Amazing Things You Can Do With Pine Cones


No, this post isn’t about pine cones, although I’ve been thinking about them. I’ve been thinking of them since I can’t see them under a blanket of lingering snow. I’m thinking I must have a barrel’s worth of them lying on the bottom of my fish pond, rotting away.

No, I’ve actually been pondering this post which I wrote yesterday. (Plugging oneself is a good thing, no?)

It appears I might have made a hasty judgment with regard to the nature of the site in question. (I’m not mentioning it, because I don’t want people to click over there and give them more page views. That site doesn’t deserve any encouragement. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can take the back alley route of finding out the insider knowledge by clicking on my pal, Wanda Rizzuto.) As only a brief visitor of the offending site, I got the impression that the site was all about glorifying being thin, and making a mockery of those who are fat.

I may be the only one on Earth who doesn’t really want to see my favorite celebrities in various forms of undress. (Not Viggo, not even Richard Gere.) Right now, I’m having a difficult time with the term “celebrities.” First of all, half of the people featured on the site have no real skills, and are famous for being famous, or famous for being rich. Secondly, does it really matter what their Body Mass Index is? Why we invest so much time and energy on these people is beyond me. (Yes, I’m investing some time discussing this tripe here, but it’s not my usual thing. You won’t catch me watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” or “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” I’ll give it a couple hundred words and then drop it.)

The message these sites and the media projects on our young people (both boys and girls) is frightening. We can fill our lives with endless shopping, bad behavior, law breaking and rudeness and it will all be good because we’re “beautiful.” If we’re not “beautiful” we can make ourselves that way by a quick trip to the spa or to the plastic surgeon. We can poke fun of those who aren’t “beautiful” just because we can.

I’ve raised two children, and even with my daughter almost grown, it’s hard to instill a sense of values with her that go beyond the boundaries of external packaging. If she fails a test, she launches into “I don’t need to be smart, I’m pretty,” which makes me want to assume the position of instant backhand, but I resist the urge and tell her to fill her head with more than moronic episodes of reality TV. She didn’t believe me when I told her that most images these days are digitally enhanced, until I linked her to a web site with before and after photos of her favorite people. But with constant bombardment from media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a mother’s common sense to illuminate through the muck.

I’m not calling for a war, but I’m calling for a personal boycott of the frivolous mediocrity of sites like this one who exploit people like these.

And if you really must know, I’d rather contemplate the wondrousness of a pine cone.