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January 16, 2005

Ellis Island, strippers, and Eastwood

Ellis Island has finally opened the passenger lists of immigrants, Pamibe reports, giving genealogists one more major on-line data source. That's here.


Over at Yeah, Right, Whatever is a link to more asshattery out in Palo Alto, Callyfornicate, in which the principal of a middle school allowed one speaker too many to address the eighth graders on Career Day.

He's the management consultant who told them they can make up to $250,000 or more a year as a stripper or exotic dancer, depending on their bust size.

But school principal Joseph Di Salvo said Fried may not be back next year.

The principal said Fried's comments to the class came after some of them asked him to expand on why he included "exotic dancing" on his list of 140 potential careers.

Fried spent about a minute answering questions, defining strippers and exotic dancers synonymously. According to Jason Garcia, 14, he told students: "For every 2 inches up there, you should get another $50,000 on your salary."

"A couple of students egged him and he took it hook, line and sinker," said Di Salvo, who also said the students took advantage of a substitute teacher overseeing the session.

"It's totally inappropriate," Di Salvo said. "It's not OK by me. I would want my presenters to kind of understand that they are coming into a career day for eighth-graders."

That stripping advice wasn't the only thing that riled parents. Di Salvo said one mother said she was outraged when her son announced that he was forgoing college for a field he loves: fishing.

"He really focused on finding what you really love to do," said Mariah Cannon, 13.

Fried, 64, said he does not think he offended any of the students: "Eighth-grade kids are not dumb," he said. "They are pretty worldly."


Over at Debbie Schlussel is a review excoriating Clint Eastwood's new film Million Dollar Baby — and for damned good reason. Eastwood misleads viewers into thinking it's a movie about a woman boxer, and turns it into a story about legalized euthanasia.

Janitors and waitresses die every day, thinking “I never got my shot,” Frankie is told by right-hand man, former boxer Eddie (Morgan Freeman). It’s better for Maggie to die now, having made it to such a high point in her life—the Women’s Welterweight title fight—than for her to face a life of anti-climactic paralysis. Since she's only from a trailer park anyway, her life is now expendable. Sickening.

“Baby’s” version of euthanasia seems honorable and heroic—a sort of noblesse oblige for the 2000s. But imagine if the real-life euthanized, victims of the Nazis and the Netherlands, were the “Million Dollar Babies” instead of a pathetic, washed up female boxer from the trailer park.

The Nazis victims didn’t just include six million Jews. They murdered the handicapped and infirm, some as handicapped as “Baby’s” Maggie. The handicapped, a burden on society and flaw in the master race, weren’t entitled to live, the Nazis posited. That disturbing message is more palatable when the victim is “Baby’s” broken female Rocky with no future, and a likeable religious father-figure is the euthanasia-committing hero.

Then there’s today’s Netherlands. The country that values its legalized prostitutes and drugs has little value for human life. Anyone can be murdered by their doctors at the request of family members. There is no requirement the patient’s condition be terminal or the suffering be physical. Thousands of innocents are euthanized each year at the request of greedy or neglectful spouses and family. The slippery slope has begun.

Why can’t Warner Brothers—“Baby’s” distributor—say what the movie’s really about, glorifying euthanasia? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that no-one wants to go see a depressing movie with such stark politicking. Americans want to see positive movies, not be exploited. They think they’re going to see one here. But they’ve been duped.(Emphasis added = WT)

Posted by Weaselteeth at January 16, 2005 02:39 AM