Monthly Archives: February 2010

Sins of the father

I read this morning that Michael Douglas’s son, Cameron, is blaming his many problems on the lousy job his dad did bringing him up. Folks need to be careful with that kind of accusation.

Everyone reading this can think of a person or persons who had a sucky upbringing, but still managed to avoid becoming felons. They somehow side-stepped selling crystal meth, using cocaine and heroin, beating their spouses and children, or squandering what many would call a life of extraordinary financial privilege. I know many people like this, as a matter of fact.

The cynics among us would say that Cameron’s lawyers are just trying to get him the easiest sentence possible, which amounts to basically doing their jobs as defense attorneys. But in doing so, it always seems to come back to the perp being portrayed as a victim. It’s a pervasive, almost inescapable concept in American courts. Why? Because it works.

If I had a dime every time I heard/saw that a student’s parent called in or visited the school principal in order to force the administration to rescind a punishment — even though the child was clearly guilty — I could retire tomorrow. Conversely, if I had a dime every time I heard someone my age or close to it say, “If I got in trouble at school, it was worse when I got home,” I could have retired a year ago.

When did everything change? As a teacher, I see it every day: people going to astonishing lengths to avoid personal responsibility or extra work (or work at all). I’m not so naïve as to think it never happened in my childhood, or that I never tried it myself. But in my day, it was usually confined to student machinations. Now it’s the parents who are doing all the wheeling and dealing, while the kid stands behind them, basically going “Neener, you can’t touch me because my dad’s here.”

I know there are still parents out there who teach their children about accountability. It just seems that the parents who don’t are the ones getting all the press — and as we all know, the squeaky wheel, the constant dripping of water against a rock…

So did Michael Douglas make his son sell drugs? Is felonious behavior directly related to crappy parenting? I say no. Not in most cases, anyway. The triumph of the human spirit over adversity is a scenario played out millions of times all over the world every day. Does its apparent breakdown in certain individuals equal entitlement to not paying the consequences of one’s actions?

Hmmm. The Fink thinks. What say you, fiends?

Photo credit:

From the Annals of Awesomeness

“Some Things Simply Must Be Seen to Be Believed” Division:

Russian singers from the 70s — awesome. Russian singers lip-synching a vocalise on Soviet television, complete with gorgeous set tricked out in week-old mustard-colored backdrop and tattered fence-like apparatus — incomparable.

Watch it twice. It’s Finkday, after all. Treat yourself.

Yay x 2

How’d that happen?

Seems like last week when I started this little labor of love. Once in awhile, someone will mention a subject I’ve written about here, and I won’t remember having done it. One day, I will revisit some early stuff and peruse the silliness.

But for now, I say a huge thank you to all my Finkville family for coming back every day or so to read, even if you don’t comment (and you know I wish you would). Many interesting conversations have taken place here over the last two years — I look forward to a few more, as long as I still have stuff to talk about.

And I will. :-)

Gracias por todos,


Crucial minutiae

Say that five times fast without blowing it. Betya can’t.


I know it’s an oxymoron, but today I realized its true importance. I’ve been up since 2:45, see. And while I was lying in the bed, trying to go back to sleep, several unfinished tasks popped into my head. I wanted to write them down because I knew I’d forget them by the time I got to school today — but I had no paper and pen.

Now it’s 4:10 a.m., and, as predicted, I have forgotten the lot. Great.

J’ever do that? Make a mental note to take care of something, then promptly lose the mental note? My sister is a list maker. She never forgets anything. The Thriller just never forgets anything, period. I’ve made lists a few times in the past, then lost them all.

Note to self: search the Droid Market for a free notepad app.

Update (3 minutes after typing above sentence): Downloaded the “Easy Note 2 Do” application. Now if I can just remember to use it…

Is it Saturday yet?


Día bueno

And for several reasons:

  1. I think I am going to like my hair (photo forthcoming for far-flung fiends — but it’s 5:40 a.m. right now, luvs…I look like ten miles of bad road)
  2. Had a good rehearsal with some manbeasts after school yesterday
  3. It’s Droid Day; meeting my Verizon guy after school to do the deed
  4. No school delay this morning (yet, anyway) — thumbs up
  5. This came in the mail yesterday. Heh. I think I’ll unearth my other diplomas (BME and M.Ed.) and do a little framey-hangey thing in my parlor, just to be a pretentious wonk. But first, a moment of silence preceding the deletion of all related bookmarks (class login, BU library, JSTOR, Chicago Manual of Style site, various & sundry dissertation/thesis help sites). Instead I will bookmark the Sallie Mae student loan payment gateway…yeah, fantastic.


Still, it’s a good day. Hope you have one, too.

Fink, finished, yay!