The News in Review

As you have gathered by now, Mike’s Circular File is not a “blog” per se – I don’t update it daily, and my postings are all lengthy columns or stories. Sometimes I think I’d like to use it as a public forum for commenting on current events, but while I certainly have a lot of opinions, I just don’t have the time to commit to such an undertaking. I figure that if you really want to hear my take on the news, you’ll e-mail or call me.

That being said, there have been some noteworthy recent developments on topics that I’ve covered in the past. So I’d like to take this opportunity to do some soul-searching and reevaluate my opinions in light of these new developments, and then remind everyone that I was right in the first place.

Nattering Nabobs of Noticeable Nursing

In Lactation Frustration, I observed that nursing mothers were exhibiting a tendency to become needlessly militant in their quest to eliminate any restrictions on public breast-feeding. Of course, I exaggerated considerably for comic effect and was taken to task by a few of my readers for my insensitivity. (Full disclosure: I have a tendency to be insensitive.) I also opined (accurately, I believe), that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was pandering to women by advocating a law removing any and all restrictions on nursing in public.

Well, on July 31, over a dozen mothers staged a “nurse-out” at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL, to call further attention to the public breast-feeding controversy. In addition to the 15 mothers (and, presumably, 30 breasts) who showed up, 19 children were reportedly in attendance (obviously there was some doubling-up), and four husbands (the details of their participation were not reported, and I personally would just as soon not know).

The “nurse-out” was also called to mark the start of World Breast-Feeding Week (August 1-7). I don’t know what festivities were planned to celebrate this event, but I can’t help thinking of that scene in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask where that giant breast is charging though the countryside.

This occurred the day before Blagojevich was to sign new legislation exempting nursing mothers from jury duty, if they so request. So which is it, Blago? Do nursing mothers get to do it anywhere they please, and use it as an excuse to shirk their responsibilities as citizens? Seems like the first law negates the need for the second, don’t you think?

And just how many additional privileges do mothers actually need? Have you noticed that expectant mothers now have reserved parking spaces at shopping malls? How do you enforce that? What if a woman parks there and isn’t showing? Will mall security administer a pregnancy test in the parking lot? What’s to stop overweight women from abusing the privilege? What if she’s not pregnant at the time she parks the car, but she’s going to the mall in order to find some guy to impregnate her? That still makes her an expectant mother, doesn’t it?

Makes you wonder how our mothers managed without all these special perks. It must have been brutal.

Atkins Finally Bites It

Also on July 31, Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. filed for bankruptcy, which means the Atkins Diet Fad is officially over. I can only hope that the other companies who encouraged this nonsense lost their shirts as well.

Looking back on Stupid People II: When Carbs Attack, I realize that there isn’t much that infuriates me as does the stupidity of fad diets. Perhaps the subject hits too close to home. I know perfectly well what I need to do to lose weight – I just don’t do it. However, I also don’t fool myself into thinking that there’s an easy way out.

In fairness, I should point out that I am as fat today as I was when the Atkins thing started. So are virtually all the people who did Atkins. They suffered. I didn’t. That puts me ahead, I’m afraid.

Go White Sox

I wrote White Sox fans take all the fun out of it after the great Cubs playoff meltdown of 2003. I made it very clear where I stood on the whole Cubs-Sox issue.

Well, I have to face it. The Chicago White Sox are having an incredible year, and I have gotten a lot of flak from my friends and family members who are Sox fans. To which I say, “Good for you.”

I hope the White Sox go all the way. I really do. I complained that Sox fans would rather see the Cubs lose than the Sox win. It would be disingenuous of me to respond in kind. If the Cubs can’t find a way to the Series, then I’d still be proud to see our city represented.

And honestly, it gives me hope. After all, if the White Sox can find a way to no longer be losers, perhaps, just perhaps, their fans can as well.

Right after they finish looking up the word “disingenuous.”

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