News Grab Bag: Everlasting Love, Young Guns and America the Beautiful

Ends justify the means?

There are lots of unique ways to raise money for charity, and all in the name of a good cause, but I’ve recently heard of one in America which borders on psychological torture.

It’s called “Stop the song” and it works like this- a song is chosen, its usually an annoyingly catchy song, sometimes a novelty record. It is then played on a loop throughout every gap in the school day until the desired amount of donations is received.

Its rather clever but at the same time feels a bit like extortion. I heard of this because an America student posted a picture online of the flyer advertising his school’s campaign to raise money.

They chose that song? Hell, I'd pawn things by the end of the first morning.

They chose that song? Hell, I’d pawn things by the end of the first morning.

Well done, Sweden

It may be 2012, and we may be becoming far more open-minded with regards to gender roles but we still have quite a way to go, especially when it comes to children. There’s still a lot of “that’s for girls” and “this is for boys” going on. No where is this more evident than Toys ‘R’ Us, where the girl’s aisles look like you’ve walked into candy floss or a herd of jigglypuffs have exploded.

So, Toys ‘R’ Us in Sweden deserve to be applauded, apparently back in 2008 they were hit by complaints of being narrow-minded and so this year their Christmas catalogue shows a lot more of a mix, with boys shown playing with dolls and girls playing with Nerf guns. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.


Ladies half-dressed, fully equipped

The title for this section is a lyric from Will Smith’s “Miami” and relates to a recent poll of Americans which found that the Florida city is home to the most attractive people.

Miami native Eva Mendes, backing up the claim.

Miami-born Eva Mendes, backing up the claim.

But before I jet off for the Sunshine State, another list ranks New Orleans as the best US city for singles, maybe that’s why its called “the Big Easy”.

Make this movie now!

Stumbled across this wonderful story a while back about this guy, Thomas Beck, who returned to his home country of Hungary for the first time since 1944 when he escaped a Nazi concentration camp, aged 15. Beck went over the wall and fled, leaving behind another inmate who he had fallen for, Edith Greiman, then 14. Beck had helped the young girl through their horrific experience and she saw him as her “turn to person” and he regretted leaving her behind.

He returned to Hungary and was reunited with an old friend, who revealed that not only had Edith survived but that she’d been looking for him too. And it transpired that her new home in Australia was less than a mile from Beck’s son.

Communicating via e-mail and rekindling their feelings for each other the two agreed to meet, and have now been together for around four years.

What a lovely, heartwarming story about the lifelong connections people form in life and the strength of human courage and spirit.

Thomas and Edith together again.

Thomas and Edith together again.

More tales of bad parenting

Two examples of bad parenting in this edition, kicking off with an Arsenal fan and his young son.

Passing on a love for a sports team is quite common, and some might say cruel if you’re passing down a lifetime of disappointment and misery through the generations. Unfortunately, as a Welshman I have no choice but to introduce my future kids to the world of pain and mediocrity that is following our national sides.

Similarly you’re probably going to pass on your own prejudices and there’s a chance that exposing them to the world of football stadium chants is a bad idea. So, its rather disgusting that this Arsenal fan posted a video of his 3 year old boy engaging in some offensive, foul-mouthed chanting aimed at ex-Gunner Robin Van Persie.

I get that the dad might be upset with RVP having moved on to greener pastures at Manchester United, but there’s something almost pathetic in his glee in teaching his young son to chant against the Dutchman. He’s taught him the “She said no, Robin, she said no” chant referring to RVP being arrested after an accusation of rape years ago, which he probably didn’t have a problem with when the player had his home at the Emirates. One can only hope that he hasn’t told the lad the reasons behind the song.

The other is “Robin you’re a c**t!”, now I’m not the biggest anti-swearing dude, and I don’t buy that its a sign of ignorance or limited vocabulary, but at the same time, teaching the hard “C” word to a three year old is a pretty classless and stupid move. Also, why the hell would you video it? Sure, it might get a laugh from some half-wit Arsenal fans but even some Gunners supporters will probably think its a bad move, and the world is mainly non-Arsenal fans.

Here’s the video, which is more cringeworthy than anything, revealing the dad’s rather pitiable joy in the chants and pettiness.

The second example of bad parenting isn’t quite so bad, but it is rather creepy.

Kim Ridley wanted to flog his 1977 Datsun on eBay and followed traditional car-selling theory by deciding the car would draw more attention if an attractive young lady was draping herself over it.

What’s a little bit creepy is that Ridley used his 20 year old daughter, Lexxa as his model. Now fair enough, she is actually a model and it probably saved a few quid, but at the same time its a little bit weird.

I mean this first picture of Lexxa leaning on the car and looking hot isn’t too bad I guess.


But this one is definitely a little bit more sexualized and the ick factor is upped quite a bit.



Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO


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