Jan 12 2014

Tiger Mom And The Triple Package

I need to read deeper into “Tiger MomAmy Chua‘s new book “The Triple Package” because I don’t want to rant about something based solely on a blog post.

The Triple Package by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld

If she’s the Tiger Mom, does that mean she has the Eye of the Tiger?

However, my time is limited, and the shelf-life for news gets shorter every day. Seriously, there’s stuff in my blog queue from… I’m not even going to look. Therefore, I’ll write what I can now and get back to it with more info if/when I can.

Here is what Gawker writer Jordan Sargent says about Chua’s new book:

The New York Post has a review of her new book The Triple Package —co-authored by her husband, Jed Rubenfeld — which says that there are eight groups of people superior to all others: Chinese, Cuban exiles, Indians, Iranians, Jews, Lebanese-Americans, Mormons, and Nigerians. Remember, her daughter got into Yale and Harvard so it has to be true.

“Groups of people superior to all others”? Seriously? This is something that we’re allowed to say now? Because I thought that was, you know, like saying men can’t be primary caregivers (cough, SAHD WAHD, cough cough), or something far more obviously offensive. (I tried to come up with an example that felt not completely racist/sexist/jerky but I couldn’t.)

Gawker’s Sargent goes on:

According to Chua and Rubenfeld, there are three reasons — the so-called “triple package,” please bear with me — why those eight groups reign over everyone else in the world: superiority complexes, insecurity, and impulse control. They believe (“believe”) that true success is reached because you think you’re better than everyone else, but also not really, and that you can resist temptation as you strive for a larger goal. Oh, and also that you haven’t “yet bought into mainstream, post-1960s, liberal American principles.”

Sargent is critical of Chua’s ideas, as is the NY Post’s book reviewer Maureen Callahan. Sargent then calls Chua’s… output… “pop psych trolling”. I don’t know what that means. I do know that declaring a race/ethnic group/nationality/person who holds certain religious beliefs to be superior based solely on that criteria is the slipperiest of slopes. “Asians are smarter.” There we go. That one is positive. “Jews are good with money.” Also positive. But do either of those statements sound OK to you? Because they don’t sound OK to me. More importantly, would you want your children to say “Nigerians are more successful because they are Nigerian”? I wouldn’t. If that is indeed the premise of “The Triple Package”, that’s bad for a variety of reasons.

NOTE: As of this moment I haven’t read the Post’s review of Chua’s book, nor have I read the book. (To be fair, the book doesn’t “drop” until February 4, 2014. That’s what the kids say, right? Drop?) This is due to the fact that I have kids to feed and stuff. Like I said, I may do an updated post later.

UPDATE: Here’s a quote from the Amazon description of “The Triple Package”:

 It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.

So yeah. There’s that.

UPDATE 2: Amy Chua has written other books besides “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother“. They sound more academic and less “pop psych” oriented. I haven’t read any of them. If you have, let me know. Anyway, here are other books by Ms. Chua.

Infamous “Tiger Mom” Returns To Troll the Entire World (Gawker)

The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America (Amazon)


Aug 14 2013

This Is Why You Have Passwords

I object to the use of the term “hacker” in this story. I prefer “schmuck.” That said, I suppose it’s not unfair for CNN to call the schmuck who… OK, fine. Someone HACKED into a baby monitor and said nasty things to a little kid. This is why you have to password protect everything.

I don’t want to be unkind to the parents involved; the above image is meant to be a little joke. According to the CNN story, the family whose monitor was hacked (I wish I could think of a better term) did have passwords turned on. I don’t know what that means. Is it possible that the alleged schmuck/hacker was so desperate to insult this little kid that he (I believe the CNN story said it was a he) worked extra hard to crack the codes and deliver his foul-mouthed message?

Perhaps there is more to this tale than meets the eye. Or not. Either way, have good passwords.

Foul-mouthed hacker hijacks baby’s monitor – CNN.com.


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted under Blog | No Comments »
Jul 19 2013

Hug Him And Squeeze Him And Call Him George (Video)

You’ve probably heard the line “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George.” As I just wrote on Facebook, teaching it to my children is one of my great accomplishments as a parent. (Remember, quoting yourself may be tacky, but it makes fact-checking much easier.) I always thought the line came from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Now I’m not so sure.

I might even have the line wrong. If so, I’m not the only one.

What follows is a condensed version of my attempt to figure out where “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George” came from, which led me down a big Internet rabbit hole (pun intended) of cartoons, John Steinbeck, and other stuff.

At first the Internet seemed to be telling me that the cartoon in question was “The Abominable Snow Rabbit”.

In the video above, the line is, “I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him…” Not an exact match, but very close. (Daffy Duck has a great line as well: “I know I’m a louse. But I’m a live louse.”)

Then I stumbled across an intriguing tidbit: “The Abominable Snow Rabbit” is an homage to John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”

OK. Sure. Why not?

However, according to the Internet there are many cartoon homages to “Of Mice and Men.”

Really. There are.

Here is “Lonesome Lenny”, a 1946 Tex Avery cartoon, described thusly on IMDB: “Screwy Squirrel is bought in a pet shop to be the companion of a daft dog so strong that he squeezes his playmates to death.” Well all righty then. The dog’s name is Lenny, and he calls his new pal George. (Lennie and George are the main characters in “Of Mice and Men.”)

(Tip of the hat to the folks on this AWN forum page for pointing me towards “Lonesome Lenny”.)

But there is another Tex Avery short, “Of Fox And Hounds”, released in 1940, that is also an “Of Mice and Men” thing. This is where the immortal line “Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?” came from. (I taught that one to my kids as well. I’m an awesome dad.)

(Hat tip to LanguageHat.com. No pun intended that time.)

Research note: Lest anyone think that my sources are limited to Wikipedia and pages I found via The Google, here is a link to The New York Times’ review of the 1939 film version of Steinbeck’s book (starring Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr.), which states that “Of Mice and Men” has been “endlessly parodied in Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons”. (Personally, I prefer “homage” to “parody” in this case. But let’s not split hairs. Or hares.)

“Of Fox And Hounds” seems to be the first animated homage to “Of Mice and Men.” But, with apologies to Bono, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. None of this tells me the source of “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George.” Thinking that perhaps the words came from Steinbeck, I did some searching on Google Books, eventually changing my query to the phrase “Tell me about the rabbits George.” That opened a whole new rabbit hole of references.

Lennie, George and rabbits are apparently quite the thing. Who knew?

What did we learn? A lot. Haven’t answered my original question. But that’s OK.

(Thanks to the Facebook friends who inspired this post.)

Classic Looney Tunes – YouTube.


Apr 28 2013

Superhero Animation On Demand

As promised, here is a list of Superhero Animation that you can watch on demand. Some notes/comments/caveats:

DaddyTips Featured Video

– Most recent update: April 30, 2013

– All are available via Netflix unless otherwise indicated.

– Titles listed may suddenly become unavailable… or even better, new titles may show up. Such as Batman Beyond and Justice League which are now on Netflix. The greatness of this fact cannot be overstated.

– This page may be updated when new shows are added. I’m also going to make a different page for live action superhero programming. Because I’m cool like that. And I have a Geek Gold Card.

– This may shock some of you, but I have something to say about every single one of these shows. Therefore I will write posts for each entry as time permits. Check back for updates.

Without further ado, here is the list. If you know of anything I missed, leave a comment or contact me directly. This is important stuff, folks. Read more »