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Friday, July 18, 2008

Just one more reason why I don't watch The View...

I just read about Whoopi Goldberg's recent clash with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the view over whether or not Jesse Jackson should be using the "n" word to describe fellow African-Americans. There's more about this story here. Hasselbeck was trying to say something that appeared to be very positive by reinforcing that people shouldn't be using that kind of language in this day in age and Whoopi stated that the word was a term of endearment among African-Americans. To both of these women, I say, "Get over it."

For one thing, Hasselbeck attempted to assert that we all live in the same world which prompted Whoopi to lash out and say that we live in very different worlds; a world in which her own mother was not allowed to vote at one time. I would have had to lob that one back at Whoopi by saying that at one time, none of our mothers were permitted to vote and if women can't stand united no matter what the color of their skin, then we will never have the strength to move forward any more as women than we have managed to up to this point. But that's another argument entirely.

For another, Hasselbeck's question, “How are we supposed to move forward if we keep using words that bring back that pain?” Well, we aren't. We can only move forward as far as people wish to do so. We can all tell when the "n" word is being used out of hatred or racism. It's usually fairly clear what the speaker of the word intends. I don't use the word unless I'm talking to my sister and we are using it as a term of endearment towards one another. We are white, mind you, but we understand how it is to be used among friends. But, I would never feel comfortable saying it, even in an endearing way, to an African-American because as a white woman, it would be insensitive of me to do so. It's similar to a man calling a woman a bitch. Or a straight person calling a gay person a queer. Doesn't it smart more when you know that the person saying the word has no concept of what it means to be called one?

So, let's stop whining about it and do what we know to be right by one another and stop looking for opportunities to hop on bandwagons that we don't have tickets to ride. If you are a racist and you use these words, be prepared to be called on it. If you are an activist or some other kind of do-gooder, choose your battles wisely. It does absolutely no good to protest something that isn't necessarily bothering the people you think you're protecting or impressing. Mind your business.

That's my take on things. ;)

Until next time.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Don't call me least for another twenty years...

As the mother of a four year-old girl, let me be the first to say that I do not support the growing movement toward creating younger grandmothers. What am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about the television shows, movies, and songs out there that glorify teens having sex. Previously, I've talked a little about the movie, Juno, but now I'm going to complain about this song called Teenage Love Affair by Alicia Keys. When I first heard this, it just didn't sit well. For one thing, Alicia Keys is no longer a teenager and if she's having this kind of affair, it's most likely illegal. For another, the lyrics:

Hey boy
You know I really like being with you right?
Just hanging out with you is fun

So maybe we can go to first base
Because I feel you
Second base
Want you to feel me too
Third base
Better pump the breaks
Well baby slow down
I gotta go home now

Well, let's just say that the lyrics caught me off guard. Could you be more suggestive without being Barry White? Perhaps I'm hypersensitive because I have a young daughter who is just now starting to ask questions about music lyrics, but that second base line really sounds bad to me.

During the school year, I substitute teach and I have noticed that kids have changed alot since when I was in school. They are listening to the popular music and trying to act out everything they hear. It's a little scary to think that there are eleven and twelve year olds out there who are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to have one of these encounters because this song is so popular. I know that there are all kinds of suggestive songs out there, but this one is targeted to a specific population. If it were just a "Love Affair," then it might be a given that they are not supposed to be doing this until they're older.

Granted, teenagers have been fooling around since long before this song was ever popular. I understand that. My concern is that we are getting more and more lax in our standards. It really isn't okay to encourage teens to have sex without at least adding in some information about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. Once they turn 18, they can do what they want but until then it is our responsibility to make sure they understand the consequences of all this seemingly romantic behavior. For example, maybe Ms. Keys could have added some additional verses to her song, something like:

Although I really want this
I can't help but worry
that I could end up pregnant
if we're in a hurry

Hope you brought protection
Because I don't know where else you've been
There's so many dangers to acting on this affection.
I don't even know where to begin.

Ok, so I never claimed to be a lyricist and that really sucks. The point is that without adding a little warning about the things that can happen when you start having sex, the song is just contributing to the delinquency of minors. I generally like Alicia Keys and have enjoyed her music over the years, however, I'm disappointed in this, her latest effort. It has a good beat, but those words just get in the way.

Years ago, I probably would have loved it. When I was a teenager, I thought it was cool to listen to songs like these and daydream about Prince Charming, but let's face it, he doesn't exist. Songs like these leave out the important stuff, like commitment, maturity, and responsibility. Not the most entertaining topics, but when your children are being influenced 100% by these songs, you want those themes to be included in there with all the other stuff. Your other alternative is to turn off the radio and television and blindfold your child and lock them away so that they don't do anything wrong before they're 21 or so. That's not too cool, though.

Until next time...

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Several thumbs up...well, ok, just two.

At this point, I'm generally disappointed with most movies I try to watch. Luckily for me, this weekend I found at least three movies that are well worth watching if you are looking for something more entertaining to pay attention to than your usual regimen of reality shows and bad news programs.

The first movie was actually an older movie, Accepted with Justin Long. I think it came out in 2006 or so, but I really enjoyed it. I was worried when I saw that Jonah Hill was in it, but he actually played a decent character. It wasn't over the top with vulgarity and it addressed some very real issues that exist in the world of education. Granted, it did so in a very humorous manner, but still, I got the point. You've got to have some respect for a movie about a group of kids who create their own college, South Harmon Institute of Technology (acronym S.H.I.T.), because they've been rejected from every other college out there. Talk about laughing in the face of adversity! It was great. Justin Long is becoming one of my favorite young actors, having been in such greats as Dodgeball and even Live Free or Die Hard. I think he's got alot going for him and look forward to seeing him in more movies.

The second movie I liked was 27 Dresses. Again, I was worried because the last movie I saw Katherine Heigl in was Knocked Up, and we all know how I felt about that one. This movie was very entertaining and I liked the way it ended. I like that she showed real emotion over the things that were going on and that she addressed the issues even though it was painful. This one is a must see for women! It's empowering!

The third movie I saw this weekend was Music and Lyrics. This movie was very good. Not the type of movie that your husband or boyfriend will watch with you, but the kind that will make you remember what it was like when you first fell in love. Although Drew Barrymore is not one of my favorites, Hugh Grant is and the two of them worked well together. It was believable and even with the cheesy music, I found it to be a very sweet and genuine portrayal of two artists who have lost their confidence, but who find it through working together on a songwriting project. A great chic-flick!

My poor husband, he slept through most of the weekend while I was watching these movies. I put him through so much just to be able to provide you with good movie recommendations. But it's worth it. :)

Until next time...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,