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The Revolution Will Be Organized at a Charter School: We have these week-long "Dust-up" debates over in our Opinion factory, and this week's version, between outgoing (in all senses of the word) L.A. Unified School District board member David Tokofsky and five different engaged LAUSD high schoolers, was something to behold, largely because of the politics & demands of the kids. The sampling you'll find here includes shout-outs to Somos Raza, a proposal to turn "misunderstood" gangbangers into teachers, claims of race oppression and complaints against Euro-centric instruction. An eye-opener, to be sure.

08/25/2007 09:16 AM  | 

New LAT Online Column From Me -- "Land of the Less-Free: New passport and child-support laws are making the country less free for law abiding citizens": I was grumpy when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray. Links are interesting, though; especially the last one in the story.

08/21/2007 01:27 AM  |  Comment (1)

Deconstructing Mr. Whipple: Emmanuelle came back from the market the other day with a pack of Charmin. "Oh," I said. "Mr. Whipple."

She was all, "huh?" I tried to explain, but her blank expression led me to YouTube, where we watched this:

Wikipedia wasn't much help either, though kind of entertaining to read:

Mr. George Whipple is a fictional supermarket manager featured in television advertisements that ran in the United States and Canada from 1965 to 1989 for Charmin toilet paper. In unvarying repetition, he scolds women who "squeeze the Charmin," while hypocritically entertaining such actions himself. [...]

According to Charmin makers Procter & Gamble, a 1978 survey found that "Mr. Whipple" was the third best-known American, behind only recently-ousted President Richard Nixon and preacher Billy Graham.

There's so much to work with here, but the thing that jumps out at me is that end-date: 1989. I have long had the sneaking suspicion that a disproportionate amount of Cold War-era pop culture quietly packed it in once the Berlin Wall fell. I will not be surprised when Mr. Whipple is revealed as a paid agent for the Congress for Cultural Freedom, meeting at semi-covert conferences with various Kristols, Kagans, and Podhoretzi. It will be revealed that the Molvanian Revolution (colloquially known as the "Rustoleum Revolt") took its unlikely inspiration from the Charmin-squeezing clerical perv. And I, foolishly, will believe that it was all about People Power, instead of Pernicious Puppetteering.

08/19/2007 08:30 PM  |  Comment (10)

Hi! What are you doing down here?

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