Things that made me go hmm.
Three pieces of news have stopped me today and made me think a little bit about the wonderful world in which we live. First, a beverage company is going to produce an energy drink called "Liquid Experience", based on the concept of Jimi Hendrix and his masterpiece album. There are people up in arms about this idea (Flea was interviewed by the AP and is not too happy), but really, is this anything new? Lust for Life promotes Heineken. Pete Townshend licensed Baba O'Riley to be used for an SUV commercial. The Beatles' Revolution was used to promote Nike (I have to imagine, though, that John Lennon turned over in his grave). Plus, the president of the beverage company says that some of the profits from the drink's sales will go to a music education charity. So fine, let there be a drink inspired by Jimi Hendrix.
But why stop there?
Let's have drinks inspired by other musicians! How about "Danish Baconnade" commemorating the exploits of Freddie Mercury? Or the "Whining Pussy", a tribute to Chris Martin? Maybe a can with a large mouth opening named for Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler? ...and maybe the "Tenacious D Protein Shake"? I'm not even mentioning the possibilities that surround Ice-T, Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice, Korn, and The Black Eyed Peas.
Another piece of news that intrigued me today was the recent bill proposed in the Japanese Ministry of Education. As a former employee, I can verify that while teachers are expected to have ultimate control of the kids (read: parents often leave all disciplining to the teachers), the teachers can't punish the kids at all. This includes everything from sending the kids to the principal's office to making them stand in the hall to beating them. A government panel has now proposed a plan to rethink all of this, possibly including the beating part.
I have two comments on this. First, I would have immensely enjoyed smacking a kid or two if it had been legal. I taught about 300 kids during the time I was there. Most of them were fantastic, some were just kinda... there, and there were two or three that just went above and beyond the description of "a kid who needs an ass-whoopin'." Secondly, regarding the domestic side - the article mentions that there are 22 US states that still allow corporal punishment, and that over 300,000 kids were physically disciplined in the '02-'03 school year. I honestly had no idea that corporal punishment was still legal here! It's sure as shit not legal in NY or any of the New England states (i think). Guess ya learn something new each day.
The third and final comment about today's news actually concerns last night's address. It was very strange to hear George Bush say "Dikembe Mutombo."