’s just awesome. But I am very, very sensitive to the everyday sexism that permeates the world of girls’ clothes, toys, after-school programs and, as we discovered tonight, bedsheets.

Flipping through the lovely Dwell catalog, I was drawn to a new collection, Flight, “inspired by the clean lines and bold graphics of mid-century aviation posters.” It also fits in with one of my fatherly missions: making sure my daughter knows she can do any damn thing she wants to do. CEO, scientist, poet, pilot.

Except that apparently won’t fly with the folks at Dwell. The “Flight” collection, the catalog language explains, is “for the little adventurer”, and as we all know, girls have no taste for adventure, right? To drive the point home, Dwell includes a graphic that reads “Appropriate for” followed by two boxes, “boys” and “girls”. Boys is checked, girls is not:

IMG_1758Let’s leave the high flying to the boys, shall we?

And with that, Dwell gently wraps an arm around us to lead us to the gender-limited world of “Posey,” which is “appropriate for” girls (not boys, of course) and features “a field of flora showcasing a variety of blooms in rich, saturated hues…a beautiful collection that feels timeless, fresh and beautifully girly.”

Thanks, Dwell. Thanks for helping me understand which of your $160 crib bumpers would be “appropriate” for my child. Because God forbid I screw this up and accidentally inspire my daughter to like aviation, or my son to appreciate flowers. I mean, can you even imagine?

I’d laugh it all off if I didn’t believe it shocking that in 2014, nobody at Dwell thought “um, maybe girls might like planes?” Or even “perhaps the word ‘appropriate’, which suggests ‘inappropriate’, might piss parents the hell off?”

Here’s what’s really appropriate, Dwell: that I teach my daughter not to buy into this kind of sexist crap, even if your sheets do look exquisite.

Source: @standupkid

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The Playground Skill I Hope to Learn from my Four-year-old

July 1, 2014

Yesterday, after dropping by my wife’s job at CNN in Columbus Circle, our four-year-old daughter jumped eagerly in the Time Warner lobby: can we go Central Parkkkkkkk? My New Yorker’s instincts told me this was a very lousy idea. After all, it was 3 o’clock and we had to get back to Brooklyn. And nobody wants to be stuck on a rush hour F train forced to tell a four-year-old we can’t sit down. Seriously. That sucks.

But admittedly, there was another fear squashed way down deep inside me: I knew she wanted to explore and find a playground. And playgrounds, if I’m fully and completely honest, scare the crap out of me.

Off to the park we went, and while climbing on rocks, a playground I never knew existed rose out of the ground to invite us. I was toast. We spent the next two hours there. She had a fantastic time, and I did my best. I pushed her on the swings, explored a rather cool area with tunnels and ladders, and sat happily as she made friends in the sandbox. It was amazing to watch. She settled in with another girl named Emma, and the two of them started building a sand castle, working together to make it perfect. It grew to such a height that it even attracted the attention of a pair of boys “on holiday” from the UK. They added a train bridge.

In the space of an hour, my daughter was able to do effortlessly what I’ve never–as a child, or as an adult–been able to pull off: painlessly making friends. In fact, the longer my daughter laughed and played with Emma, the more I felt awkward not seeking out her father, who, as luck would have it, kept his distance, watching his daughter from a just-at-the-limits-of-acceptable-parenting distance, and aside from a regular glance at his daughter, kept his focus firmly on his cellphone.

Had he been standing closer, and had he been more involved, the pressure on me to introduce myself–to simply talk–would have been crushing.

I don’t know how my daughter does it. As a kid, I was screamingly shy. I did a little better in college, but as an adult, aside from workplace banter, I’ve been remarkably inefficient at making adult friendships. I just haven’t got a clue how it’s done. So I watch my daughter, and marvel. She literally walks up to kids her age and talks to them. Just. Like. That.

I, on the other hand, would agonize, plan, run it through in my head, and settle inevitably on inaction. Yesterday, when I was finally able to get her to leave the sandbox, she said she needed to run back and talk to Emma. She ran over, asked her if she lived nearby, and if they could meet again for a playdate. I was stunned. It was a concrete effort to take a chance encounter and build on it. I guess, maybe, that’s how friendships are created?

Watching her, I wondered where she got that kind of confidence, those guts. That fearlessness. I don’t know if maybe I had it once, and lost it, but I did promise myself: I won’t let her lose it, and if at all possible, I’ll try and learn from my daughter. If she can do it at four, there’s no reason I can’t make a Dad friend, too. What kind of example would I be to my daughter not to have healthy friendships and let her see them?

I just hope she’ll be patient with me. I haven’t a damn clue what I’m doing. And those playgrounds. They’re so intimidating! Any nice Dads up for a playdate?

[Originally published at The Huffington Post]

Source: @standupkid

From the Web


Matt Lauer’s Full of It

June 30, 2014

Matt Lauer‘s a decent interviewer, and clearly a successful broadcaster. But he’s full of it if he thinks it wasn’t a classic example of everyday sexism to ask a female CEO–of a company in the midst of a massive scandal–whether she can really be effective as a corporate leader and a Mom. Jesus, Matt, really?

But that’s what he asked Thursday on NBC’s Today, asking GM CEO Mary Barra this: “You said in an interview not long ago that your kids said they’re going to hold you accountable for one job, and that is being a mom. Given the pressure at General Motors, can you do both well?”

As has been pointed out by many on Twitter, there is simply no way in hell any interviewer asks that of a male CEO. Just won’t happen. Never. Ever. And that, by definition, makes Lauer’s unnecessary softball question sexist.

Lauer has since defended himself, pointing to the interview he referenced in setting up the question:

She had just accepted the job as the first female CEO of a major American automotive company, and in the article she said that she felt horrible when she missed her son’s junior prom. It’s an issue almost any parent including myself can relate to. If a man had publicly said something similar after accepting a high-level job, I would have asked him exactly the same thing. A couple weeks ago, we did a series on “Modern Dads” and the challenges of fatherhood today. Work-life balance was one of our focuses. It’s an important topic, one that I’m familiar with personally, and I hope we can continue the discussion.

A few problems here. First, just because a female CEO talks about her family does not mean it’s relevant or not sexist to pose the classic sexist question of can you do both. Why not add, “Sweetheart” at the beginning and gently pat her on the knee as well? I mean, clearly, she’s going to have to phone in one of those gigs, and God knows either the kids will suffer, or the shareholders will. Right?

And as to Lauer’s insistence that he’d ask a man the same question, I say I’m calling BS. (Obviously, the next male CEO to sit with Lauer will naturally be asked that question, but that’s purely going to be spin and damage control) “It’s an important topic,” he says. And they even did a series on “Modern Dads”! Modern Dads? I’d argue that’s just about as out of touch. You mean MEN CAN HAVE WORK AND FAMILY LIVES, MATT?

Detroit journalist David Shepardson notes Lauer never asked about this critical issue of Dads and work-life balance when he interviewed another automotive boss:

And it’s not like Lentz never spoke of having a family outside his role as North American president of Toyota (another company, by the way, that at the time of the NBC interview was in the midst of crisis). During the same media blitz that included the Lauer interview, Lentz told NPR “I drive Toyota products, my wife drives Toyota products, my family drives Toyota products, friends and neighbors drive Toyota products, and I can tell you that I wouldn’t have loved ones in our products if I didn’t think they were safe.”

So if Lauer is to be believed, he would have followed up a statement like that by turning away from the news to focus on the family, right? But Jim, you say you care about your family. You’re a Dad and a corporate president. [leans in to pat his knee softly] “Sweetheart, given the pressure at Toyota, can you do both well?

Matt, you’re full of it.

Source: @standupkid

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