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Wagging the dogs

Well, this was a week I'll long remember. I was in a crappy mood Monday night. I had a ton of work due on Tuesday. I had to give mid-term progress reports on all my students. I was behind on grading tests, which needed to be done if I was to give an honest assessment on the reports. But I also needed to get an expense check and a month worth of pay into the bank before the mortgage came due.

So that's how I found myself driving from ATM to ATM Monday night. Apparently the whole deposit network was down, because even when I got to my 10th ATM, finally an ATM owned by my credit union, even that one wouldn't take the deposit. It was in this frame of mind that I heard Cedric Maxwell's now infamous "Get back in the kitchen" comment.

Yes, in retrospect I can tell he was making fun of Tommy Heinsohn. To a lot of people I've spoken with since, that doesn't make a lick of difference. To me, it was just a bit of poor judgement on Max's part. Regardless of his intent, at the time I was pissed.

I told my sons and wife when I got home. The four of us reached consensus that I ought to at least try to put it on a blog somewhere. I've kinda been getting hooked on UniversalHub, so that's where I wrote about the incident. I didn't even know for sure what the user interface meant by differentiating between writing a "blog entry" or a "story", but I figured it was a story.

Next thing I know, there's some discussion -- some reasonable, some knee-jerk reaction from jerks who ought to be kneed. I figured the story would get cold before I bothered to try to alert the "real" media.

But then I was driving home from school Wednesday. Being the hopeless sports fan I am, I tuned into WEEI. Ordway and his gang of washed-up bullies was talking about, what was that? Bloggers? Maxwell? Joking intent? Political correctness? I didn't hear enough of it to be sure until I came inside to tune in to UniversalHub. Sure enough, my little story had tipped.

I'll admit to a bit of chest-pounding, letting my family know of my involvement, letting a couple of the teachers I work with in on my little secret. But frankly, it was a huge relief that I got to remain relatively anonymous, even though I used my real name on the story and on my comments that followed up. The "came from a blog" angle of the story showed up on the Big Show, but not on the wire services or in the opinion pieces that popped up on op-ed pages on Thursday.

Some of the criticism on the Big Show was of the standard "blogs aren't real journalism and aren't responsible to the truth" variety. Well, no duh. I was careful in my original post to state that I didn't have all the facts. But then, I think any of us who has been involved in a real news story realizes that the MSM usually gets significant facts wrong on a daily basis too. Reality, once you get outside of a math classroom, is more than a little subjective anyway. I am psyched that I played a part in Cedric Maxwell apologizing for his remarks, and equally glad that he has not gotten any further punishment. But I'm especially proud that I set an example for my kids, while getting untold thousands of people around the country to at least have a decent water-cooler discussion about sexism this week.

Now it's back to grading the latest batch of tests, quizzes, and essays for me.

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