Does having it all require money, the Olympic mom, the sons of the Kent State generation at Penn State, when the water recedes in Duluth, and another look at the Boy Scout decision.
First this plea for help. Yesterday, the boss asked me the question I've been dreading he would ask for at least the last three years. "How," he said, "would you describe 5x8 in one sentence?" Ruh roh. I, of course, had no answer as there is little logic and certainly no strategy in this daily endeavor. But the sentence is needed for a project he's working on, so I still have to come up with one. To prove my qualifications for potential management, I am taking an assignment to me, and passing it on to you. If you have suggestions -- one that can actually be used -- kindly post it below.
1) HAVING IT ALL
Anne-Marie Slaughter, who spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this month about her controversial cover story in The Atlantic, "Why Women Still Can't Have it All," says "having it all" isn't "having everything."
"I was writing for my demographic," she said at her Aspen session, broadcast yesterday on MPR News Presents. "We have all these women, we have 50 percent of women entering the workforce, more than 50 percent of women coming out of top schools and yet as you go up, you have 20 percent in board rooms and CEOs and in government and legislatures.... So if you say the problem is not enough women at the top, you gotta write for the women who could make it to the top."
Reality? Stereotype? Something in between?
How do the women who do seem to "have it all" have it all? My friend, Vince Tuss, calls my attention to a Wall St. Journal article today -- Don't Hate Her Because She Finds Time for the Workout -- which portrays, perhaps, a different demographic -- women who have carved out the ability to have their version of "it all." In this case, it's women who exercise.
It's about the freedom from guilt...
Many moms say they are in the best shape of their lives. Heather Prokop, of Maple Grove, Minn., is 35 with four kids ages 2 to 12, and weighs 30 pounds less than she did in college. When the weather is nice, she bikes 3.5 miles around a nearby lake towing two children in a trailer; often, she runs a second lap while pushing her youngest in a stroller.
Finding time to work out is a constant challenge. Recently, Ms. Prokop was on the treadmill in her home when one of her sons needed help with his Legos. Ms. Prokop got off the treadmill, played with him for a few minutes, and then jumped back on--only to learn her youngest was awake after her nap. "Sometimes I am popping them in front of 'Sesame Street' just so I can squeeze it in," she says.
To some, a fit mom's regimen may seem self-indulgent. These women, though, see their workouts as a guilt-free stress release. They don't feel badly about taking time to work out because they are setting a healthy example for their children. "It's this thing that she does for herself but that makes her better for everybody else," Athleta's Ms. Roering says.
According to the article, all you need is money.
2) THE OLYMPIC MOM
We heard from Mary Martin yesterday. She wrote to tell us that her daughter, a South St. Paul high school grad, is on the U.S. rowing team and heading to her second Olympics. Would we mind following her progress during the Olympics, she asked? Sure, no problem, but we find ourselves just as deeply interested in the Olympics from the perspective of a parent. So we're recommending Ms. Martin's website, The Olympic Mom, which is chronicling her own experiences of enjoying London from the perspective of the parents.
Even better: She can "bring it:"
The one clinker this week was the Congressional hullabaloo about the uniforms that the American athletes will wear at the opening ceremonies. I would love to see American-made uniforms, but the timing and presentation of the issue were disgraceful.
If Congress appropriated money to the United States Olympic Committee, it might make sense. But America remains the only country in the word that does not provide government funding for its Olympic athletes. For Congress to tell a non-profit organization that it refuses to support where it can buy things seems like a bad case of overreaching. And to create a public debacle by suggesting that the uniforms be burned is just childish.
I realize that the Olympic team is a symbol of America at its best-but I'd like to know if Congressmen-who represent America not just during the Olympics, but every day of the year-wear American-made clothing when they are on the floor of the House or the Senate? How about military procurement policies? Are all U.S. military uniforms made in America?
Related: Still the best Olympic parent moment ever, from the 1992 games in Barcelona...
Even more: The sports you won't see in the Olympics.
3) THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE KENT STATE GENERATION
The kids at Penn State are holding a vigil at the statue of football coach Joe Paterno, to keep anyone from vandalizing the memorial to their hero after last week's report determined he was complicit in the coverup of sexual assaults on children at the school's football facilities.
Related: Penn State deserves the NCAA "death penalty," the Star Tribune editorial team concludes.
At the very least, those who support college athletics should see in the Penn State tragedy an opportunity for introspection. Those who won't admit that there's a connection between our national infatuation with big-time sports and the scandals that continue to plague otherwise credible academic institutions are blind to the fact that power and money often corrupt.
4) WHEN THE WATER RECEDES
Often, the media leaves when the floodwaters recede. But MPR's Dan Kraker's story is must-listening to understand the mess that's left behind for homeowners, who have no way to rebuild.
5) ANOTHER LOOK AT THE BOY SCOUT DECISION
The Boy Scouts have reaffirmed their policy excluding gay youth. PBS NewsHour finds it's as much a business decision as anything else...
Bonus I: The toilet cleaner bombs of Dakota County.
Bonus II: It was four years ago today when an ambidextrous pitcher faced a switch hitter.
The NCAA must decide how or whether to respond to the scandal involving sexual abuse of children by a former assistant coach in Penn State's football program. An independent investigation found wide-ranging failures reaching to the top levels of the school's administration. One possible response would be the so-called death penalty, or the temporary shutdown of football at the school. Today's Question: Should the NCAA suspend the football program at Penn State?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: How the subprime crisis will continue to affect minorities.
Second hour: Assessing Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.
Third hour: Marissa Mayer's new job.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): College sports at a crossroads.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) - The long reach of the Midwest drought.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - NPR provides a conversation with the authors of "Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus." Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy share a passion for rabies. She's a veterinarian and he's a journalist. The-husband-and-wife team have charted 4,000 years of this disease, which still confounds medical science.
My suggestion for your assignment:
5X8 excerpts some of the most interesting stories of the day that might not otherwise get the attention they deserve; whether local or national, the stories are featured in such a way to provoke reflection about ourselves and our culture.
ajdematteo summed it up better than I could and hit the points I was thinking of. nicely done!
5x8: "A collection of overlooked stories that you will read again in two days when everyone else catches up"
A variation on Derek's entry:
5x8: Stories you should have paid attention to yesterday that you will pay attention to tomorrow.
Thanks, Jeff. They don't call me a writer monkey for nothing!
As a colleague of Bob's, I might turn to ajdematteo myself!
Thanks, these are always a good read but I'm bookmarking The Olympic Mom blog for tonight's archive dive.
5*8 - I strive to make my readers cry once or twice a week.
ajdematteo had a good answer as well.
On a side note I became a MPR member the day they let you back on the air during pledge drives. I would not have done that without newscut.
if "Bob Collins-ish" or "news cut-ish" are acceptable words then the sentance basically writes it self.
5 news cut-ish stories every morning to begin the blogging day and hopefully bring some perspective to the world outside of the scope of the major news outlets (upto and often including NPR it self)
Seems often it's a preview of what is to come on newscut, and some times it's a side note to the "main stream" news. Almost always interesting (and why shouldn't it be you've got 5 or more chances) and usually thought provoking.
Ultimately Bob 5x8 is a little bit of what you make of it, and a little bit of what we twist it into the comments :)
Speaking of twisting:
As for Explosions in Dakota county... I spent my highschool years living with my parents there (they still live there) and we had a dog that was excessively gun shy (any kind of boom made her run and hide, and more then one usually lead to her shaking and cowering in her hiding spot.)
starting ~June 15th and ending about the time the first snow fell, the dog was afraid to go outside because of the constant resound of ordinance exploding in the air.
It's interesting to me that in an area where so many explosions can run so constantly with out report, but when the right person reports the right explosions and the right kid is responsible then it's a felony charge.
If you go back a week or two you'll find a question of the day on MPR about people being reluctant to report crimes to the police, this is part of why. If I call the cops on my neighbor celebrating fourth of July, I've just made him a felon (which has implications for future employment, jail time, monetary troubles etc.) I don't want to put that on him for celebrating the fourth of July the way every one always has, I also don't enjoy having things explode over my house, but I'd rather pick up a few spent fireworks on the 5th then have good people go to prison over next to nothing.
Any law that can't be enforced evenly with out sending good people to jail, is likely not a law that will be enforced evenly. If enforcement isn't there, then legislature might just decide that the punishment isn't harsh enough because people keep doing these things and we start a terrible cycle where we turn people into criminals for petty offenses.
Can we add something about the best-moderated comments section on the web?
Seriously that pitcher, Pat Venditte, is now in AAA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Venditte
The stories you did not know effect your life
I would say 5x8 is a review of what is happening in the world (mainly US) from all angles/aspects in a concise format that allows discussion.
Now, Re: The Boy Scouts,
One issue I have had is as an Eagle Scout I wholly support the BSA, however I do not agree with this policy (or the religion requirement, but that's another topic). A big problem I have is people don't understand how little this means to most scouts. The Scouting movement is so much larger than this. I know the Northern Star Council (Minneapolis) will continue to allow gays. As mentioned by PBS, the Mormon Church has A LOT of Boy Scouts- they require their boys to be Scouts. Looking at the numbers, the 400,000 Mormon Boy Scouts is almost 15% of the total membership, and at $15 per scout the registration money alone is $6 million. This is a complex issue and I hope people realize this. The Scouts is an amazing organization that does life-changing work. I am saddened by people who are now saying they will "boycott" the BSA. They are depriving their kids from an amazing, life altering experience; and possibly preventing others by experiencing it too (by not buying popcorn or other fundraisers). I know of a District Executive in Illinois who I've met said on my Facebook how he is not happy with the decision, but by ignoring the Scouts you won't help change. Change comes from involvement and discussion. I hope people realize that the work the BSA does exceeds beyond its membership policy and that its members do not reflect the views the National Scout Office hold.
Illuminating the road less traveled.
My own banal take on 5x8 is that it's Bob's personal take on news stories he finds noteworthy. This is why I don't get paid the big bucks to work in radio. (Somebody gets paid the big bucks, don't they?)
Re: women who still can't have it all -- I've never liked that frame, as it implies that women are expecting more than they should. No one asks about men who still can't have it all or fault's them for carving out time for themselves to go exercise.
5x8: meandering across the web to explore people & the news from a different perspective.
On having it all: men can't have it all either; why is gender relevant? On the excess masculinity at the top: the current crop of leaders at the pinnacles of their careers are boomers & older Gen Xers. Men still represented the majority of college grads & recipients of advanced degrees at the time. When today's grads are at the top we'll see more gender parity at that level.
ce should be writing ad copy.
BenCh -- you are absolutely right the boycotting the BSA without telling them why you are boycotting them is a worthless way to let the BSA know how you feel since you aren't telling them. However, doing so doesn't deprive the kids of "an amazing, life altering experience" as long as you find another activity for the kids to participate that is also amazing and life altering. The BSA is not the only organization that can provide that opportunity. I hope other parents will find inclusive, non-discriminatory organizations that can provide this opportunity for their children. (My children aren't old enough to participate but I've wondered what will be a good organization instead of the boy scouts.)
I was a cubscout and a boyscout. I wasn't yet clear about my sexuality (it was the time before out role models). Cubscouts was fun, crafts, a den mother, very comforting. Boy Scouts was too much rough-housing and agressive for my nature. However, 4-H was great. Got to work on leadership skills, hobbies, go to the state fair. And, I don't *think* they have an anti-gay position. And, it's both boys and girls and their parents being heavily involved.
Re the BSA "policy excluding gay youth," it's no small thing that it's not just youth, it impacts leaders, staff and parents.
When my son was a Cub Scout, parent volunteers were critical to every project, every event. As a gay dad, though, I was strictly precluded from volunteering.
(I was not involved in the decision for him to join Scouts; if anything, that decision was encouraged by anti-gay family members in part to keep me on the fringes of his life.)
5X8: Well researched news stories shared by a consummate professional that can evoke a series of thoughts and emotions ranging from hilarity to horror.
Am I the only one that thinks "death penalty" is inappropriate when used to describe the cancellation of a sports program?
kennedy - while the "death penalty" is arguably inappropriate for use on human beings - one of the many reasons being that it isn't a deterrent, as indicated by no decrease in capital crimes when an execution is announced,
the metaphorical "death penalty" to Penn State would almost certainly be a deterrent to other sports programs that might consider covering up sex crimes.