Minnow’s Five Things


Hockey Parents, judging parents, Downton Abbey withdrawal, energy shots and Margaret Thatcher all caught my attention this week.
1. This is a classic take on role reversal for all hockey parents to enjoy and digest—or any sports parent for that matter. I found it on Sportsnet. The kid is coaching his dad through his work week and imparting his heavy pearls of wisdom. I think you’ll recognize the scenario and I think you’ll love this post. It’s perfect.

2. Parents just can’t get a break these days. No matter what we do, people are watching and judging—then writing about it. Like Frank Bruni at the New York Times who is a single male with no kids. I suppose it’s partly our fault that we’ve turned parenting into a verb, a skill and an activity that is graded and judged by society at large, rather than a natural path (or, dare I say, responsibility) we choose and accept. And speaking of judging, Frank’s NYT article has some very solid points about the state of modern day parenting—it’s just a bit tough to hear them from him. He’s basically telling parents to ‘chill’ because despite the torment we put ourselves through while raising kids, they grow up despite our valiant efforts. Rebecca Keenan of Playground Confidential is one of our Savvy Storytellers and she wrote an interesting perspective on the article here, but her main point is this: ‘There are as many different approaches to raising children as there ever were. The only difference is that now there are opinion columns in The Times talking about it.’

Mr Selfridge

3. If you need a break from the parenting drama and you’re experiencing Downton Abbey withdrawal, have no fear. There is a new British period series to fill the gap. It’s called Mr Selfridge, but you’ll want to start watching soon because you have already missed the first two of eight! Look for the same big hats and concern about social mobility, with a touch of the old-school Mad Men retail sales element thrown in for good measure. (It’s about the British department store, Selfridges). Find it on PBS Masterpiece Theatre every Sunday night.

AeroShot Energy

4. Too tired to stay up watching TV? Maybe you need AeroShot Energy. It’s an air-based, powdered shot of smart energy which seemed like an interesting and whacked-out-enough product worthy of sharing with you this week. With 100 mg of caffeine and B vitamins, it apparently can provide the same energy boost as a large coffee. But why drink (and enjoy) your coffee when you can carry this little shot in your pocket and knock it back while riding the bus or your bike? It has no calories or ‘mystery ingredients.’ But here’s my favourite part—the ad accompanying the product has this to say: ‘Energy Drinks Are So Five Hours Ago.’ That’s the ad. Five hours ago is old? What does that make me?

Margaret Thatcher

5. Finally, a word on the late Margaret Thatcher. I read a great deal about her life this past week, and am fascinated by the discussion surrounding her as a woman in power, particularly in light of the ‘trending’ discussions surrounding Sheryl and Marissa lately. Sure, she never spoke out about her status as a woman to support the feminist movement, but that would have ruined her. She was tough and she acted like a man. But I still can’t put my finger on why she has not been celebrated widely by the women’s movement. An article in The Guardian by Russell Brand (of course that caught my attention) provided an interesting perspective. He was born the year she was first voted into politics and age 4 when she became Prime Minister. Although he refers to himself as ‘one of her children’ growing up under her leadership in England, he doesn’t see her in a maternal light at all. Here’s what Russell (we’re on a first name basis) had to say about that:

It always struck me as peculiar, too, when the Spice Girls briefly championed Thatcher as an early example of girl power. I don’t see that. She is an anomaly; a product of the freak-onomy of her time. Barack Obama, interestingly, said in his statement that she had ‘broken the glass ceiling for other women.’ Only in the sense that all the women beneath her were blinded by falling shards. She is an icon of individualism, not of feminism.

What would Sheryl say? Don’t lean in. Run, or you’ll get hit by shards.

Have a great week.


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