Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Welcome, little one

Well, my sister had her baby, Ethan Scott. Six pounds, seven ounces, all cute. This post, therefore, is photos of the young one.

First, here he is in the arms of Uncle Pat:

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Here's young Ethan, being held by "Uncle Dadoo." (That's me, and yes, I'm wearing a Creature From the Black Lagoon t-shirt).

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Here's a photo where I tried to get artsy-fartsy. Yellow flowers, with the newly expanded family reflected in the window.

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Finally, Mom, Dad, and Ethan. Ness, my other nephew, was busy playing with the bed controls, and didn't want to be in this picture.

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And now, videos!

First up, Ethan, Uncle Pat, and the Acme of Cinema

Secondly, me holding him again, and Ethan sneezing. It may not seem special, but DARN it's cute. (oh, and the "background noise" comment...Dateline NBC was on TV in the background, catching more predators.)

The final video is Ness, Ethan's big brother, holding the new baby, before Ethan goes to Daddy for some quality time.

As always, thanks to my readers, especially for indulging me in this bit of sentimentality.

Friday, February 09, 2007

When I was in college, I had a job a few hundred yards from a spot where an access road to a major highway crossed three train tracks. One night, while answering inane customer questions, we were startled by a tremendous bang. Being the kind of person I am, I ran out to see what had happened. It turned out that someone driving a van on that access road had the misfortune to be hit by one train, knocked into the path of a second, which then knocked him into a third train. The man was lucky to survive, but that was the biggest train wreck I'd ever seen.

Until this week.

As we all know by now, Anna Nicole Smith died in Florida on Thursday. Setting aside for a moment her rough childhood, money troubles, and ongoing paternity questions about her daughter--these to me are issues that no one except Ms. Smith's family should be concerned with--what is going on with the media?

Henry Rollins once described living in L.A. during the Rodney King riots. In a nutshell, he said that you couldn't turn on a TV without getting the "Stuff is Burning Show." For two days now, all that's been on TV is the "Anna Nicole is Dead Show." Her death was the lead-off story on the local news in Omaha, for God's sake. Not a word has been said about this city's homeless population during the last few days of dangerously low temperatures, but the entire Omaha metro knows that Anna Nicole Smith collapsed in a Florida Hotel, paramedics performed CPR, and that she later died. Her autopsy is being speculated on as if she were an assassinated Kennedy.

Look, I understand how some people capture the imagination, and there will always be those morbid people who want every detail of celebrity death. And Anna Nicole Smith made for good footage--she was a pretty woman with big boobs who didn't mind showing them off. But the fact is, "news" programs are exploiting the hell out of this death for ratings, and ultimately, money. If you think I'm being overly cynical, go read this article:


(Yes, I know it's Fox News, but for a moment let's forget about them being a tool of the extreme right. I'm making a point)

You can bet good money that most people don't get this kind of press, in death or in life. Hunter Thompson, a far more important an influential person than Ms. Smith could ever hope to be, was forgotten by the media almost as soon as he died, with the exception of a few moment's coverage on the day of his memorial in Colorado. When was the last time anyone on TV said anything about James Brown, Johnny Cash, Gerald Ford, and so on?

And there's no way in hell a soldier killed in Afghanistan will get a full hour's coverage on "20/20."

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think I can understand why the average person would feel like they want to know more about how this woman died. However, I do think we need to draw the line, and rather than just saying "rest in peace," let's let this woman actually rest in peace.

If not, I'm going to read a book, so I can get some peace.

As always, thanks for reading. And for those who haven't yet, you can drop a line to JackShaftoeBlog@hotmail.com, and I'll email you to let you know when I make one of my infrequent posts.