- - Sunday, March 6, 2011

NEA at work

“Graphic sex education for youth is the new battleground at the UN, as evidenced by side events during the past week at the Commission on the Status of Women. The theme of this year’s CSW is the ‘access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology.’ While delegates are busy negotiating resolutions and outcome documents, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN organizations campaign for the installation of socially radical curriculums in Africa and America alike.

“‘Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education,’ Diane Schneider told the audience at a panel on combating homophobia and transphobia. Schneider, representing the National Education Association (NEA) … claimed that the idea of sex education remains an oxymoron if it is abstinence-based, or if students are still able to opt-out.

“Comprehensive sex education is ‘the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,’ Schneider proclaimed, ‘and we must make these issues a part of every middle- and high-school student’s agenda.’ ‘Gender identity expression and sexual orientation are a spectrum,’ she explained, and said that those opposed to homosexuality ‘are stuck in a binary box that religion and family create.’”

Lauren Funk, writing on “‘Schools need to teach about orgasms’ says NEA to UN,” on March 3 at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

‘Losing’

Charlie Sheen’s first-ever webcast attracted more than 100,000 viewers on Saturday night. But it certainly had its share of tough viewing moments. Actually, there were a lot of tough moments. But here are the top six …

Sheen’s insistence on quoting his phrase ‘plan better’ when clearly there was no planning involved with this production. The one planned segment was Sheen’s unveiling of his ‘winning’ tattoo on his wrist in the opening. The rest was cable access at its worst. ‘Now what? We’re out of material,’ he admitted at one point. That was obvious. Or to re-quote Sheen, ‘duh!’ Semi-planned segments such as ‘Winning News’ fell flat and suffered painful deaths. So that left Sheen just riffing, which got old real quick. At one point he pulled out the organizer in his drawer and started detailing the items inside. Another big topic was the lack of air conditioning. …

Sheen couldn’t stop plugging the idea that the show could be back on a weekly, perhaps daily basis. Judging by the numbers, which peaked at well over 100,000 but then steadily dwindled, you’d suspect this won’t happen. But it’s a scary concept.”

Bryan Alexander, writing on “Charlie Sheen’s New Web Show: 6 Most Awkward Moments,” on March 5 at the Hollywood Reporter

Roman a clef

“[Authors H.A. and Margret Rey] made their way to the south of France, and spent several weeks in a makeshift refugee camp in a high-school gymnasium before proceeding to Lisbon. From there they arranged passage to Brazil, and months later to New York. They carried with them the first drawings for the ‘Curious George’ books, and showed them to police as proof of their occupation.

“The first book, ‘Curious George,’ was published in 1941. The little monkey arrives in New York and strolls off of the ship with a smile, holding his papers in one hand and a little red valise in the other. A policeman salutes in welcome.

“Curious George has his share of troubles in America. For example, he had to go to the hospital after swallowing a puzzle piece. The emotional clarity of Hans’ illustrations is brilliant in these scenes of setback. Sitting alone in his hospital bed, with a single fat tear rolling down his cheek, the little monkey is the picture of distress.”

Erica Grieder, writing on “The Curious Journey of Curious George,” on March 3 at More Intelligent Life