I wasn’t going to write about this, because it was obvious to me that Kirk Cameron was only being used to stir controversy. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to warrant discussion.
I’m not sure why Kirk was on Piers Morgan’s show in the first place (perhaps to promote his upcoming documentary “Monumental,”) but I’d bet real money that nobody said to him, “Come on our show and answer our questions about homosexuality and abortion.” It’s obvious from Kirk’s body language that the questions weren’t anticipated by him, and that he was a little uncomfortable with the direction the interview took.
I’m also absolutely certain that this interview was geared to fit an agenda, the agenda being to stir controversy. It’s an election year, and anything that can be used to polarize voters–particularly sexual and religious issues–will be used. Look, Conservative Christians are homophobic! They must be exposed, mocked (and never elected to office)!
It’s a bit unfortunate that Kirk got drawn into such a discussion, but he’s capable of dealing with the fallout. Not that GLAAD can do anything substantive to him anyway; his professional life is not dependent upon their good graces. And his personal life, well, they can’t begin to fathom the kind of man he is.
I can though. Youngest Son went to elementary school for six years with the Camerons’ eldest son and considered him a close friend. Thus I came to know Kirk and his wife Chelsea personally, to spend enough time with them that I could deeply appreciate the kind of people and the kind of parents they are.
Honestly, Kirk is an anomaly in Hollywood. He’s the sort of celebrity who is antithetical in every way to everything Hollywood embraces.
He’s actively involved in outright evangelism.
He, his wife and their six children (yes, six, four of them adopted) do not spend their summers on some remote island or a European getaway, but at a SoCal camp they run for terminally ill children.
The Camerons are absolutely nothing that Hollywood admires nor aspires to.
How dare they have beliefs that don’t echo those of the liberal entertainment industry?
And how dare Kirk answer direct questions about his beliefs by calmly stating those beliefs?
Piers Morgan asked him what he’d say if one of his sons told him he was gay. Kirk answered that he’d tell his child, “Just because you feel one way doesn’t mean you should act on everything you feel.”
That is the most succinct answer to the “I can’t help myself” argument I’ve ever heard. When it comes to any behavior–any behavior whatsoever–either you control it or it controls you. How many times do we hear “I can’t help it, it’s what I want.” Or, “It makes me happy so I’m going to do it.”
How many marriages are destroyed under that rationale?
How many children are hurt?
For that matter, how many children are aborted…but that’s a whole other issue.
Our society’s greatest problem is the “follow your desires” mentality that pervades ever aspect of our culture. Whether it’s demanding contraceptive protection so one can have an unrestricted sex life, or access to abortion on demand. Whether it’s leaving your wife and kids to shack up with one of your own students, or perpetrating sexual acts on children, the excuse is always–ALWAYS–I’m just doing what makes me happy.
And that’s all that matters, right? Doing what feels good to you?
Morgan asked Kirk what he thought of homosexuality in general, and Kirk’s answer was, “I think that it’s unnatural, I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
Thing is, he’s right. Biologically, homosexuality is an aberrant behavior. It runs counter to the survival of our species which is biologically designed to perpetuate via male-female sexual relations. We can choose to change the construct of the biological family and scientifically intervene in the reproductive process, but the fact is, human beings were designed (regardless of whether you believe God was the designer or not) to be created and nurtured to adulthood by a pair of parents, one male and one female.Wanting to circumvent this biological norm, wanting to create a baby in a lab environment, use a surrogate woman’s womb, and hand the result to two men or two women to raise as “their child,” only underscores how abnormal and unnatural that altered construct is–it can not exist in nature.
And no matter how many people yell “we’re born this way,” there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support that claim. In fact, homosexual behavior is no different than any other destructive behavior, borne out of a damaged psyche, an effort to find physical relief for emotional wounds.
In nearly five decades of life, I’ve never met a homosexual who grew up having a healthy, loving relationship with both parents in an intact, two parent home. Quite the contrary. I have met a considerable number of homosexual men and women, gotten to know them well enough to hear about their various upbringings, and every single homosexual I’ve ever met has come from a destructive, damaging home environment. Sometimes it’s been emotional abuse, sometimes it’s been an absent/non-existent parent, sometimes it’s been subtle or outright physical abuse, but in every single case it’s left a wound that won’t heal, and left a person who is damaged, unable to form a normal intimate bond with the opposite sex.
The liberal left can deny this all they want, and insist that being homosexual is somehow the new normal, but that is the cruelest cut of all. It is no better than telling an alcoholic, “Go ahead, have another beer. You can’t help the urge to drink. You were born that way.”
(Note: I use the term “homosexual” to refer to both men and women pursuing same-sex intimate relationships.)
You have to be living in a cave to not know about Tommy Jordan’s effective parental measures taken upon his daughter’s laptop computer.
I have respected everything about this scenario as it has unfolded over the past two weeks. Especially Jordan’s continued control of the situation. Wisely, he won’t do interviews, won’t appear on television, and his entire family has been kept from becoming pawns in the media’s search for ratings.
I still stand by my decision; my daughter still deserved to be punished, but for me to go on national television and compound that is something I can’t do as a father. I’ve been contacted by every major news network in the country, and while I appreciate the support some people have shown me, there is no conscionable way I can go on television and profit from my daughter’s embarrassment. Because the very first news media coverage had such impossibly incorrect “spin” on my intentions, I instead began communicating with them solely through Facebook. Now, after hundreds of thousands of comments on Facebook, millions of views on Youtube and tens-of-thousands of calls on every company and private phone number I have, I’ve decided to put it all in one place and respond to the comments, questions, criticisms and accusations here on our own website. I would rather my family earn what little bit of ad revenue this site might make than to make Mark Zuckerburg richer. I don’t think he needs any more money. I’ve been offered TV shows, interviews and had the opportunity to earn more money this week alone than in any entire year of my life. But for the same reasons mentioned above I have declined. As tempting as it is, I can’t do it under this premise.
He’s determined to control the conversation about his parenting efforts, and is doing a remarkably good job of it.
Dr. Phil with all due respect sir, you are the second psychologist (plus one social worker) I’ve heard within two weeks state that by fifteen years old a child in today’s world can’t actually be expected to reasonably forecast the consequences of their actions. I fundamentally, and respectfully, think you’re off your rocker to think that. And if parent’s raise kids that way, we are in for a world of hurt when these irrational, unthinking kids take over our country in the next ten years.
Within six months of my daughter’s current age the NCDMV seems to agree that it’s ok to let someone this age get out on the street in a motor vehicle and drive our highways, but you think they’re too ignorant to be held accountable for their actions because they’re incapable of understanding cause and effect. Can we agree that the basic principle you’re arguing is that children her age don’t understand cause and effect, or consequences to use a different term?
Way to go, Tommy Jordan. You’re not just an effective dad, you’re an effective human being.
It’s a safe bet your daughter won’t end up like Bobbi Kristina Brown; she’s being raised by someone who is focused on her welfare, not their own self-indulgence. But that’s usually the way of it for the nonfamous and nonaffluent. Most of us lesser mortals aren’t given a free pass to live however we want, and do with our kids whatever we want (as Jordan has discovered, with the repeated unnecessary calls strangers have made to CPS upon learning of his laptop shooting).
According to the liberal media, being raised by a father that owns and uses a gun is bad.
Being raised by drug addicts is good. Or at least it’s acceptable if the addicts are rich and famous.
So it would seem, because that’s the way Whitney Houston handled her teen daughter, and nobody from Social Services was called in to take that kid away from her self-destructive mom.
People can be stupid creatures, and never more so than when money and fame are involved.
It’s been fascinating to watch an average guy rebuff the attempts of others to make him wealthier or more famous by exploiting his unscripted parenting of his child. He used technology—YouTube, Facebook and the internet—because that’s what he and his daughter are familiar with. That’s the venue she used to misbehave. He used a gun, because for him and his family (and many other Americans, excepting the liberal pansies who are terrified by the mere sight of one) a gun is a tool, like a hammer or a saw.
When a parent is dealing with a misbehaving child, wisdom teaches that a direct correlation between the punishment and the offense is the most effective means of repressing unwanted behavior. Simple cause and effect. As Jordan learned, telling a child later “I’m disappointed in you, don’t do that again” is sometimes just not enough.
Sometimes you have to shoot the laptop.
And sometimes you have to give the Twinkies away.
Youngest Son went to the nearby grocery store today to buy himself lunch. As he stood at the Panda Express counter waiting to place his order, he noticed a little boy nearby. The child, about 8 years old, was whining and carrying on. The child’s mother stood beside him, holding a small plastic grocery sack. She calmly said to her child, “Stop whining. I’m warning you, if you keep whining there’s going to be consequences. You’re not getting Twinkies when you behave this way.”
Ignoring her admonition, the boy continued to fuss and whine.
(A 15 year old can get called “Sir” when he’s 5’10” and sporting the beginnings of a week-off-from-school mustache).
Youngest Son was startled, but quickly recovered and replied “Sure!” taking the shopping bag of Twinkies and thanking the woman.
The eight year old boy began to cry as his treat changed ownership. “I told you to stop whining and you didn’t, so that’s your punishment. Let’s go,” his mother explained patiently, leading the child out of the store.
I don’t know who she was, but I do know that woman is a good parent.
I’m not thrilled that Youngest Son now has twenty sugar and preservative laden dietary bombs on his desk upstairs, but hey, sometimes you have to take one for the team when it comes to parenting.
No doubt there are concerned folk (the sort bashing Tommy Jordan’s parenting) who would argue that the mother should have simply put her son in “time out” when they got home to think about his misbehavior, or explained to him on the spot why he shouldn’t be whining, or simply tolerated the whining because that’s how eight year olds express themselves.
I see so many examples of lousy parenting in the Store Where I Work that I want to quite literally applaud rare parents like the mom who gave her son’s Twinkies away. The fathers who don’t buy things when their child demands “Buy me this!” The mothers who say “No” and mean it. The fathers who actually discipline their children instead of ignoring or tolerating bad behavior. The mothers who don’t encourage their kids to eat bananas/apples/cookies/whatever they want without paying for it first. What the heck is with that? A grocery store is not a restaurant; eating food before paying for it is basically stealing. And it teaches children that grocery store “grazing” is acceptable behavior. That they don’t need to wait for anything, not even until they actually own something before they consume it.
For every parent who dares to take the apple out of little Suzie’s hand and says “Don’t eat that, we haven’t bought it yet,” I see literally dozens who pick an apple out of the stack or break a banana off a bunch, hand it to Suzie and encourage her to eat it.
And then they wonder why little Suzie grows up to think that the world and everything in it is hers–that she doesn’t have to wait for or work for anything she desires.
We badly need more parents who are willing to shoot the laptops and give the Twinkies away.
What is it about the music industry, that such talented souls end up self destructing?
Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday. She was 48.
Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen told reporters outside the Beverly Hilton that Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. in her room on the fourth floor of the hotel. …”There were no obvious signs of any criminal intent,” Rosen said.
…At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
She had the perfect voice and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.
She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
In her prime, she was breathtaking.
Such a tragic waste.
Living in SoCal, earthquakes are part of my consciousness. Never though, have I imagined the sort of scenario I watched unfold, as Japan was hammered by a 23 foot tsunami. The sight of a wall of water sweeping implacably across the Japanese countryside literally took my breath away.
Nature can so easily dwarf humanity, rendering us not only helpless and minuscule, but irrelevant in our efforts to impact it. The aftereffects of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami make Hurricane Katrina seem almost manageable.
And now, even as they’re trying to rescue and locate thousands of trapped citizens, they’re dealing with catastrophe at one of their nuclear reactors:
Eventually (hopefully) they will get the reactors under control, and the trapped people out of the debris, and the mammoth cleanup will begin. It will take a long time; some communities may never recover completely. But being Japan, they’re both resourceful and well connected with the rest of the world. Teams from the US, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries are joining the effort to help Japan through this crisis.
It’s hard to imagine how they’ll get the debris cleared, and the communities rebuilt, but they will. Countries that have functional governments and populations of hard working, educated people can overcome adversity. Even cataclysmic natural disasters.
Just how screwed up are we?
On February 23, 2011, Dr. Bernard Nathanson passed away. Nathanson was unarguably a very significant person.
Dr. Nathanson, who died Monday at age 84, was a Manhattan gynecologist. In 1969 he helped found the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, with the aim of making abortion legal.
A onetime self-described militant for abortion rights, Dr. Nathanson in 1969 picketed a New York City hospital and pushed for passage of the New York state act legalizing abortion the following year. He acted as a spokesman for NARAL in its early years, calling for increased access to abortion for the poor, and became director of Manhattan’s Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health.
“We’re interested in the poor people who have had to use the back-alley butchers in the past,” Dr. Nathanson told the Christian Science Monitor in 1970.
Yet within a few years, Dr. Nathanson, at the time a self-professed “Jewish atheist,” became convinced by ultrasound and EKG imagery that the fetus was a human life.
“There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy,” he wrote in 1974.
Dr. Nathanson’s conversion brought with it a denunciation of his former allies, whom he accused of “moral myopia” in his 1979 book, “Aborting America.”
He accused pro-abortion crusaders—including his former self—of outright lies about the number of women killed by illegal abortions, said by supporters of abortion rights to be 5,000 to 10,000 a year. The real number, he wrote, was far lower.
Nathanson’s conversion to the Pro-Life movement came as a result of ultrasound technology. After watching an unborn baby react to the suction device aborting it, Nathason’s perception of abortion and fetal development were forever altered. In 1996, Nathanson (an atheistic Jew) converted to Catholicism, and remained a devout Catholic until his death.
Googling “Bernard Nathanson” under “NEWS” for the dates 02/23/11 to 03/02/11 brings up a total of 137 results. The vast majority are conservative or religious in nature. The only notable exceptions are substantive obituaries in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Washington Times.
Apparently the rest of the country’s newspapers (not to mention the television media) find unremarkable the passing of the man who helped found NARAL only to become the most articulate voice against abortion.
The mind–and the stomach–reel.
As Gerard Nadal points out,
Dr. Nathanson’s funeral was not deemed worthy of mention, a funeral held in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and concelebrated by the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Love him or hate him, Bernard Nathanson was a very consequential man in human history, and helped birth the institution that has prevented the births of over 53 million Americans.
Lesser mortals receive far more attention in death. This was an intentional blackout, and a missed opportunity by the New York media.
I think that the deliberate ignoring of Nathanson’s passing, and the unbelieveably intense focus on the absurd antics of a drugged up utterly amoral actor speak to the same thing. Our society is really screwed up. Our focus is so distorted, so wrong, that it’s a wonder we can function cooperatively at all.
Not that we do, considering what’s going on in Wisconsin’s capitol. I never thought I’d feel sorry for a politician, but having hundreds of angry people run after and surround you while they yell “Shame!” has got to be terribly unsettling.
I just finished reading Julie & Julia, chosen in part because I truly enjoy cooking. Unfamiliar with the blog that spawned it but aware of the new movie created from it, I figured I’d like the whole Indiana Jonesish odyssey of the thing; it seemed to me Julie Powell approached her “Project” in much the same way and for somewhat similar life stage reasons I tackled law school. I thought I might find some resonance with an author who was looking for a way to bring focus to her life through a daunting year-long educational experience centering on food.
I still have yet to see the movie, but now I’m not sure I want to; I was so disappointed in the book. Not because Ms. Powell isn’t a good writer. Not because it wasn’t an astounding labor, cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year, but because so much of the book was a case study in stereotypes. I know Powell’s a New York liberal. I guess I just never expected that to permeate her writing, with a knee-jerk loathing of “Republicans” echoed repeatedly through the book.
“…Democrat, Libertarian, or Pure Evil…”
“…Since when do Republicans talk like that? I thought that was the one thing to admire about Republicans.”
And then there’s the bit where she drops a leftover dessert on a city sidewalk, then puts the dessert out on a counter of her office’s staff kitchen with the note “Please Enjoy!” only to chortle that she “had to go to the six Democrats in the office and tell them they might want to take a pass since there might be ceramic shards or antifreeze in it.”
I guess she doesn’t think Republicans would enjoy reading her work. Or if they do, she doesn’t care how narrowminded and mindlessly vicious her attitude is toward them.
Weird. And bitter. And shallow. Which sums up the persona she reveals through the book. A perpetually whining woman. A woman who continually bemoans the ticking of her biological clock yet sells her eggs anonymously to pay off a credit card debt. A woman who is afraid to tell her best friend not to commit adultery with a stranger because “I might lose her.” A woman who regrets not sleeping around with more men before she married her husband. A woman who also fantasizes about and then unsuccessfully attempts to seduce a minor actor, not even trying to hide the attempt from her husband.
Powell’s response to every crisis-virtually all of her own making–is to yell profanity. And then yell it louder. Often at her hapless husband.
At least she’s honest about the dreariness of her own narcissitic life.
There is a law out there, if not of thermodynamics then of something equally primary and inescapable, that explains why everything from instant messaging to fabulous sex to aspic can in the end be defined as an illustration of the futility of existence. And it really, really sucks.
Despite the fact that she managed to create a successful blog, spin it into a successful book deal, and then option it into a major motion picture, I do not believe Ms. Powell is capable of being happy with her success. She does not seem capable of happiness at all; to her “joy” is a naive concept to be disdained even while being desperately sought.
I suppose the point of the book is that the author believes that many people–certainly most of the people described in the book as her friends–are just like Powell herself. Working at jobs they hate, drinking far too much, grasping for some kind of pleasure in life through sex and food, because in the end that’s all there is for them. Transitory pleasure, lasting only as long as the act itself.
That’s probably why buldozing her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking like it was some sort of nonstop endurance test appealed to Powell. Intricate recipes requiring endless hours of prep, keeping her focused on the physical acts of cooking and eating day after day for a solid year.
Thing is, when the year ends and all the recipes are made, what’s left to do? Besides clean up an apartment whose level of filth put me off eating entirely. I can imagine maggots in a filthy horse stall, been there, seen and dealt with that, but maggots underneath washed dishes draining on a kitchen countertop? I’d like to think Powell made that part up, but sadly, much like her hatred of “Republicans,” it is undoubtedly all too much a disgustingly real part of her life.
Given that Powell is as snide about religion as she is about Republicans, undoubtedly Catholic Pundit’s review of the book and movie would garner only an all too typical F-you. I found it particularly apt though.
…the richness of Julia Child’s life experience, relationships, and accomplishments (especially in Paris) contrasts sharply with the poverty of blogger Julie Powell’s life, friendships, and ambitions in Queens and Manhattan.
..I have to agree with Julia Chld’s reaction to the blog: she said it was a stunt and that the writer was shallow and wasn’t a serious cook.
One thing that is patently absurd is that…Powell set herself a year’s deadline for cooking all the recipes and then wailed that if she missed it she would have wasted a year. Huh? There was nothing to lose if she missed the deadline, nothing at all. It was inspiring to me that she got a book contract and a movie out of her blog, but was what she wrote actually worth all that?
From a purely materialistic standpoint, sure it was. It got Julie Powell out of a cubicle job, and undoubtedly into a better home than the wretched dive she was living in during the Julie/Julia Project. Beyond the materialistic though, it was worthless. But then focusing on anything beyond her own needs is not what Powell (or her approach to things culinary for that matter) is about.
For what it’s worth, I can understand why Julia Child was not enchanted with Julie Powell’s project. I don’t blame her. Russ Parsons has a first-hand explanation, and it makes me like Julia Child all the more.
While I don’t think Julia was at all put off by Julie Powell’s character’s constant drinking and swearing, I do think her constant complaining was part of what Julia perceived as a lack of seriousness…
Julia Child was part of the generation that had seen Depression and war. She had known bad times, and she believed that the only way to meet them was head-on. You picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and got on your way….I don’t think she could begin to know what to think about the blogging generation, where a beef stew can result in 800 words of anguish.
Come to think of it — just pipe-dreaming here — wouldn’t it be great if in addition to absorbing Julia’s love of food and zest for life, a few moviegoers picked up on a little of that character as well?
I doubt two hours in a cinema is enough to affect anyone’s character for the better. 365 days with Mastering the Art of Cooking apparently won’t do it either.
I’m waiting for the hype over Michael Jackson’s death to stop filling the TV/radio/newspapers, ’cause really. Rachel Lucas sums up an attitude pretty close to mine, based on Jonah Goldberg who clarified exactly why the fuss over Jackson is so pathetic.
Brian Suits (filling in for John & Ken) on KFI 640 AM gave the best eulogistic response I’ve heard:
Yesterday, a wealthy, talented pedophile died. His wealth and talent kept him out of jail, but just barely. An overwhelming majority of you seconded my repulsion of the fast growing list of celebrity mourners declaring his demise a “surprising tragedy.” A handful of you chose to send me notes of disapproval for even reminding people of Mr. Jackson’s disgusting sexual appetites. If you were one of those offended, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you don’t understand why so many of are disgusted by the outpouring of surprise and shock at the death of a drug addicted pederast.
A tragedy is when someone is taken unexpectedly before their time, leaving behind great promise and no victims. A tragedy is when a box full of puppies falls and breaks the neck of a mime. Poor puppies. But when a goulish, self-mutilating molester finally succumbs to the drugs he’s relied upon for several decades in order to function in his freakish world, that’s called an eventuality. His tragedy was the waste of potential of his life, the syncophants who profited from his abyss, and lastly, the millions of fans who can’t acknowledge that it was his flaws that should define him.
Everyone forgets Vlad the Impaler’s good side. That’s what drinking blood will do to your legacy.
If you’re mystified why I can’t join the weepy throng of celebrity stalkers pantomiming grief and loss, it’s because I didn’t lose anything yesterday. I wasn’t related to him, my paycheck doesn’t rely on his box office, and he never touched my bathing suit place. I have lost close to a dozen friends and comrades in the war on terror, occasionally right in front of me. They were strangers to you, but they stood between unspeakable evil and your family. I would trade a hundred Michael Jacksons for just one of them back.
“Can’t you respect the dead?” one grief stricken troll has asked. “Sure,” I answered, “If they didn’t leave any victims.” Besides the greedy parents who served their children to Mr. Jackson like an appetizer on a Big Wheel, there are real victims out there in Southern California watching this grotesque celebration of a singing Caligula.
Meanwhile, BrentwoodWhiteBroncoUSCMVP32@NevadaPrisons.gov emails “But a court found him ‘Not Guilty’!” Yeah. That’s why he paid out 25 million dollars to one of his victims, because he didn’t do it. Innocent men move to Florida, I hear.
Every society reserves special disgust towards those who prey on our children. No matter what strata of society they dwell, they’re still monsters. Monsters never know they’re monsters. That’s why they’re scary. It’s the people who tell the monster “You’re not doing anything wrong” that scare me the most.
If Charles Manson had 13 number one singles, he might be a free man. Instead he’s a failed songwriter-slash-mass murderer. Luckily for us he can’t dance.
And that’s all I care to say about the matter. I’m now hoping we have some huge newsworthy event to overshadow the celeb mourning. Like maybe Obama could kill a spider on camera or something. It doesn’t take much to fascinate the public.