Observations on the News: The “N” Words: Nudity, Nutrition, and that other N-word

Yes, the travellog is over, and we’re back to… (drumroll)… “Observations on the News”:

  • From the “How’s that again? Department: lordandrei provided a link to this article from the Battle Creek Enquirer, which points out that this week is Nude Recreation Week. Now, what gets me is not that there is a Nude Recreation Week (something I’ve always wanted to see (rimshot)), but the suggestions that are made in the article, for in honor of the week, the following activities are suggested:
    • Cool off: skinny dip in your backyard pool.
    • Make housekeeping fun: ditch those clothes, turn on some music and get out the mop.
    • Get in touch with nature: shed those threads and grab your garden tools for some nude gardening.
    • Exercise in the altogether: hit the treadmill or dust off one of the workout videos.
    • Telecommute in the nude: working from home, in the nude, is in fact increasing in popularity!

    Now, read those middle three again. I’m not sure they are conveying quite the right message. Also odd is the fact that NRW is highlighted on honeymoons.about.com. One usually doesn’t think of a nude beach as a honeymoon resort… but then again, I once had a high-school friend who when he got married, took his wife to a topless beach in Tahiti to show her off.
    [Disclaimer: All links are obtained from web searches, not personal experience.]

  • From the “Hypocracy, Thy Name Is Government” Department: Yes, friends, from the same government that gave you a commutation of the sentence of Scooter Libby for being excessive while other folks convicted of the same crime get longer sentences (even Paris got a longer sentence)… we have this. It appears that the rations we serve our soldiers in Iraq are unhealthy. Specifically, fried food and extra desserts dominate the menu at commisaries at the front. The Army has loaded the menu at the 70 chow halls, run by contractor KBR, with a buffet of fattening fare, from cheese steaks to tacos and Rocky Road ice cream. Many soldiers gain more than 15 pounds on a deployment according to military dietitians. They are also seeing soldiers return from Iraq with higher cholesterol, mostly due to their eating habits. Why? According to dieticians, there are three things that are absolutely crucial for morale: mail, food and showers. Of course, this comes from a government that is attempting to jump on the “America is Obese” bandwagon. Our soldiers are facing enough dangers on the front; they shouldn’t be at increased risk due to the diet our government feeds them.
  • From the “Let’s Rewrite History” Department: The NAACP has symbolically buried the N-word. To me, this is along the lines of the same rewriting of history that we saw last week at the National Civil Rights Museum, where the strong relationship between Jews and Blacks was never mention, nor the strong relationship of the folk-music movement. The NCRM presents that picture that this was a wholly-from-the-inside movement. Burying the N-work is equally rewriting history. Last night, TV-One was rerunning the 1979 sequel to the Roots miniseries, “Roots: The Next Generation”. When this series was on in the 1970s (and I remember watching it), it was heralded as groundbreaking… a classic telling of the African American story and journey. Today, if you watch it, you’re struck by how much “the N-word” is used. It would never make it on television today. We can’t rewrite history. History just is, and must be remembered. By burying these words, one forgets and loses touch with the power of words themselves. We need to remember these words, and how they were used wrongly, and permit them to be used, when historically appropriate, and not buried.