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Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Understand The Walking Dead

How to Understand The Walking Dead
Subtitle: This is the best show on TV. Hand's down.
Because it's about us.


A day late, but thanks to the marvels of DVR technology, I was able to watch the season premiere this morning over breakfast. 

Oh. My. Athena. 

Warning: Spoilers, so just stop reading now if you don't wanna be spoiled. 

To recap, briefly, we left our band of heroes last season in a train car, prisoners to a colony of cannibals, presumably to be eaten. Rick declared as the season closed that "They don't know who they're messing with," and they don't, I mean, how did those poor innocent cannibals know that they were imprisoning the series leads? 

*snicker* 

Anyway, we open with Rick, Daryl, Glen and Bob getting reading to be "put down" ala cattle and be strung up for eatin'. We watch this happen to four other men, graphically, when an explosion sounds, right about the time Glen is gonna be slugged in the head with a bat (Lucille anyone?) for a second time, bammo!! explosion and we flash to Carol and Tyrese. Some talking and Carol badassery later we determine that Carol, single handedly, has caused the explosion and allowed her friends times to escape. 

It was bea - YOU - ti - ful. 

So let's get through the popular things first. 

1. Carol + Daryl: I don't "ship", in fact I QUIT shows that become all about "shipping", but this is just SHEER perfection. I could go into the reasons why, but that would be another blog. ;)

2. Baby Judith and Grimes Family Reunion: How to make Rick human again in SECONDS...

3. MORGAN!!!! (If you are lost, please rewatch season 1) 

But there is something hidden, a quick line spoken in an action packed scene, a line that is essentially the ENTIRE reason we watch the show, cry for the characters and cheered as they were all reunited last night: 

"But that's who we still are."

This line, spoken by Glen as Rick started to escape, leaving the others in train cars to their fate, is the reason, really, even if we don't realize, that we all keep watching.

Who ARE they still?

The good guys.

We've seen people in the show turn to murder, rape, cannibalism, looting, torture and if the comics are any indication as to what is coming who knows?? But despite EVERYTHING that has happened to them, everything, they are STILL the ones trying to hold on to some semblance of morality.

And, I think this will be the theme of this season.

Think about the dialog between Tyrese and the one cannibal. Tyrese has been struggling for a while, he's not a killer, he's a GOOD man, and this episode really called on him to question what was right and was what wrong. Think about what the cannibal leader said to Carol as she was pleading for her life; that they WERE the good guys once and lost their way. Think about Rick wanting to exterminate all of the cannibals, the group's insistence that they just leave, and what happened as a result.

The thing about this show that makes me tune in week to week and scream and yell isn't the action or the love. It's the fact that using the backdrop of zombies, which at first might seem silly, the writer's of The Walking Dead are asking us to question right and wrong, week in and week out.

Who decides who lives and dies?

Who has that right?

What IS family?

Who can you trust?

And so on. Laugh at me for taking this out of a zombie show, but the things you are asked to think about as a viewer of The Walking Dead are FAR more complex than ANYTHING on "reality" TV.

FAR MORE.

And the feeling afterwards, of excitement, emptiness and confusion are all there to make you question your own morality and when all of the odds are stacked against you, what would be your choice?

That being said, BRAVO actors, writers, directors of The Walking Dead and I cannot WAIT until next week!!



Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Be Fair


How to Be Fair
Subtitle: How come only trends in Halloween are ok? 
What about the other kids??


My kids wanna be 10 and Rose for Halloween. 

I might as well have told some people they wanted to dress as Nazis....

And then I see on the news blogger after blogger defending a little boy's right to dress up in a girl's costume for Halloween and EVERYONE is on that bandwagon. 

I am too, little guy should wear whatever the heck he wants, but so should MY kids, even though it's not trendy enough to go viral. 

In case you have NO idea who I'm talking about, 10 means the 10th Doctor from Dr. Who, played by the amazing David Tennant and Rose Tyler, his companion, played by Billie Piper. It's a British show, and yes, my two rural-living American kids watch British TV. 

And that's ok. 

You see, my kids aren't fussed with Frozen. They liked it, sure, but after it was over they shrugged their shoulders and went about their business. I'm not "hating" on Frozen (because since it is playing well with mommies GOD FORBID) but it was just ok. My kids don't sing the songs, didn't go to the ice show like every other kid in their school and haven't even asked me to buy the Blu-Ray. 

My kids don't really care for team sports. They don't play them and they don't watch them. They like Minecraft, but they also like to play outside and don't come in running and sobbing and hating the outdoors over a skinned knee. They watch 1980s movies, take hip-hop dance, yoga, prefer museums to parks. They talk about what they wanna be when they grow up (which for my son has been the same for 7 years now), they talk about where they wanna go to college (that needs to be another blog, god forbid my kids like to learn) and they love to go to local community theatre. 

They're kids, just not the kids that society wants. 

They're different, and different is only a "good" thing when it's the kind of different that's in style. I could list the "in style" differences here, but I won't as to not offend anyone, and there are probably a lot of you nodding right now and thinking yeah I've noticed that too...

And I think that's what's wrong with our society as a whole. It's now "in style" to embrace different IF we are OK with that brand of different OR it has a celebrity/company to back it. Outside of that, you're on your own. 

Why can't people just like what they like and be left alone?

Be who you are? 

And it's not even an issue of having the strength to be yourself, it's the NON-STOP comments and harassment of those people who just can't wrap their heads around it. Yes, see that word, HARASSMENT. 

THAT ought to gets someone attention. 

Just because OUR kind of different isn't yours and isn't popular doesn't make any less valid.

It just makes it different. 

I will close today with practice dialog, for those of you who may encounter someone NOT doing what everyone else does, in particular, a kid dressing as something for Halloween that's NOT all over the news/TV/social media. 

"Child X, so what are you dressing up as for Halloween?"

"The Tenth Doctor." 

"Cool (<---- very important word there, this kid made a CHOICE and THOUGHT about this, acknowledge it!!), who's that?" 

"From Dr. Who. It's a TV show. He travels through Space and Time helping people." 

"Awesome, sounds like a great show (<---- EVEN if YOU don't like space & time show, THEY ARE A KID!!! LIE!!). I can't wait to see it (or pictures)" 

See? Now how hard was that? 

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to Look Back

How to Look Back
Subtitle: Ok, look, just bear with me on the serious for a moment. 


I'm dragging myself out of bed this morning. 

My "summer" is over, and it's back to work, students, classes, and real responsibilities. There only remains one more thing to attend and that's Stargate Con, the last one ever and will probably be my last con ever, or at least the last one I try so hard to get to. 

Two years ago I was packing, getting a rental car, sitting in my office staring at ONE ticket for ONE photo op, my heart racing. See, I've never really understood the celebrity thing, they're just people that chose a different career path. They wanted to be actors like I wanted to be an educator and I appreciate their passion and the fact they share their art with us because I sure as hell need a break at the end of the day, in love with my job or not. 

Yet here I was, staring at a photo op for Michael Shanks. Nope, he's not Alexander Skarsgard, or whoever the heck else you people wanted to play that bondage dude in that dirty Twilight fanfic movie. He's just a regular old person who happened to play my favorite fictional character of all time. Many of my readers already know that after beginning my teaching career I suffered some set-backs, the greatest of which was serious depression, and that for some strange reason Daniel Jackson was the thing that got me out of that funk. 

So, I went, jumped into that poor man's arms and hugged the shit out of him. He just smiled and laughed it off. 

It's two years later. In that time since I first turned on that show, bored, unable to sleep and trying to distract myself from the horrible thoughts running through my head, my life continues to push forward. 

I got myself back to the physical fitness level of my high school martial arts fighting days. 

I have soared at work, from part-time teacher to full-time teacher and curriculum consultant. 

I ran a marathon and I will run another this fall. 

I got into a Tier 1 PhD program in Education and am kicking its ass. 

I have been asked to adjunct professor at my Alma Mater. 

I was made president of the PTA at my children's school. 

My life has changed, and in part, I have a fictional archaeologist to thank for it. 

This weekend I will go to Stargate con. I will go and talk about my "Fan Fic" because yep, I wrote a fan fic, NOT to have creepy Stargate porn but because Daniel deserves the happy ending that I got. I gave him that in a story that will never see a screen, but in my heart I can thank him with. I will volunteer, not because I'm too poor or cheap to buy the Gold Ticket, but because I feel like I'm thanking Daniel/Shanks/Stargate MORE by volunteering to make it a better experience for people; I OWE Stargate that much and wanna do what I can to give back. I will get another damn photo op, and take another damn picture with this poor sweet man that humors me as I am NOT a super fan and know nothing of his personal life that he himself does not post on social media, yet he is kind and smiles nonetheless. I will go and see the amazing friends that I have made on this journey, and we will drink margaritas and eat hot dogs and hope I don't get locked out of my rental car :P. 

And then it will be over. It will be the last, because really, even if they continue with the rebooted movies, that's not gonna be my Stargate and that's not gonna be my Daniel. 

It's not gonna be who saved me. 

Thanks shug, for everything. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to be a Teacher

How to be a Teacher
Subtitle: My response to "The Tough Decision to Leave the Classroom"

DISCLAIMER: I am usually VERY careful to not offend anyone in my postings because I am a VERY accepting person and really only get truly incensed when what YOU do causes HARM to someone else. 

This post will probably offend some, so sorry, that, as always, is never the intention.

All I have ever wanted to do was to be a teacher. 

EVER. 

I remember a small stint in 8th grade where someone told me that a teacher wasn't a good job and I should be a vet (that little phase lasted about as long as it took for me to see ONE surgery, ew, gross) and some survey given to me by a guidance counselor in 9th grade that recommended I be a dentist (My OWN teeth gross me out, so...how does that work?). In the end, as my mother predicted, there I was, standing at the front of the classroom, at 20 years old with a sea of faces not much younger than I waiting for me to impart my wisdom.

Yep, 20.

That happened, and it was utterly terrifying.

Here I am, 13 years later, embarking on my PhD in education so that I may become a professor of Education and teach the next generation of teachers how to navigate what I feel is the greatest thing that I have EVER done, second only to being a mother.

So when fellow teacher Josh Waldron posted his "Tough Decision to Leave the Classroom" that went viral on my social media pages, I was incensed for lack of a better word. All I could think was, congrats on your awards, you should be very proud, but if that's why you're leaving, then maybe it's for the best that you do.

Never, ever, have I subscribed to the idea that my job would be easy, but moreover, that it would be fair. All other talking points aside, my job, in a nutshell, is to instruct, in a subject area, to state and national standards, one or more content areas in which I may or may not have received the proper instruction myself for what the current standards say and thereby need to make sure I know what I'm talking about before I present it to children, communicate with parents, administrators, counselors and community leaders, be a role model, be a shoulder to cry on, while filling out an insane amount of paperwork that has no point whatsoever in the grand scheme of education.

Yes, that was intended to be a run-on sentence.

You get the idea, though, that I knew going in this was going to be the hardest thing I ever did and I had to love it like nothing else to make it my life's work.

With that in mind, and all due respect to the hard work of the blog's author, I think someone didn't inform you what you were getting in to.

This is my response, point by point to your public resignation. I hope that people reading this entry will realize how wonderful a profession it is and how it's all in what you make it.

1. Use the Hoops.

Every job you will EVER have has hoops. EVERY job. My friends works in finance, real estate, administration, pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicine, you name it, I've got someone in my life that works it. They all have to sit through meetings with tag lines like "21st Century Learner" and "Power" this, that and the other. ALL of them, and to be honest, some in a way that I will never understand.

It's not going away, it's been a part of education SINCE the dawn of public education, so why not USE it to our advantage instead of complain about it? I'm also a Girl Scout leader and we get the SAME little "hoops" for our volunteer organization, so education is not alone in this.

What do I do?

I lay it out to the kids, yep, even my 7 year old Girl Scouts. Children are BRILLIANT creatures and by explaining to them at a young age that things like this are part of adulthood you can work together to USE these ideas, tools, or "hoops" to help you. When I taught for Hanover Schools the CLC program was very popular, but World Language teachers were never trained in how to use it for World Language. So, I just made a few copies, gave them out to my AP/IB Spanish students and ASKED for help. The things these brilliant children came up with are things that to THIS DAY I use in my current position.

That, my friends, is 21st Century Learning :)

2. Realize that you can plan all you want, but that never works with a field like this.

I'd like to clarify that I'm not saying don't plan. Waldron in particular cites the economic downturn and how plans were not made for what to do when there no longer needed to be slashing. Problem is, as someone who now has access to what is going on on the administrative side of things, that is far easier said than done, and despite what news media outlets are reporting, spend a day in the General Assembly of Virginia.

We're not out of the economic mess by a long shot.

What needs to happen is instead of pitting teachers against policy makers, there needs to be a way for people to work together rather than point fingers, but really, isn't that what the WORLD needs to start doing in general?

That's not a reason to leave teaching, if anything, that seems to be a reason to leave civil society.

As far as the bleachers go, I'll speak to sports in a minute.

3. If a teacher is a good teacher, assessments don't really matter. 

Don't scream at me teachers because you need to see where I'm going with this.

YOU are awesome. You just are, period. Yes, the SOLs are the thing in VA, as is Common Core, etc. in other places. You hear about it, hear about it, and is it going away?

Nope.

Just like inventory managers will always have a quota system to deal with loss, or a doctor has to meet standards of insurance companies, there will always be a new and better standard that someone had to meet and we are just another part of it.

Will the pendulum swing back? Yep, it will. Already, here in Virginia, the General Assembly is cutting back on the number of SOL tests and the College Board is restructuring the SATs again. AP (College Board) has already seen the benefit of the more "prove what you know" approach to learning that the IB (International Baccalaureate) program uses. While there is still testing, it is changing, researchers are being heard and while it is not fast change (but really what is?) change IS coming, and for the better.

Ok, so what about those darn SOLs and the tests for the "average" child?

I'm gonna brag on Beaverdam Elementary.

At Beaverdam, you would never know that SOL tests are the end-all-be-all that media has made it. The students take the tests and year after year BLAST them out of the water. Beaverdam is NOT a high socio-economnic school, it's rural, with probably more students at the lower end of the income scale then at the higher end. The building is well over 50 years old and teachers are expected to "do more with less" as is the mantra of the school system.

So, what's their secret????

Their teachers are AWESOME. Each and every teacher in that building has a love for children and for learning that IS the definition of education. Their principal meets EVERY child as they walk into the school to shake their hand and greet them good morning, EVERY child, EVERY day and the moment you walk through those doors you KNOW that THIS is an environment for learning. Sure, there are probably tears shed over the SOLs but no more than getting into (or not making it into) the Talent Show or a skinned knee on the playground. What is on those tests isn't taught where teachers are spoon-feeding trivia questions even though the standards themselves can be read like that. It's part of learning, part of the bigger picture and teachers TAKE the time to make those connections.

That's what makes the students of BES BLOW the SOLs out of the water, good teachers, plain and simple.

To be honest, though, it's good for children to learn these skills. We as educators moan about SOLs and the like all of the time, but we have to take Praxis I, Praxis II at the very least to get our license. Part of being an adult is being tested, and, like the hoops, we can USE this as an opportunity to create yet another teachable experience.

4. Realize the parents DO support us, but just need our guidance as to what we need. 

Ok, let's tackle that sports issue.

Fact: The average American understands Football.

Fact: The average American is TERRIFIED of looking stupid.

Yes, when I was a younger and less experienced teacher, and not a parent, I too lamented the numbers of parents that showed up for a football game versus the number that came to parent teacher conferences.

Then, I realized a few things...

#1: People get football. You can understand sports and it's an easy way to connect with your child AT the school level. What people may not get is Algebra, Chemistry or Spanish. For those of you who are parents, do you remember the first time your kid proved you wrong? Do you remember how that felt? Parents today WANT to help, but the more and more I talk to them they are at a complete and total loss as to HOW they can help. Remember, I teach Spanish, and that's something that many of the parents of my students have no background in whatsoever. I'll never forget talking to one parent over the phone while they were on their computer, walking them through how to use Quia.com to help their child.

They CRIED.

And then they told me how they WANT to help but Education has changed so much that they feel completely lost and stupid.

THIS is where we as teachers need to refocus our energy when it comes to community. The community is THERE, they will wave banners at Spelling Bees just as fervently as they do at Football games if we tell them WHAT we need them to do and make sure they DON'T feel stupid or ill-informed.

#2: Football games are at 7 p.m. on Fridays, yet we schedule Parent-Teacher conferences for the middle of the work day.

Let that sink in for a second.

We want parents to be involved in non-athletic affairs just we put all things academic when they're working. Remember discussing the down-turn? People have to work, that's a fact of life. Instead of whining about community involvement, let's make academic events not only more accessible to parents, but inform them of when they are happening well in advance. I'll give it to football coaches and athletic conferences, you know the next's season's events BEFORE the first season has ended.

Why aren't we doing that with the Parent Coffees?

Oh, and just throwing out there, but with the focus on social media, I find a Facebook page to be VERY effective.

I told you all that I run a Girl Scout troop. I have 100% parental involvement. 100%.  All I have done is make sure they are a) educated in the information and b) are informed of dates and times in advance (via a simple Facebook page and email distribution list).

Sometimes we just need to step back and ask WHY something is happening.

5. While I wish that teachers were fairly compensated, if you thought for a moment that we were you were grossly misinformed, and for that I am sorry. 

I knew going into this that I would make FAR less money than my peers from college and would never be able to own the finer things in life. I'm not going to discuss my personal financials but I will say that the hardships that the author of the article endures (i.e. home, growing his own food, working multiple jobs) are ones that I have never had to deal with. I say this noting that my husband was a stay at home parent and I was the sole source of income, for years, as a teacher. I have a modest house on a nice sized piece of land and I took my entire family to England last year for vacation. I do not teach for a wealthy district, in fact, based on the salary scale it looks like one might even make a little more money teaching in Waynesboro.

That being said, it's what you make of it.

Even if I had to do those extra things, I'd rather do that and keep teaching than I would EVER want to step foot in an office of any type. I'd rather have to make dinner at home than ever stop hearing a student tell me about their weekend. Of course I would want more money, who doesn't, but just think of how MANY students we have and how MANY teachers must be employed to serve them and there is a point where we must consider HOW much money and manpower the system takes.

The wisest thing I have heard in a LONG time came from my friend Jay on a recent visit to Canada. We were sitting around the table, discussing the socialization of medicine in Canada and the pros and cons of such a system in America. America gets bashed for a lot of things, it seems to be quite popular to do so, even by Americans, but before the conversation could go too far Jay calmly spoke up and said:

"Don't forget, Canada DOES have free healthcare for 35 million people. The USA has 314 million people. Sometimes we all forget that."

As of 2011 the USDOE reports 50+ MILLION students in public education, more than the entire population of Canada, and half of the entire population of Mexico (just to use our neighbors as a point of reference).

I personally cannot imagine having to figure out how in the WORLD to fund that.

In closing, I will not being leaving the classroom, ever.

Right now I am in the Virtual Classroom (which STILL does the same as a brick and mortar teacher just FYI), but I still work with districts and schools on a face to face basis and I hopefully will be stepping into the College classroom soon. I have no plans of retiring, ever, nor can I even imagine a day without being a teacher. It has been the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced in my entire life and even if all of the points made in other blogs are true, my heart will never let me leave.








Monday, June 30, 2014

How to be Cheap

How to be Cheap
Subtitle: Extreme Cheapskates is giving my heart failure. 
And I grew up poor.


I can't even start this with a step. 

It began with the fact that dinner needs to be no later than 6:30 or my children will die of starvation and Sookie doesn't start till 9. 

Obviously, we need to fill the time. 

Now we HAD been watching The Amazing Race, but that is over, and we turned to Netflix to try to find Storage Wars (yes, yes, something else I have in common with Mr. Canadian Hot Pants). 

Lo and behold we find, Extreme Cheapskates. 

WHAT. 

THE. 

HELL. 

We're gonna start with a rant. 

I grew up po' (that's the step below poor). Hot dogs (and kind that you don't wanna know the ingredients to) cut up on boxed macaroni OR ramen noodles. We rented a house on the farm and the farmer brought us free veggies and meat and stuff. I learned how to cut corners in home repair, and how to double a coupon and sign up for freebies in the mail. 

THAT is being cheap. 

Being said, here are my simple steps to being CHEAP and NOT be GROSS. 

I'm just gonna go down episodes...

Step 1: Don't ask for people's food. Yes, it seems wasteful but PEOPLE are GROSS and dirty. Do not get up and ask them for their leftovers. 

Instead? 

DON'T EAT OUT!! 

One adult dinner plate at average restaurant = $15
Eating SAME THING ABOUT HOME is usually around $4

Trust me, Gordan Ramsey makes this a Hell's Kitchen challenge. 

STAY YOUR DIRTY AZZ HOME.

Step 2: BUY TOILET PAPER. 

The average person uses about 30 rolls of toilet paper per year. Let's round on the high side. Let's say that rolls are $2each  and you use 40. 

That's $80 a year!! A YEAR! Not a month, a year. 

Someone's gonna lecture me about third world, history, blah blah, but if you are reading this YOU are using the internet. 

Welcome to the First World. 

BUY toilet paper. 

Or at least a bidet. 

Step 3: If you aren't gonna buy food for yourself, fine, but DO NOT FEED YOUR GUESTS YOUR NONSENSE. 

In the pilot, a lady fed her neighbors' kids pizza made from expired ingredients and wild grass salad that they foraged NOT from their woods (MY kids forage berries from OUR land all the time) but a PUBLIC PARK.  In the second episode the woman featured had guests over and served them food that had LITERALLY been taken OUT of the trash bag on the street. 

You want us to accept YOUR lifestyle? 
Then accept OURS. 
And that is UNSANITARY.

Again, remember my background? I KNOW how long food is good after the date, I KNOW, and what was going on in this show was NOT remotely safe or sanitary. 

Wanna save money on food?

I'd like to introduce you to coupons. You don't need to buy a paper. You can load them on store cards that are also free. 

Better yet? You REALLY don't wanna pay?

I WILL MAIL YOU SEEDS. 

A lot of my family STILL grow a substantial amount of their own food. 

Step 4: Buy clothes, or at least make them. 

There is NOTHING wrong with a thrift store, nothing, I ADORE the Goodwill, or swapping with friends but clothes are organic. They wear, they fray, they can get to a point where they smell like B.O. no matter HOW many times you wash them. 

THEY NEED TO BE THROWN OUT. 

And not even THROWN OUT, you can use them in your garden, or as cleaning rags (so you don't need to buy as many paper towels) but bragging about not buying underwear since 1998??

I'd like to reiterate, FILTHY. 

Step 5: Ok, so I could kinda get on board with the fiscal week off (not spending money for a week) because we do that every now and then, but usually out of frustration for going to the store, or really busy with work, etc. 

So, dude on show goes out and forages for change because that will not break his rule and comes up with $7.50. 

He declares he is going to buy meat. 

Now...around here, a rotisserie chicken is $5.99. There is usually a meat of the week that is $2 - $3 a pound. Just looking through my local Kroger ad, I can get chicken breast for $2.49 a pound this week, STEAK for $4.99, and I think I saw lamb...

My point is, TWO, YOU and YOUR WIFE by portion control options are supposed to eat 1/4 - 1/2 pound of meat max, which means for $7.50 that you DUG out of the dryer you COULD get:

1 pound of chicken or lamb
1 box of Rice-a-Roni (at FULL price it's only $1.89 but it is never NOT on sale)
1 head of broccoli or bag of baby carrots

THAT is food.

You just bought that goat head to be cute and the butcher "giving" them to you for $7.50? My brother is in a heavy metal band. Guess how much HE pays for heads at the butcher?

$0.

I rest my case.

Step 6:  I just can't anymore. I've turned the show off, I'm not sure if I can ever watch this again. People ate out of dumpsters and crawled through filth for change. These are NOT people that are impoverished and need financial help from the government, these are people who have jobs or are married and their spouse has a job and keep saying on the show that they don't need to do this, they choose to.

And this is why I can't watch reality TV.








Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to make the GREATEST HORROR PROGRAM OF ALL TIME

How to make the GREATEST HORROR PROGRAM OF ALL TIME
Subtitle: Congrats WGN, because as much as I love "The Walking Dead" you win. 


Step 1: F*#k history. Seriously, because if you think 'The Crucible' turned the Salem Witch trails into a farce of historical fiction, Mr. Miller and Miss Ryder can't hold a candle to WGN's Salem. 

Good guys are bad guys, bad guys are good guys and as a history teacher I just gave up trying to fix the plethora historical inaccuracies. It was like watching Troy, except without Brat Pitt running around naked. 

That's ok, because EVERYONE ELSE DOES. 

These are the nastiest Puritans that I have ever seen...

Dr. Scanlon, remember making me read that book about the Puritans not being so pure? 

That book's got NOTHING on Salem :)

Step 2: Tip a hat to pop culture. 

Do you remember this?? Just click, you'll thank me... 

Now read THIS, from the script (can't get video, license and whatnot) 


Yea, that happened. 

I rewound it about FIVE times. 

I'm actually having to compose myself to continue to blog about this. 

Step 3: Make sure to COMPLETELY destroy a religion. Okay, so this is based on the Salem witch trails, which as we all know was about the Puritans, in the name of God trying to cleanse their section of the colonies from the evils of witchcraft. One of the main characters is Cotton Mather, an actual person, who you can read about here: Wikipedia, don't lecture me on .edu's right now...

For those NOT inclined to read, here is good old Cotton:







And here is Cotton on Salem. 

Did I mention he QUOTES Revelation at the height of his, um, satisfaction??


Here's another script clip, just for you...



Did I rewatch that part?

To quote Sarah Palin...YOU BETCHA! 

However, before the Christians get upset, they don't just stop with the desecration of THEIR religion, oh no, Salem is equal opportunity...

Step 4: Insult two religions, just for good measure. Anyone KNOW a Wiccan? 

I do, in fact, I'm related to a few. 

Here's what WICCANS (i.e. Witches) believe: I got this site from someone that ACTUALLY practices!!!

Go ahead, read up, scan everything because GUESS what Wiccans DO NOT worship?

THE DEVIL!!

That's right, no Satan. Only nature.  
Keeping that in mind this is what Wicca is: (again I got this FROM A WICCAN to be sure)

"Wicca is the formalized system of worship that reveres the Goddess and the God of ancient pagan belief.
There are lots of different "schools" of wicca (like denominations in Christian religion), but they share mostly similar rituals and beliefs." 

Basically, Wicca are the people who are telling you to drink this tea and that to settle your stomach. In fact, every Wiccan I know is kind, caring and sweet. 

Let's talk about the witches of Salem:
  • They stuff frogs and snakes into people to make them do their bidding. 
  • They go into catatonic sex trances to mess with people inside their heads.
  • They let their familiars eat them like some sort of vampire, but only in sexy places ;)
  • They were ALL inducted by Satan, making him a VERY busy little Devil to get around that much. 
  • They are also planning the Apocalypse....
Which begs the question...

Who's calling Buffy?



As you can see, I'm NOT!! 

Step 5: Rip off classic horror. You wanna sell a horror show that is NOT about zombies and vampires but then realize after you write the damn thing that everyone else is doing witches too??

Head back to the 1980's to get some inspiration. 

Here's a box that Mary Sibley so desperately needs to bring about "Last Days" : 



This is the box from horror classic "Hellraiser" :


Later, Mr. Hale uses a mask that transports them wherever they need to go (which is usually the creepy ass woods full of *gasp* natives): 


Now, it's not horror, but...


I'd like to state, for the record, that I am NOT one of those people that notices stuff like this (in fact, I sit at Stargate Con and smile and nod and act like I have ANY clue what in that hell episode that was, because, I don't, ever) but if I'm noticing this, then, someone's NOT trying to hide it. 

Step 6: Know your role...

True Blood = Vampire Porn

Bitten = Werewolf Porn

Coven (or so I hear) = Witch Porn

Salem = ALL OF THE ABOVE ISH PORN


That's a LOT of skin for Basic Cable, just sayin'.

Step 7: Mention everyone hating and killing the Puritans, including the Puritans themselves once every five minutes. 

I have this thing with a friend of mine, who I called to get help on this blog with, who's ranting, right now (he's on speaker phone) and his rants went something like this (paraphrased).

"It's because they were NASTY people...if you point me to a problem I can connect it to the Puritans. See! No! That's what this show is doing! The writers are telling us that it's TIME to CUT our PURITANICAL BONDS! They know we're too lazy and stupid to fix America, but if we present it as an allegory as to WHY these people ruined our lives and history you can see how they've destroyed everything. We're trapped in a religion that every European country was like, nah, y'all gotta LEAVE (I cannot understand what he is ranting right now...can't type that fast....)

I wonder if I can get audio....

(End of rant: "You know how I get if you call and ask me about the Puritans. Why did you do that?")


Step 8: Make sure to ruin all medicine we have learned about in whiny TV medical dramas because in Salem we can cut animals OUT OF YOUR stomach and you live cut open FOR DAYS.

Case #1: Mercy Lewis. Here's good 'ole Mercy with snake...



And then her dear old dad Reverend Lewis does some home operating (again, they have removed the episode "Lies" from the web so I can't screen cap it) but without so much as ONE stitch being shown she is suddenly up and about...



Case #2: George Sibley

Now, considering the frog came up and down his throat, why he didn't think to puke is beyond me but, here you go...



And then, miraculously, his sits like this...


Now granted, magic blah blah blah but it takes at LEAST a few hours for this magical help to arrive. 

From someone who has cut a leg shaving, a lot, BLOOD GUSHES...

So, either Shonda Rimes has taught me nothing OR I need to continue to suspend my disbelief. 

Step 9: Have everyone be fully dressed at all times outside of sex scenes including the Native Americans (who when they are not dressed are painted, completely) except for SHANE WEST / JOHN ALDEN who must do EVERYTHING shirtless. 

(Again, because they keep taking pics and episodes off of Hulu, you get this)


But seriously, every time this man completes a SINGLE chore, he's shirtless. 

EVERY. 

SINGLE.

TIME. 

And no one bats an eye. Not that I'm complaining, but since they keep scolding women about hats and necklines one would THINK that sweaty pecs are equally as offensive.

Step 10: Cotton Mather YOU WIN.

You are in love with a prostitute and quote the Bible IN THE ACT. 

You drink more than a frat boy. 

You dabble in the voodoo. 

And when you get mad at daddy you do this...


Get drunk, climb in a tree, and pee on John Alden. 

I even was Cotton on the official "Who are you?" character quiz :D 



So, if you're looking for some quality entertainment on Sundays at 10/9c, tune into WGN. 

You WON'T be sorry. 

And, I might even try to make a drinking game for this show, so stay tuned.