Arizona kills Home EKKKonomics classes

In yet another reactionary move against an imagined enemy, Arizona has passed a new bill, this time to ban “schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals.”

So, that should remove the following classes from Arizona schools:

1) Any language class. English? Spanish? French? They all sound like an insidious attempt to change the way we think, starting with the voice in our heads. Plus, we all know that the native speakers typically take these courses because they’re an easy A … well, except English.

2) American History. Oh, so we’re only going to learn about Americans, eh? Let’s look at the section on World War II–just as we thought! Anti-Nazi biases! And just where are the sections about famous Asian-American philosophers?

3) Lunch. The spice levels of cafeteria food are clearly set for a Caucasian digestive tract.

4) Physical Education. We’re OK with keeping PE if they don’t teach basketball. Or baseball. Or soccer. Basically, they just need to teach non-team sports that the white kids can excel at while encouraging their individuality.

Arizona: where passing unenforceable laws is OK, so long as they can convince Mexicans to move along.

Take it from Snee: We need more swearing exceptions

As a child, my parents had a no swearing rule. They worked hard to clean up their language, and the resulting stress caused them to flip out whenever I broke that rule.

There was one morning, though, when my dad was watching a movie with explosions, camouflage and all of my favorite words. I asked why the men in the movie were allowed to cuss, and he said, “Because they’re at war.”

Imagine the impression this would make on a 5-year-old boy. From that point, I resolved to become either a soldier or a war movie actor, just so I could say whatever I wanted. (This same logic made me want to become a bowler so I could smoke and Robocop so I could eat baby food.)

Growing up, I learned there are a few other exceptions to the no swearing rule in the general public beyond international conflict.

  • Moments of great pain
  • In newfangled non-rhyming poetry
  • While making love for the first time

But is that all? Surely there are more situations where we–not just I–need to express ourselves with the lambada dance steps of communication. Continue reading Take it from Snee: We need more swearing exceptions

The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1960-1969)

My apologies for not telling you last week what came after the 1950s. With Labor Day and all, we were off from work and observing the Holy Day of the Worker by refraining from blogging. Today I am pleased to tell you that the 1960s came after the 1950s, but they are more commonly referred to as The Sixties.

For America, it marked a time of great change, you may have heard about that once or twice. But is what happened forty years ago really over? Of course not, the Baby Boomers are still around arguing over whether or not we won the Vietnam War.

Hit the jump, do some ‘ludes and free your soul, man. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1960-1969)

The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1950-1959)

When I was in school, in history classes they only taught us up until the end of World War II. This was not because I was going to school in the 1940s, but the teachers just ran out of steam or did not want to cover any of the controversial topics of the rest of the 20th century. The Nazis were evil, we beat them, America is a super power, the end. I had one high school American History course that made it to the Marshall Plan.

Still, I feel like something happened in those remaining 55 years that could better explain where we are today. That’s why I, Bryan McBournie, who minored in history, am here to help you learn about what happened through the decades since World War II. If you watch enough television  or listen to enough music ,you should know some of this yourself.

I’m starting with the 1950s. Why? Because nothing happened from 1946 to 1949 and you know it. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1950-1959)

Take it from Snee: Quit your job

Before I get started, I just want to wish everyone a happy National Grammar Day! If you are inclined to comment on the following article, please observe this holiest of days in the comments section by posting a coherent response. All failures to do so will be ridiculed to the point of suicide.

So I was waiting for a haircut when I witness this scene:

MAN walks into the shop.

MAN: Excuse me, when’s Shakira* working next?

HAIRCUTTER: I honestly have no idea. She hasn’t shown up for work that past two days.

MAN: Ah. OK.

*This name was changed to protect my failing memory.

I’d already heard of people quitting their jobs by just not showing up anymore. I always knew it said very little about that person’s intestinal fortitude, but that was their problem that they could ignore, hoping it goes away.

But, when I consider the problems our country faces these days, I couldn’t shake it off this time. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Quit your job

You Missed It: Join hands and sing edition

Following a tradition going on for at least 15 years, Thursday was once again followed by Friday. That means we have reached the end of the week once again. If you were busy getting booed by protesters in the U.K., odds are you missed it.

Oui are in control
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced on Tuesday that France would take a command role in North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the first time in 40 years. France left the command position in the 1960s after policy disagreements with the U.S. The reintroduction of France to NATO command means that the allied countries now have another military option in their repertoire: immediate surrender.

Cease in the Middle East
Israeli and Palestinian forces began a six-month truce this week and guns fell silent for the first time since anyone can clearly remember. The truce has been hailed as a sign of progress with peace efforts in the Middle East. Both sides said they were inspired to agree to a truce after watching You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

Wait, there aren’t any lakes in L.A.?
After a six games, the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers to win the (NBA) World Championship. The final game of the series was a blow out, but nonetheless, the postgame interviews were priceless. The best of all was the interview with Kevin Garnett, who told ESPN’s Michelle Tafoya “Michelle, you look great tonight, girl,” in between incoherent answers, shouts into the air and admitting that he is indeed “certifiable.” We are now more afraid of Garnett more than we were of Ron Artest.

Finally, a superhero movie this summer
Will Smith’s latest effort, Hancock, premiered in London earlier this week, but it is not scheduled to be released into theaters until July 2. Not much is known about the plot from the commercials, but SG has learned it is a biopic about founding father John Hancock and is seen as a cinematic response to HBO’s mini-series John Adams. In the movie, Smith portrays Hancock as a black, homeless, drunk superhero who is jaded by society but has the power to sign his name in really large letters.

It’s April 7 somewhere

Stop whatever you are doing and have a drink.

Good. Now that you have done that, we will tell you why. Seventy-five years ago today, the Volstead Act, better known as prohibition, was nearly torn down in a single swig, when 3.2 percent alcohol beer was allowed to be legally made and consumed again. Granted, it was not exactly strong beer, but hey, booze is booze.

The stronger beer meant we were one step closer to vanquishing the self-made demon known as prohibition, which was enough to drive a man to drink in the first place. To celebrate, at the broke of midnight April 7, 1933, Anheuser-Busch threw a party it called New Beer’s Eve.

It was only a matter of time, before freedom once again rang across the nation, and Lady Liberty could legally belly up to the bar.

The light-emitting diodes are coming!

At one point, it was the tallest building in the Greater Boston are, but now, the Old North Church is a historic structure. Best known as where the lanterns were held so Paul Revere could notify minutemen if the British were coming by land or sea, now the Old North Church is going green.

They are installing LEDs to light sections of the building. Yes, the building that once used candles to help change the course of American history is going for a more energy-efficient lighting method. The change is part of a series of upgrades to the facility, including Paul Revere will now ride through towns shouting “The British are coming!” while on a Segway.

The battle for Mexico’s ‘heritage’

Like The Guys, many Mexicans were muy triste y furioso at the news of their country’s oldest cantina shutting its doors. For those of you who didn’t know, after 150 years in service, El Nivel was basically kicked out by National Autonomous University of Mexico, who wanted the land.

Angry Mexicans and all-around drunk guys, or hombres borrachos, gathered on Tuesday to protest the closure. The protesters plan to petition the university and then the government to save the cantina because it is a “cultural and drinking heritage site.”

Ah yes, drinking heritage. Being the great-grandson of Irish immigrants, I remember when my father sat me down as a child and handed me my first glass of whisky. He told me, “Son, this is your heritage. When you drink this, you must always ramble on about the evil English and pick a fight with the nearest person or coat rack.”

(Note: This story is also being covered on our Spanish-language sister blog