Saturday, May 20, 2006

Somebody Saaaaave Me!!!

No, just love that song.
I'm watching...Smallville - what else?
Cute guys & girls, honest hard working farmers, snappy come-backs and lots of lip gloss.
I can deal with everything, even the sappy storyline - but I really, really wish they would lay off the lipgloss.
Save me from those shiny lips. It looks so bizarre. Whenever I think of Smallville I thinkg 'too much lipgloss.
And too many crying jags for Lana.
Does that poor character never get a whole episode where she doesn't cry once? Remember when your kids were small - one, two, three years old, and there was never a day without tears? The smallest thing could start a storm of tears or a sad face, or a sob, or a full blown crying tantrum. Well - that's what I feel about Lana. In every episode she is either crying or about to cry. Her eyes fill with tears and her lip-glossed lips tremble...And I usually switch chanels around then. I don't think I've seen an entire episode of Smallville.
And she's about to cry again. Excuse me while I switch to Eurovision.
(Better? I'm not sure...)

And on an even more sinister note - I got this from my local chapter of SWCBI -

From the CCBC Moderator: I'm sharing this open letter from Patricia Polacco because it raises
chilling questions about intellectual freedom. Many of you heard
Polocco speak at the ALSC preconference last year and will recall
that she was very critical of NCLB.
Urgent Notice....

To All Educators, Librarians, and Media Specialists
Regarding the cancellation of my appearance at the IRA
in Chicago for May 2 and 3, 2006

A few months ago I was approached by The Buchanan
Associates in Dublin, OH to appear at the
International Reading Association Conference in
Chicago on May 2 and 3, 2006. I was to be part of 5
events. Speeches, 'meet and greet' and book signings.

I was happy to accept the invitation which, I assumed,
was coming from the I.R.A. and my publisher. It is
always such an honor for me to speak and interact with
teachers and librarians from around the country.

But, then, a very disturbing turn of events
transpired. My staff started receiving phone calls and
emails from this firm in Ohio requesting that I
furnish them with a detailed written outline of what I
intended to include in my speeches. I assumed, of
course, that this was asked so that a synopsis of my
content could be included in a printed brochure
furnished to the conferees.

You can imagine my astonishment when I finally called
this firm and learned that this was not the reason.
They requested my written outline because their
'client' wanted to make sure that I would not discuss
my deep concern about NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
MANDATE...as well as my concern that there is a link
between this mandate and the SRA/McGraw Hill Company
who manufactures, prints, and profits from the sale of
these tests to school systems all over our country.

It was then that I closely reviewed all if the emails
(I had not up until this time because I had been doing
school visits and was not home until now) I then
realized that the "client" that this firm referred to,
but never names, was indeed, SRA/McGraw Hill! I also
learned from the Officials of the IRA that SRA/McGraw
Hill was indeed sponsoring the event that I had been
invited to. I was shocked!

This "firm" insisted that my speech be "upbeat,
non-controversial, and non-political"...I countered
with the fact that the plight of the American teacher
is far from "upbeat" and they are caught in the vice
grip of the most controversial and political LIE that
has ever been perpetrated on the American teacher.

I was also quite mystified as to why SRA/McGraw Hill
would even select ME and invite me to be a part of
their program knowing how strongly I feel about this
entire situation.

My speeches certainly do inspire teachers...I truly
believe they are among the last hero's we have in our
country...but I always mention the destructive path
that is laying wasted to our schools and that is the
No Child Left Behind Mandate!


I did mention to them that I considered this broaching
"censorship" and a violation of my freedom of speech.

Finally, after receiving numerous emails from this
'firm' that got more and more 'insistences'...I
finally sent them a written refusal to alter my
speeches in any way, Certainly I can moderate their
length, but I refused to alter the content. I made
them aware if they truly had a problem with this, then
they could "un-invite" me to be part of their event.

Needless to sat, SRA/McGraw Hill cancelled my programs
within the hour!

My main concern here, is that I very much fear the
conferees will be led to believe that it is I who
cancelled this event. The cancellation was the choice
of SRA/McGraw Hill and was generated by a blatant
attempt to CENSOR my remarks and the content of what I
say to teachers, which is a clear infringement of my
constitutional right to freedom of speech. I pride
myself on being an advocate for America's teachers as
well as being one of the most reliable speakers at
conferences in our country.

My lawyers and I have set a formal request to
SRA/McGraw Hill through their representative, The
Buchanan Associates in Dublin, Ohio, to post the
following signs outside of each venue at the
conference where I am scheduled to speak.

"DUE TO PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SRA/McGRAW
HILL AND PATRICIA POLACCO, SRA/McGRAW HILL
HAS CHOSEN TO CANCEL ALL OF PATRICIA POLACCO'S
APPEARANCES AT THIS EVENT"

Call anyone you know that was either going to attend
my events, or that did and were disappointed and tell
them why this happened.

I am very disturbed by this on may levels. It seems
that we Americans are losing, by leaps and bounds, our
constitution "guaranteed" rights.

I am insulted and very offended not only on my own
behalf, but also because of these various
organizations that seek to profi from the misery for
our teachers and school children. Profits and money
seem to matter much more that truly making changes to
our educational systems that would truly help our
children. I have to admit that I have a certain amount
of pride in taking this stand on your behalf.

Yours faithfully,
Patricia Polacco
www.patriciapolacco.com

5 comments:

Wynn Bexton said...

Nothing suprises me re 'free speech' in the good ol' U.S.A. these days...

By the way, I do believe that "Smallville" (at least some segments of it) were filmed here on the BC Coast and used the school I teach night classes at as one of their sets - either that or it's the school I went to junior high at. Can't recall exactly. I have never actually seen an episode of it so correct me if I'm wrong.

Sam said...

Hi Wynn
I didn't know where it was filmed -but the settings are just gorgeous, so it could very well be. As for free speech...there seems to be a lot of pressure to say the 'right' thing nowadays and the pressure comes from all over, so it's hard to resist.

Karen Scott said...

I love Smallville, and I wish somebody would put Lana Lang out of my misery!

I watched the Eurovision contest last night. I can't believe that the wannabe-Kiss group won. The lead sang in one range all the way through. And they wonder why their music doesn't make it big outside Europe!

All that political voting drives me up the wall!

Sam said...

Me too Karen - ditto, ditto, ditto!!!!

I wanted Germany to win.
Loved their song, lol!

Gabriele C. said...

Sure, the Fins couldn't sing, but I liked their outfits. :)

Now, that's the first positive remark I hear about the German song - counting even the Germans. ;)