Saturday, September 25, 2010

Children's Books

Writing for children was at its best when Dr. Seuss was alive. His books were great, and he raised the level of everyone else.

Before that, kids' books were drab and dark, like Munro Leaf's Watchbird. Disney was popular, but Walt Disney's work shows that he had more issues than a magazine archive.

Since then, children's books are just captions under boring pictures. It's no wonder so few children are interested in reading.

Has anyone ever learned to read from Joy Cowley?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thin Mints

Thin mints used to be crisp. They were chocolate covered and white on the inside. Then, they were dark. Some flavor went away. Now, they're also mushy.

The Girl Scouts have introduced many new flavors.

I'm sure the new Thin Mints have their followers, but why not reintroduce the old ones also?

Friday, September 10, 2010

California Schools

California's schools used to vie for the number 1 spot in the country.

Then, Proposition 13 was voted in by gullible Californians. The measure freezes property taxes at the level for when the property last changed hands. Such a measure might have worked for principal residences, but the tax break covers every square inch of the state. Why taxing places like Disneyland at their 1977 value remains in place as a populist measure is a mystery.

Anyway, property taxes funded schools, which have been in free-fall ever since.

Two of the most egregious things one finds in schools here are old books and old buildings. Libraries are still filled with books that date back to the fifties. Kids can read about life without computers, cell phones, and in some cases, television. Many schools have, "Temporary bungalows." Many of those date back to WWII. They were well built, but they were only meant to last the duration of the war. They were not built to be cleaned or maintained. Consequently, they are full of dust and impossible to be in.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The New Yorker

Harold Ross famously said that it was not for, "Some little old lady in Dubuque." Someone should tell the current crew that it's not for her stupid hip-hop nephew either.

What's with all the F-bombs?

Today's New Yorker is just as banal as anything else.