Remember that label?
This is not a toy?
As a child I used to think, really, or is it a toy? As an adult I think, really, or is it a toy?
Labels continue to amuse me. Remove plastic from pizza before placing in the oven. Are we just stopping natural selection with all these labels? Then again, with the taste of some frozen pizzas, who’d notice? It’s also amazing how many “Do not eat” labels on things you wouldn’t possible even think of eating.
One of my all-time favourites is: if you can’t read the label, don’t use this. Huh? So basically, don’t spray deodorant in your eyes, sit on an oven door, don’t use a curling iron internally, don’t drink toner, pepper spray can irritate your eyes, hot beverages are indeed hot, and the list goes on. What’s your top weird label, dear readers?
1. Then again, observing people, I suppose these labels aren’t as weird as you’d think. Like those people who stand uber close to you in line. Do they think it’ll make the line move faster, or I’ll leave, either way, slow down, I’d appreciate dinner before you get that close.
2. What is with eating while driving? Really, is life that busy that people can’t stop and have a sandwich? Try the ‘o’ word: organization. And those poor little Stop signs, they’re getting a complex from being ignored…
3. Who writes these TV shows (“Do you have a swab?, “Did you get the swab?” “Are you out of swabs, how can you be out of swabs, we need swabs!”, what you need to get is a Thesaurus and out of Johnson & Johnson’s, ummm, anyway, I digress), books, and/or movies where all characters race around to keep, like, one main character alive? Does this person secretly have the cure for cancer? Other people drop like flies around them. or because of them, or to save them, but as long as they stay alive (more or less), it’s all good.
4. Money can’t buy happiness, sure, but it can buy food, shelter, security, I’d be way more comfortable crying in a nice house with a pool and not worrying about money all the time. Just sayin’.
5. No wonder young girls are so confused about body image. Women in music videos wearing clothes that could double as napkins gyrating against, well, anything. Men don’t feel the need to dress or act that way. Imagine the time we’d have for equal rights if we had never been told what shape to be, what to wear…who to be.
6. If you find politicians horrifying, pretend they’re children (not a big stretch), stop giving them so much attention.
7. The news keeps taking about how bad the economy is, not news to me, my economy has always been bad.
8. People who complain that you shouldn’t eat non-traditional foods for breakfast clearly haven’t figured out doughnuts are cake which is just like pancakes and you eat those for breakfast, right?
9. People who say they don’t do mornings are doing morning as they say it.
10. There’s nothing better we can do in this world, no greater kindness than making people feel safe, with food, shelter, comfort, love, and compassion, not fear, hunger, prejudice, poverty, and hatred.
My last post https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/03/09/take-on-me/ had all that talk of adulting, this week I put adulting on hold, went to a March Break matinée (yes, alone and isn’t it a weird reflection on society that if I were a man, I would be seen as creepy doing so; a few rotten apples do spoil so much, still got some looks I was there without a child). I thoroughly enjoyed The Peanuts Movie for $3; $1 went to Kids Help Phone and I got coupons (free popcorn and movies) – charity, coupons, childhood, and reclining seats – you can’t see me right now, but I’m The Breakfast Club fist-pumping in the air.
My point? Labels are just labels (lawsuits aside), common sense is the best label. Hope your weekend (and the First Day of Spring/Spring Equinox) is a warm hug.
Life is full of good things and bad things.
Sometimes good things go bad.
Sometimes bad things go good.
Sometimes a bit of both.
The good stuff doesn’t always make the bad stuff easier to take, but the bad stuff doesn’t always ruin the good stuff either.
We should try to be grateful for the good stuff, especially when there’s bad stuff.
We Could Be Grateful For:
1. Family and friends. The memory of family and friends. The possibility of family and friends.
2. Knowledge, free will, and finding respectful ways to agree to disagree.
3. Enjoying what you have, instead of always thinking about what you want.
4. Remembering both the good times and the bad – and not living in either.
5. Enjoying the everyday things. Life isn’t about the big moments.
6. Finding happiness, peace, or contentment, especially by making others happy, peace-filled, or contented.
7. Life and knowing that most people know it’s worth.
8. Being you. Don’t compare yourself to others.
9. Bad times, so you can appreciate the good times.
10. Giving – stuff, time, comfort, inspiration, hope, information…you.
Terror, in many forms has wormed it’s way into our lives, not just with violence, but with weapons such as: fear, rudeness, abuse, inequality, neglect, distractions, complacency, disrespect, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, lying, scandal, gossip, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, blame, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments.
We can change. Some will say we can’t, or worse, that’s just the way it is. Expect change. Be that change.
People can disagree, debate, wrangle, bicker, even argue, hopefully respectfully.
There’s also no need to agree, you have the right to disagree, again, respectfully.
Attacking anyone, verbally or physically, for their beliefs is pointless.
We can’t overcome hate with hate.
We can’t win by fighting.
Even if you feel hate, choose love or at least, forgiveness.
Even if you feel indifference, choose compassion.
Especially if you feel despair, choose hope.
I worry being ‘shocked’ every time something terrible happens, posting platitudes, changing profile pictures, holding vigils, leaving tokens, decrying the monsters, and placing blame gives the illusion of doing something when really, it’s mostly shopping, social media, socializing, and symbolism.
Wouldn’t it be more comforting to help those in need? To donate food, clothing, money for shelter and medical care instead of making piles of flowers, candles, stuffed animals, and flags that will just become garbage? I don’t understand, if we want to show respect why not help those who are still alive and suffering?
We need to find out how to change what’s happening, or brace ourselves for more of the same, or worse. The first rule of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging, and try to find a way out.
What’s coming will come, so instead of focusing on those who do harm, who spread fear and hate, let’s be grateful for those who help, who protect – those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus, not just after a tragedy, or crisis, or disaster, but all the time.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones, death is tragic, no matter the circumstances…and to anyone suffering, everywhere.
October conjures images of:
Fall leaves, crisp nights… pumpkins and pumpkin spice…Halloween, candy, black cats…sexy Hunger Games costumes, yeah, I’ve stopped asking why at this point…
Apparently, scary is definitely different for different people.
For some scary is:
The dark – where all the known and unknown creep.
Horror movies that make people hide their eyes, but have to peak.
The price of groceries or hydro (both terrifying).
Trying on bathing suits (could turn your hair white).
Dating, parenting, love…
Loss of those we love.
Christmas or any holidays with in-laws.
Elections, wars, politicians.
Loss of cellphone reception (The horror! The horror!).
Running out of chocolate (now that’s horror!).
Liars, vampires, aliens, monsters, sparkly vampires, zombies…
I started blogging to relax, reignite my love of writing, and to be rich/famous (not necessarily in that order) – 555 posts later, well, two out of three ain’t bad. No one warned it could be so scary!
Life doesn’t come with instructions, we have to grope our way through this at times terrifying funhouse – long strips of goodness, gooey badness, melty magnificence, and squishy horrors – blogging is pretty much the same.
1. You want the blog truth, you can’t handle the blog truth! By the flickering computer light and hum, something wicked this way comes…really, Shakespeare how would thou deal with: endless emails, trolls, glitches, and ghosts in the machine?
2. First, you find your way through the woods (aka the internet) to an old mansion (aka WordPress) where you start your blog. Soon, strange things start happening – stuff moves by itself, stuff disappears, and you find yourself alone, in the dark, and still, you hear the click, click, click of the keyboard…
3. Come up with a cunning plan, overly elaborate with, as a random example, a dog with a speech impediment; a drug-addled vegetarian with a groovy van; narcissistic metrosexual; frumpy geek girl who needs contacts; and constantly kidnapped drama queen.
4. Your loved ones look at you oddly as you repeatedly type: All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl…They complain you’re hunched over your shining computer, or using them for…inspiration.
5. Read aloud from online posts, only to realize, you’ve freed some ancient vengeful Babylonian deity…or worse, a telemarketer! Who you gonna call?
7. Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ to find an image or inspiration…later you’re found wandering through the desert and learn you’ve been missing for 7 years and still didn’t find the right meme.
8. Fall asleep at your computer and wake up in a dream where a serial killer is hunting you, or worse, you’ve lost all your followers!
9. You decide to take a break from writing and take a bath or shower, you know better, but it’s been a long day.
10. You ask for books to review, but then …One, two, writers are coming for you. Three, four, publishers knock at your door. Five, six, who do you pick? Seven, eight, accept your fate. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
11. You turn to run from the glowing ooze on your keyboard, but there’s a evil clown or worse, housework behind you…your furniture is moving on it’s own, but it’s not getting dusted…Why? Oh why?
12. Through a series of unfortunate events, you find out your blog is built on an old cemetery and an ancient burial ground where rituals were performed. You could run to another platform, but that’s a lot of work.
13. So I will think of blogging not as a horror movie, but more like a community garden. We all work together to grow something remarkable. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’ll all be part of something amazing…as long as nothing comes alive to eat us.
Or is it?
While I admit I don’t understand a lot of stuff, but as long as it’s not really hurting anyone, why would I care?
Too often, the commonly held view seems to be that if we don’t agree, we’re at odds.
Like somehow 7 billion of us are suddenly going to start agreeing, or we have to battle it out Star Trek style.
For example, I find the rise of pumpkin spice alarming – apparently pumpkin spice is a season now, so the pumpkin spice must flow.
Here’s a completely incomplete list of stuff people do that I don’t ‘get’, or want to (no particular order):
1. Touching wet paint or wet cement – yes, it’s wet, move on.
2. Running water after going to the bathroom instead of actually washing your hands.
3. Lying, lying, and what was that other thing, oh yeah, lying.
4. Judging a person based on their skin tone, religion, race, nationality, whom they choose to love, clothes, home, family, etc.
5. Walking into traffic looking at a cellphone.
6. Bad driving.
7. Hurting others, especially children.
8. Loving something just because it’s endorsed by or has the name of a celebrity.
9. Using racism as a political strategy.
10. Fat shaming, and also those who say fat shaming is wrong, because they’re also calling people fat.
11. Having fictional conversations in your head with others (ok, done this).
12. Not smiling back at a child or being impatient when an elderly person is slowly walking down the stairs in front of you.
13. Yelling at furniture that jumped out and stubbed your toe (ok, I’ve totally done that).
14. Wearing uncomfortable shoes (especially with stubbed toes).
15. People who pretend they don’t fart (you do, we all do, own it).
16. Reading the instructions after you’ve done something.
17. Saying “I’m sorry” when you’re not sorry.
18. Unenvironmentalists (you know that should be a word).
19. Buying non-orange pumpkins.
20. Pretending you don’t wish some cool movie-like thing would happen to you today instead of just the usual stuff…come on, you really haven’t done this?
I can’t understand how people find the time or energy to judge, fight, or generally care so much about everyone else’s business. Does this have to do with our fight or flight response? Not running from sabre-tooth tigers (mostly), our fear response is now triggered by shopping (prices are terrifying), finding info on the internet (bloodcurdling), and politicians (I’ll take the tiger). Obviously our fear of scarcity has survived, so maybe those who are different or disagree feed into that fear. I’m just guessing, frankly, I’m baffled.
The internet just seethes with fear and loathing which is why I’m happy when I find bloggers who make me smile. David Prosser, a wonderful, funny, and caring blogger from Wales offered the world his Buthidars philosophy https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/ – a hug, a good deed, a simple gesture, a smile…forging a path toward peace.
And he shares his life each week at: https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/ and kindly shared one of his novels, The Queen’s Envoy, with the caveat, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, but I emphatically enjoyed the fanciful flight of fictitious foibles. It reminded me of watching Bond movies with my Dad. As a child I didn’t understand what Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, and “Oh James!” really meant, but the spirit of adventure always made me feel like anything was possible. I like that feeling, wherever I can find it.
It’s Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada; I’m thankful we can all agree to disagree, eh. I don’t tell people they’re stupid for their beliefs and I don’t expect them to understand my complicated relationships with: chocolate, spiders, TV, sleep, housekeeping, kale, Jane Austen, gravity, technology, toenail clippers, Christmas, pools (you know, cause of sharks), clowns, Thanksgiving, meat, and life in general.
We don’t have to agree to have fun, be respectful, and add love and hope to the world.
All we are saying is give
peas peace a chance.
So let me get this straight –
you take the good
you take the bad
you take the both
and there you have
The Facts of Life?
That can’t be right.
Am I getting this whole thing facts of life and happiness stuff all wrong?
Maybe chocolate was the answer all along.
Could it really be that easy?
Could that be what the universe is trying to tell me as my happiness project carries on?
Here are the first 14 weeks, then more, you decide:
1. My brain, which doubles as an MP3 player, awakes to music, a foggy playlist scampering to Jack Johnson crooning, Upside Down then Blind Melon, David Bowie, and Tears For Fears all melodically reminisced about Change…
2. The pages of The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig, came to life as I read, making me want more. Then I thought of Jennifer Aniston in Cake, amazing, but tissues at the ready. With cake, like life we gradually add one thing after another, hopefully in the right order, until there’s something delightful.
3. Luke Bryan wanted me to Kick the Dust Up (point me to a cornfield, cause, damn, that’s catchy).
4. I think my happy place may have vandals…maybe I didn’t lock up after the last time I left.
5. Never forget.
6. The basic insultiness of the TV adaptation of Pamela Redmond Satran’s Younger – all young people are flibbertigibbits/all older people are past their sell-by-date. Like Sex and the City you have to suspend belief, your hold on reality, even your dignity to buy what they’re selling. Begs the questions, could I pass for younger and if so, why? I would like the naturally elastic skin back.
7. Lisa Whelchel + Kim Fields + farm from Smallville, here’s a fact of life, yup, all in the same movie, For Better or Worse…ok, definitely worse.
1. Barenaked Ladies felt they needed to remind me of good times and that I don’t have a million dollars, but what I could do if I did.
2. Let’s Make A Deal is still on? What year is this?
3. Wilson Phillips begged me to Hold On (thanks, I got this).
4. Took a delicious and mind-etching bite of Wes Anderson’s droll, absurd The Grand Budapest Hotel. Can a movie be too amazing? If so, this is.
5. Tim McGraw told me to live like I was dyin’, well, duh.
6. Watched season première of Doctor Who…remembered why I love it. Let’s forget last season.
7. New series, Mr. Robot where Christian Slater seems to be reviving his Pump Up The Volume role, just older, but still angry. As a hacker, now instead of Talking Hard, he’s Typing Hard.
1. The clock ticks, my birthday looms, another season falls away…I guess even when you feel stuck, or trapped and there seems to be no escape, no way out (like in The Maze Runner, oh great, now I’m going to have Wild Boys by Duran Duran in my head), you can turn another corner and wow, you’re out…or maybe just borrow a ladder and climb out.
2. Really want to watch The Fault In Our Stars, not sure I’m ready for ugly crying, especially when I have a cold https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/06/the-fault-in-our-stars/
3. Writing, like everything else doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes it’s perfect to just unfocus and be.
4. Should I read A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld, or would I just gave up?
5. Does it weird anyone else out that if you remove an ‘s’, the French word for fish looks like poison?
In the summer, readers run away from blogs like swimmers running out of the water away from the shark in Jaws (We’re going to need a bigger blog).
So what do you do in a blogging slump? Post more? Less? Write longer or shorter posts? Add more pictures of cats? More tweets, likes…eat more chocolate? Or just accept it and take a break for the rest of the summer? Acceptance is such a strange thing, isn’t it? It can be positive – you accept a gift, get accepted into a club, accept an award, or it can become something you feel forced to do, such as compliance or acquiescence.
I accept The Imitation Game was a brilliant film starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who apparently can’t be anything but astonishing) about WWII. I don’t accept it’s completely factual, clearly they took certain liberties such as Cumberbatch portraying Turing as though he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s Hollywood pretending everyone who’s a genius has Autism, or because they wanted Cumberbatch to play Turing more like Sherlock.
Joan Clarke (played with dazzling brilliance by Kiera Knightley) wasn’t recruited by Turing, crossword puzzle or otherwise, but was engaged to him.
They did concede Turning’s machine was based on a Polish cryptologic machine (the Polish broke the Enigma code years before), but that he’d built a better, faster machine for the more sophisticated code.
This is Hollywood. They add drama.
Unlike previous films about the Enigma code, this film didn’t cause international snits like U-571, or put us to sleep like Enigma (despite a stunning performance by Kate Winslet, wait, wasn’t she in another famous historically inaccurate film, something about a ship?).
I don’t take umbrage to movies that play with history. Most of history is changeable, written by the victors and those who want to cast themselves in a positive light. I read history books and watch documentaries, but even those should be taken with a grain of salt. Movies, TV shows, and books, even those based on real-life people and events, those are for entertainment.
This delightful movie wasn’t actually about the war or codes, it was about acceptance. Alan Turing was a gifted mathematician and cryptographer and yet, in the end, it didn’t matter if he saved millions of lives or gave us the basis for modern computers, it mattered that he was gay. He was only 41 when he committed suicide after being forced to endure chemical castration. His future work, his life, all lost because no one could accept he wasn’t their definition of ‘normal’.
Fear and discrimination are the real enemies. People refusing to accept the differences of others. Differences should be encouraged, supported, celebrated. Different isn’t less, most often, it’s more.
As for the blogging, who knows, maybe this is a good excuse to write that book I’ve been putting off.
So plan to be spontaneous today, here’s some, er, blogging advice to hold you over.
And snap out of it, WordPress, you’re driving bloggers insane (perhaps a short drive, but still a waste of gas).
Anyway, this was rather delightful excuse to post lots of pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. You’re welcome.
The occasional broken heart (some courtesy of good-for-nothing teen heart-throbs leering suggestively from glossy magazine covers), the enforced cleaning of my room, scrapped knees and elbows, the tedium of school, bullying, losses…still, I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time where we knew little.
Sure, pesky facts sometimes showed up, but we were quick to scare them away and defiantly let our ‘ignorance is bliss’ flag fly!
Of course, I knew horrible things had happened and were happening, but for inexplicable reasons (I blame chocolate and kittens), I seemed to believe things would get better.
I don’t know, maybe it was growing up in a small town, but even with all my extensive sci-fi reading and viewing I could never have imagined this strange new world I would someday live in where Donald Trump could be President of the United States; someone would list their dog as a job reference; Kardashians are deities; people fawn and argue on social media over food while many don’t have any food at all; we would still believe governments and corporations who regularly and flagrantly lie to and cheat us…where fiction is fact and fantasy masquerades as reality.
The news, entertainment, internet, politics, business, sports, relationships – it’s like we’re watching The Tudors or The Borgias and the only thing that has changed are the outfits…and the quality of the acting. Lies, intrigues, shifting alliances, hypocrisy, machinations, double standards (like when someone does whatever they want, but when someone else does the same thing or less, they’re outraged, shocked, appalled – insert Fox Newsworthy propaganda rhetoric here).
Tired of the daily circus, I eagerly plopped down on my couch, green tea in hand, sore feet on the exercise ball (hey, it has to be good for something) to distract myself from the distractions and marvel at Colin Firth’s magnificence in Magic in the Moonlight.
But alas, I found the movie full of philosophical questions about the meaning of life. Sigh. Is nothing sacred? While enjoying the witty banter, I also had to think about whether this is all there is. This day-to-day, this cycle of life, the collective cultures, religions, the systems and wealth of knowledge obtained from human history and common experiences…Or is there more? A higher power, a divine plan, magic, a metaphysical world beyond the rational. Are there plans or is it all spontaneous and just happening as it’s happening? Perhaps I should have just revisited the pastoral peace of Pride and Prejudice, but then, I’d probably wonder again whether I would really like Mr. Darcy if I met him, or think he was a rich, pompous jerk.
My brain was awash with questions…and green tea. Do we need illusions or even delusions to survive and then more and more as stress levels build?
Is that why the world is looking more like the final days of an empire?
It might also explain why pop culture has become an avant-garde-Spanx-clad-Salvador-Dali-painting-on-Viagra.
Oh well, off to Outwit, Outlast and Outplay another day.
How to be good to one another. We could start by spending less time arguing about: who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s what, who’s to blame.
The internet exploded last week, with rainbows, due to the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.
Online profile pictures went rainbow. #LoveWins trended worldwide.
June is Gay Pride Month so this added to the parties, parades, pride.
I’m pretty sure if you checked, your poo might be rainbow too.
It’s a great step for equality, I only hope hype and hyperbole don’t bog down the message that it’s not so much about this issue, but about fighting for rights, not just new ones, but the ones we already enjoy.
It’s been 10 years of marriage equality in Canada (Happy Belated Birthday Canada! You don’t look a day over 147), joined by 17 other countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and now The United States of America. Come on, why aren’t there more? Who cares who you love, as long as you love?
Sadly, on the same day of this ruling, there were also:
terrorist attacks, natural disasters, murders, child abuse, rapes, corruption, and more.
This decision doesn’t stop bigotry, hatred, racism, or human rights abuses.
It doesn’t feed the world’s hungry, or stop conflicts,
but it does add some equality (can’t have enough of that),
it makes people happy (especially wedding planners and lawyers),
and it shows that justice is still out there, we just have to expand its reach.
I’m always amazed at how so many people have the time or energy for:
hate, prejudice, racism, hypocrisy, manipulation, machinations, lying, stealing, playing the ‘gotcha’ game, cheating, and judging – especially for people or groups of people they don’t even know.
That must be draining, or maybe invigorating? I can understand, everyone has felt or done that stuff at one time or another, but holding onto that just seems weird and in the end, you must hate yourself the most.
Week 5 of my year-long try-to-find-happiness challenge is on.
Here are the first 4 weeks if you want to catch up or need a refresher.
Week 5 (approximately 10% done!):
1. Accept that apology never given. This one is soooo difficult, but this is something I really want to do for myself, but more, something I want to teach my son.
2. Embrace my age gracefully, doing a fairly good job, but I’m still going to avoid full-length mirrors, come on, we’ve all seen funhouses, these have got to be the same mirrors, right?
July 1 Do something really Canadian for Canada Day. Maybe respectfully pour Canadian beer on maple syrup butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, and poutine while playing hockey, eh.
5. Pack up a box of stuff and give it away.
July 4 Celebrate our American neighbours by watching that fascinating documentary about the time they saved the world from alien invasion, you know, Independence Day.
7. Clean out that closet. I thought I should tell someone where I’m going so if I’m not back in an hour, send help.
How to be good to one another? Be kind and accepting. Accept that people have different beliefs, opinions, cultures, politics, points of view, religions, lifestyles, life experiences, abilities, neurofunctions; different ways to love, to live, to grieve, to have fun, to be angry, to be sad. Just because someone isn’t the same as you doesn’t mean they’re: wrong, scary, defective, a sinner, a monster, or a loser. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, don’t worry about different.
Life’s way too short to be: feared or fearful, hating or hated; try to love and be loved.
If you really have to worry about something,
worry about being good to one another.
“People are people so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? So we’re different colours and we’re different creeds and different people have different needs. It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong. I never even met you so what could I have done? I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man. Help me understand…” ~Depeche Mode
How can we assume that by birth, or race, or religion some people are somehow less? It’s easy. Just make sweeping generalizations.
Drunken Indians. Stupid blondes. Lazy fat people. Violent black people. Muslim terrorists. Nerds all grow up to be millionaires. People with Autism don’t have empathy. All rich people are greedy and unfeeling. All poor people are lazy and want a handout. If you’re depressed you just need to cheer up. Everyone can beat cancer if they fight hard enough. Fibromyalgia is just another word of lazy. People with anxiety just aren’t trying to get over it. And on and on.
I can’t understand why you could automatically like or dislike someone, love or hate someone just because of their: colour, height, weight, religion, bank balance, celebrity status, education, ancestry, culture, etc.
People are people. You should feel the way you do because each person has earned what you feel for them, as an individual.
We need less arguing and letting ourselves be distracted from real issues.
Tolerance isn’t over-rated, it’s just withering away from lack of use.
Imagine a school with no playground, but with a cemetery. It sounds like something out of a horror story. It is.
Schools are about: learning, growth, safety. Aboriginal Residential Schools were just named schools to hide an ugly truth, they wanted to kill the Indian in the child.
Children torn from their families and physically, emotionally, and even sexually abused. Not given proper medical care or nutrition. Used for research and experiments.
This cultural genocide was not only government sanctioned, but paid for by taxpayers.
Generations flayed at the altar of religious and government depravity, because they not only lived on coveted land, but they had the audacity to worship a different Creator, speak different languages, have different customs, and a different skin colour.
At least 6000 children never made it back to their families. Approximately twice the number that died on 9/11. The odds of dying in residential schools in Canada was about the same odds of a soldier dying in WWII.
Many who returned home felt those who died were lucky.
So damaged, they passed that damage along.
How do we reconcile this? Broken systems still abound, half of children in foster care in Canada are Aboriginal; over 40% of water for indigenous populations is high risk; suicide rates are skyrocketing; Aboriginal students get 30% less funding than non-Aboriginal students…yet there’s billions in lapsed funding, arguing, corruption, prejudice, and endless political games.
We like to think horrifying residential schools, workhouses, orphanages can only be found in the pages of a Dickens novel. I wish I could pretend everything has changed since the times of the horrifying details in The Truth and Reconciliation Report and Nicholas Nickleby (recently watched 2002 adaptation with Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Plummer and a veritable who’s who of UK film, by the by, quite decent). Yet each day, children around the world are: abused, neglected, sold as slaves, used as child soldiers, tortured, and raped. If we close our eyes, can we pretend it’s all fixed? It’s not.
The world is looking more and more like Disney’s Fantasia where the Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Mickey Mouse tries to find a solution without doing the right things. Everything gets out of control, all the problems multiply, and get poured back in.
No matter the intentions, we need to face the truth, too many children and adults aren’t being treated well and don’t have enough.
They look to the future and see darkness instead of dreams. That needs to change.
“They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes.”
Princess Leia Organa of Aldaraan, Senator
This is one of my favourite quotes from Star Wars, though it was never used in the movies. I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if one believes in fate, perhaps I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Each day is filled with choices, decisions, some huge, life-changing and others little, although who knows, they might be life changing as well.
Today is May the 4th, some may know it as Intergalactic Star Wars Day. For some, that’s everyday.
Nerds greet each other with, May the 4th Be With You. Posts, memes, parties, hash tags, sales, and news stories converge, in greater numbers.
Although this May 4th, the news is more about Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana than Princess Leia.
Tomorrow, to a lesser degree with Revenge of the Fifth, although I think Revenge of the Sixth makes more sense. Is that a thing?
An old nemesis has descended upon me this May the 4th – my Darth Vader, my Boba Fett, Jabba the Hut (probably rather have Pizza the Hut), Rancor (although it smells better), Greedo, or Count Dooku – I’ve loosely titled it, Stars Wars VIII: Return of the Back Pain. Luckily it doesn’t hurt as much when I sit…and if I go over to The Dark Side, I hear they have cookies.
I think I know what brought it on, an unusual activity (not nearly as exciting as it sounds).
It also brings back horrible memories of the car accident where the pain originated and I’m left to watch my back, like the aptly titled book, Watch Your Back! by Richard A. Deyo MD (Cornell University Press). I read this last time my back pain flared, hoping for some answers. It left me with more questions as it’s straightforward information shone a light on The Dark Side of the medical profession which offers people less and less, for more and more.
We don’t like to think that our pain is a business, but it’s big business.
This book won’t be popular, it points out that the medical profession, like politics and other systems, to paraphrase George Lucas, is like a great tree, able to withstand any external force, but rots from within. The lure of money, power, and prestige can overcome common sense and decency.
I understand the temptation of the magic fix, but realistically I know I have to do most of the figurative heavy lifting.
As patients we should be pushing for more treatments that are sensible, empowering, and give effective, long-term results for moderate costs.
I’m used to being in constant pain with Fibromyalgia, it waxes and wanes, but never actually ceases, but in a strange way pain can also be freeing. You see past the Jedi mind tricks or I guess more like Sith mind tricks…you see the truth.
What about you, dear readers, do you ever see The Dark Side of people when they think they can’t get anything from you?
Do you also see the power of The Force of goodness when some people like you just the way you are?
The latter is what I choose to believe in.
May the Fourth be with you.
You can’t always get what you want. The Rolling Stones and parents have been telling us this for years, but they’re not all leading by example. The Stones at least qualified by saying, if you try sometimes…you might get what you need.
I was in a store the other day where a teeny-weeny tornado of a child, innocuously dressed in pink, yet she may well have been the spawn of something evil that came from the bowels of a very toasty place, was screaming at the top of her lungs that she wanted something. I believe it was a doll of some kind, but it was hard to tell as her words flowed together in one raging howl. Spittle flew from her small bow lips and her Dora clasped pigtails bobbed wildly as her neck precariously thrashed her tiny head back and forth in classic Exorcist style as she raged against the injustice of not having this toy.
The mother seemed to be holding firm until the volume of the pink virago threatened to shatter glass and then she did something unbelievable, that mother smiled, patted her banshee’s little blonde head and handed her the package, saying they should go pay for it before they went to get lunch at McDonald’s.
I stood, wavering between a slow motion ‘No-o-o-o-o-o-o!’, a facepalm, or standing mouth agape, doing my best impression of a codfish, as I realized the happy silence from the smiling little blonde angel was more deafening than her wailing.
I guess if you scream loud enough and in just the right way, you can always get what you want.
Make no mistake, adults are not exempt from tantrums, we just have them in different ways. We still want what we want when we want it and we want it now!
Our wants often yell louder than our needs. It’s why we date the wrong people, elect the wrong leaders, buy too much, spend too much time on the internet, lie, steal, cheat, overeat, and even make some Shameless poor choices, ok, most aren’t up to the Gallagher family, but our wants are that little blonde girl and our better judgment is that mother.
It’s easy to be so focused on the moment and forget, you shouldn’t be frothing at the mouth to get something.
Is this willingness to give in, to give free rein to our angry little want tantrums why so many people, even biologically adult people say life is unfair and that they hate their life? Life isn’t fair. Who told you it was? You hate their life. How is that even possible? No, you hate something that is happening in, or to your life. There are things I hate about my life, but I don’t hate my life. See the difference?
Yes, the bubblegum raging harridan also hated her life, because she couldn’t have a toy. Wow, red flashing lights for a massive overstatement, please file this under First World Problems.
A child in a refugee camp shivering, scared, and hungry may think she hates her life, but she really hates the situation. A child in a war zone may think he hates his life, but he really hates the effects of war. People in Nepal may feel they hate their life as they reel from the effects of a devastating earthquake, but hating your life over a toy? What’s the name of the doll, Sindy Shallow?
We should think about how much we have, not just about how much we want to have.
What exactly are we wishing for here, a world where everyone has everything? Then what would you wish for?
Every day I’m told I’m stupid. Repeatedly. It can be exhausting and difficult to handle, but I’m sure it’s for my own good.
Governments practically scream how stupid I am from the rooftops. Apparently lying about everything and making rich people richer is more important that taking care of all the citizens, more important than eradicating poverty, feeding the hungry, affordable housing, good jobs, education, healthcare, ending wars and conflict, or treating people with dignity and respect. If I don’t agree, that’s because I’m stupid, I don’t understand their brilliant plan, which seems more like an overly elaborate Scooby-Doo plan that never turns out properly and if it does, it’s quite by mistake.
I don’t understand why so much money is spent on politicians, their cronies and bagmen; on ads promoting themselves; red tape, then again, what do I know, I’m a delicate flower, I do declare without all these rich men telling me what’s right I doubt I could put on my own shoes in the morning. Thank goodness I now understand how stupid I am.
Today is Earth Day, why does anyone even bother? I used to think it was important to try and save the planet, but luckily I now understand how stupid I was. Turns out climate change isn’t real and even if it is, it’s not that bad. I should stop whining about the environment.
I should understand that all this extreme weather is simply an opportunity to rebuild cities, towns, and homes over and over again when they get destroyed by weather events.
I stupidly used to think oil was bad for the planet too, but now I’ve been enlightened and feel much better. I even thought fracking was bad just because it wastes a massive amount of clean water, causes earthquakes, contaminates groundwater and air, etc. I should have understood that fracking is a fun way to invade the Earth on a fundamental level that causes it to shake, rattle, and roll.
I’m so out of it, I used to think when I read product reviews they were real. Duh, no, most are not even done by real people. Many were written by computers programmed to make spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, to appear as though they were done by real people not corporations (but aren’t corporations people?). Isn’t that clever?
I’m being lied to by everyone, all day, every day…even my memory lies to me, probably because it knows I’m too stupid to know any better.
I was so stupid when the Occupy Movement started, I thought they were protesting the corruption of democracy, and how the banks and corporations control our governments and every aspect of our lives. Luckily the news, who would know because they’re run by those same corporations, told me it was a poorly organized joke.
Whew, what a relief, I thought this movement might actually challenge the corrupt system and bring about positive changes. Thankfully the news and the government keep explaining to us, I’m sure because they love us, that anyone who doesn’t agree with them are: radicals, flakes, terrorists, idiots, kooks, hippies, felons, drug users, and uneducated trouble-makers.
I hope they keep explaining it because what if people actually start to believe they don’t have to live in a society run by the rich who only care about the rich?
Thank goodness I have people to set me straight, to tell me how stupid I am for believing we can have a good economy and a good environment, or believing that we are worthy of an equal, kind, and fair society, that we are worthy of the truth.
I’m sure someday I’ll look back at this and laugh, if I can understand it.
Shocking news! Reports are pouring in from around the world of senior citizens leaving their homes and care facilities to join terrorism groups.
Over 145,000 aging Baby Boomers, fed up with living in poverty and feeling like they’re a burden on their families have left for war-torn countries in the Middle East.
“I spoke to a nice young man at ISAS, he reminded me a lot of my grandson,” a senior, calling herself ‘Hilda’ told Senior Today News. “Next thing I know, I was up to my support hose in sand, cooking over an empty steel fuel can, darning socks, and knitting flags,” she said, smiling. “Mind you, the air raids interrupt my programs and the cries of ‘Death to America’ disturb my sleep, but at least here I feel needed.”
Authorities are bewildered and at a loss of what to do to stop the radicalization of seniors.
“We didn’t even think of seniors being radicalized,” a top aide to Obama told this reporter. “They weren’t even on our radar and now they’re using walkers as weapons in this bloody conflict.”
Young people, upon learning that over half of the new recruits were their grandparents and great-grandparents have decided it’s no longer cool to be radicalized.
“When I went online and saw that my Gram had joined the same terrorist caliphate as I was joining, well, it was Facebook all over again,” Caleb Smith explained as he unpacked his knapsack. “How can I commit acts of merciless violence with my Gram watching?”
The only upside? Decreased burden on pension plans, as well as reduced wait times for healthcare and spaces open up in care facilities.
Although experts see no end in sight to this bizarre recruitment of the elderly, sources tell us that the terrorists seem to be tiring of being asked the same questions over and over again…and watching Wheel of Fortune.
Happy April Fool’s Day!
Are teens and young people at risk for dreaming anymore?
Dreaming has become very expensive…and I think you need an app for it.
Boomers and Gen X were well-intentioned, wanting to give our children everything. Somehow it backfired and we’re leaving them with: a broken system, crumbling infrastructure, crippling debt, dubious morals, attention issues, a yawning wealth gap, a dying planet, corrupt governments and business.
Now in our defence, we also gave them: kittens on the internet, tons of fast food, and technology that might be destroying them.
Yet I’m still hopeful. Why? Because they are.
Many young people still want to try. They want to change things.
The media gives us the impression that all young people care about is
their smart phones, that they don’t vote, they’re unmotivated, or joining terrorist groups.
But that’s because the news is pandering – sensationalism rules.
Saving the planet isn’t sexy.
Trillions in unfunded liabilities (governments are happy if you don’t pay attention to things like this) is boring and incomprehensible.
None of this has ratings potential. Rarely goes viral. But it should. We need to stop focusing on the negative and sensational.
Have we removed our children’s ability to dream? I hope not.
Maybe it would help if we stopped calling them things like, Generation Screwed. That’s uplifting.
Profusely unemployed or underemployed, many live at home longer or return home. Debt, especially from student loans, is weighing them down. They need to have hope.
This generation, Millennials, have been given so much.
Their expectations are high. A new smart phone in their hand, and often. Big TVs, little laptops and tablets, a car to drive, fast food, clothes, trips.
Yet when they get out into the world to earn enough to have those things themselves, they hit barriers – no jobs, part-time jobs, low-income jobs, outsourcing, and even their beloved technology is plotting to steal their jobs.
They’re told to: lower their expectations; accept the new normal; the low-hanging fruit has been picked; and society has reached a plateau. Wow, way to motivate.
That should be a Graduation Speech:
Knowing that society has reached a plateau and all the low-hanging fruit has been picked, we’re all going back home to live with our parents until we’re 40 or so.
This is the new normal, having lowered our expectations of ever getting a decent job or a home.
We accept this is the way things are.
And in conclusion, check out this viral video of a zebra that can paint its own toenails.
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.
The world is full of sure people.
I don’t mean confident people.
I mean sure people – sure they’re right and those that don’t agree with them are wrong.
They know what is best. They know what is ‘the best’.
They know where you should live, what you should wear, drive, read, watch, worship, love, hate, etc.
I was more like that until someone made me unsure. In retrospect, they probably did me a favour, but it didn’t have to be so horrible. Ironically, they haven’t changed.
I knew what was right and wrong; I really knew what was wrong.
I didn’t know that what I didn’t know was more important than what I knew. I’m pretty sure about that.
Sure people don’t need to listen to other people, they’re already sure they’re right.
They’ve made up their minds. Often, not even facts will alter that.
I’m a voracious reader. I can tell you why I like or dislike a book, but I don’t know if you’ll like it.
Same goes for TV, movies, restaurants, clothes, technology.
I can recommend.
I can advocate.
I can oppose.
But only you can decide.
I was thinking of Sure People when reading a surprisingly funny and fascinating book, Would You Baptize An Extraterrestrial? (And Other Strange Questions from the Inbox at the Vatican Observatory) by two witty Jesuit astronomers, primarily involved in research, who try to answer all the wild and wacky questions posed to the Vatican, but in a conversational, refreshing, and unexpectedly, amusing style. Pope Francis said last year he would baptize a Martian…hmm, are they trying to prepare us for a coming invasion? This book tries to show that religion and science don’t have to be at odds. People can believe in both. Do you think that’s true, dear readers? I certainly think we have more important things to worry about. We too often go for ‘or’ when we should use ‘and’. Economy and the environment, not or. Security and civil liberties, not or.
Which brought me to trust, can we trust when we’re not sure?
We can observe, listen, use our instincts and critical thinking, look for facts, question, see the world as it is…I prefer reality, if I want fantasy, I’ll watch TV or a movie, read a book or listen to governments.Which brings me back to, the Sures. The more I learn, the more I hear, see, and observe, the more I wonder.
When you rise
bring others with you;
when you descend,
invite no one else along.
Sometimes you will hate.
Sometimes you will be indifferent.
Sometimes you will despair.
Was there always so much anger in the world or does the internet just give it a longer reach?
I guess there were always bullies, meanies, thugs, just generally, nasties.
Maybe there were cave people who told other cave people they were terrible at cave drawings.
But the vitriol online? Treating others as you would want to be treated hasn’t changed because of the anonymity of the internet.
The internet can bring people together, to help, to spread information, but it also has a sinister side where people abuse, use, and destroy others, sometimes for sport.
There are too many Human Tornados – charming and convincing, they cut a path of destruction wherever they go. They blow into people’s lives, wreak havoc, then move on, often pretending they’re the victim. Some of them sure are brilliant, at being cruel.
Do they’re know what they’re doing?
How much they’re hurting others?
The damage they do?
Is it lashing out?
Are they so dissociated from their feelings?
Or so narcissistic that they can’t see past their own feelings?
As you can see, I have more questions than answers.
Social media fights have become notorious – they’ve lead to lawsuits, divorces, estrangement, even death and yet, they rage on.
Venom spewed toward the living, the deceased. Anyone and anything is fair game.
Just because they can.
Strong, confident people don’t have to judge, or tear others down.
All that time and energy wasted, caring about who others love, what they wear, their weight, their income, what they drive or where they live, who they know, what race or religion they are, lifestyle choices, etc.
Instead of attacking – discuss, ignore, show compassion, or see things from another point of view.
Being wealthy, famous, powerful or on the internet are not character references. Character is what you do, not who you are. It’s what you do when no one can see what you’re doing. Or who you are. Or when you don’t get anything for doing it.
Compassion never goes out of style.
We used to believe:
- Sharks don’t get cancer (they do, anyone volunteering to put on their sunscreen?)
- Bananas grow on trees (no, they’re berries that grow on the world’s largest perennial herb plant).
- We only have 5 senses.
- Need 8 glasses of water a day.
- Ulcers were caused by stress or eating acidy foods. Nope, a nasty bacteria, Helicobacter pylori.
- Tomatoes are veggies, actually, fruit.
- Chastity belts were for chastity, actually, puritans wanted people to be Masters of their Domain (yeah, I had a Seinfeld flashback).
- Humans use 10% of our brain. My son worried his brain couldn’t hold too much information. I explained his brain is like the TARDIS from Doctor Who (looks like an old blue police box, but inside is unlimited space and astonishing things). Now my son fills his head with as much information as possible.
- Salted water boils faster.
- Lemmings run off cliffs to kill themselves, actually they go into the sea to swim to mating area – come on, there’s no one you’d jump and swim for?
- Poinsettias are poison, no, but why is anyone eating Poinsettias anyway?
- Milk increases mucus.
- Shouldn’t swim after you eat.
- Humans and dinosaurs existed during the same time period (except in Jurassic Park, of course).
- Dieting myths, endless dieting myths.
- People with Epilepsy were possessed by demons.
Just because you believe something doesn’t mean you have to keep believing it.
Free speech is important, too bad it can also be hurtful or deadly.
The news pumps out stories of measles and other outbreaks; the anti-vaccine and pro-vaccine contingents battle on.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated children get Autism.
Millions get vaccinated and don’t have Autism.
What about genetics? Environmental agents? Epigenetics? Infectious processes? Autoimmume? I don’t know the answer, maybe it’s the Perfect Storm etiology, a predisposition in conjunction with various components.
Or maybe they’re just different or a vanguard of human evolution.
Calling other parents names and berating them for vaccinating their children isn’t going to find a cause or a cure or help them live good lives. Autism was once known as Childhood Schizophrenia. Now we know better and have broader definitions, better awareness, resources, and statistics. Jenny McCarthy said her son was a Crystal Child, then had Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a seizure disorder with symptoms similar to Autism). That didn’t sell, so she jumped on the Autism train and rode it all the way to stardom, sort of. Mass hysteria that would make the Salem Witch Trials blush has swept the world, based on one discredited study. McCarthy has since backed off, having made a fortune, but the damage is done.
The myth has outgrown its origins.
If you want me to believe something, don’t use insults, anecdotal evidence, anger, flawed logic, catastrophic hyperbole, and endless drama. If your point is valid you could debate or even argue it, in a rational and respectful manner. I also don’t understand having a mock funeral when your child is diagnosed with Autism. If only people could unite to help our children, use all that energy, time, money, and passion to promote tolerance, acceptance, support, love, and hope, imagine how much better the world would be.
If you believe, you don’t have to belittle.
“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -Edward R. Murrow
You ruined my life!
My life is ruined!
They’re ruining my life!
People use the word ruin a lot,
I do not think it means
what they think it means.
Your life can be altered,
sometimes in extremely
screwed up royally,
but your life
can’t be ruined…
So what if you:
1. Shared a picture, tweet, post, status update etc. that has offended, disturbed, cost you a job, relationship, friendship, and/or caused massive backlash? Learn from it. People are complex, multidimensional, social media tends to be flat, a moment frozen in time which you have no idea how people are viewing or why, what their filter is, what their life experiences are, etc. It’s so easy to offend on social media, if I haven’t done so already, keep reading, odds are someone will be offended by this.
2. Stayed too long and put too much into trying to save a toxic relationship, whether with a partner, friend, family member? ‘Bad’ relationships can lead to low self-esteem, depression, resentment, fatigue – a waste of time and energy. You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em, that isn’t just in poker.
3. Ate too much over the holidays? Spent too much over the holidays? Exercised too little? No use beating yourself up, accept responsibility and change.
4. Fell in love and fell hard…with stuff. It’s easy to do, shopping in stores, online, it’s exciting, it’s cool, it’s fun, everyone praises and envies your stuff; like any addiction you can choose what you feed it. Is the gratification worth the consequences?
5. Believed things you heard or read or watched. We’ve all done it, but there’s a lot of bad or just plain wrong information, especially on the internet. Take things with a hefty truckload of salt.
6. Been complacent. You hoped governments and corporations had your best interests at heart. They don’t. They should. But they don’t.
7. Forgot gratitude and took things for granted. I’m sure we’ve all done this, you get comfortable with people, things and you forget – they can all disappear. It’s so easy to accept, expect, and forget to be thankful. Broken record here, but learn from it.
8. Worried too much about what you say or do. Being yourself is so last year and what if you offend someone or they don’t like something you said or did? You can’t please everyone, so unless you’re hurting someone, this too shall pass. If they don’t like you when you’re really you, move on.
9. Gave up on dreams, decided to settle? It may not be too late, at least to have a modified version of those dreams. Keep trying.
10. You’ve fallen and you stayed there…There’s no time limit on getting back up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, you’re back!
There’s no escape. Resistance is futile.
Yet what about those who don’t celebrate Christmas?
Or don’t have anyone with whom to celebrate?
Or those for whom it holds bad memories?
Or those who have other beliefs?
Or what if you love the holidays, but don’t like the commercialism and drama of it?
They still have to fight the crowds, listen to incessant carols, and have their world look like Christmas has been sick everywhere.
We’re still hearing about the War on Christmas when really, it looks more like Christmas has gone on a bender. Christmas is bigger than ever. Santa is still selling Coke. Jesus is still praised at midnight masses. Commercialism is still going strong.
Stores use terms like Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to allegedly be inclusive, really it’s to extend the shopping period. The sustained commercialism has made for sustained greetings. Offices use these terms because Christmas cheer reduces productivity. Also, Christmas isn’t the only religious or non-religious celebration this time of year, how about: Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Chalica, Bodhi Day, Sadeh, Pancha Ganapati, Hogmanay, Yalda and yes, even Feast of Winter Veil and Festivus. Including others, I can’t think of anyone, especially in the Bible who would be for that…oh wait.
I don’t understand how saying Happy Holidays offends. That’s like saying I can’t eat cookies because you’re on a diet. If someone saying Season’s Greetings will shatter a belief in Christ, there’s a problem. Poor Christmas, maybe it needs to stop worrying about what others think of it.
If only we spent more time worrying about peace, kindness, love, hope, and everyone having enough.
Evil wins when it destroys our belief in good. Santa knew that better than anyone, he specialized in good, he had a list for it. He also had a list for naughty and he was going to have to add to that list.
Santa grimly looked out the window, his white gloves absently touching the papers on his desk. He knew this report would forever change the way people viewed The North Pole and possibly Christmas.
The CIA (Christmas Intensity Agency) could be a little overzealous in their protection and advancement of Christmas, but he hadn’t known or let himself think about the lengths they might have gone to in the War on Christmas.
In their zeal to make people believe in Christmas the CIA had done unspeakable things. People had been forced to: untangle tree lights for hours on end; eat fruitcake, gumdrops, candy, candy corn, candy canes, cookies; watch hours of Christmas movies, even the made-for-TV ones; had been sleep-deprived so no visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; were syrupboarded; made to wear holiday cheer; stand on broken candy canes; endless Christmas songs, and even had their families threatened. Not to mention blowing a large portion of the Christmas budget and for what? The conclusion was clear, the Enhanced Christmas Infusion Techniques were not only sadistic and inhumane, but ineffective.
Santa couldn’t understand what had caused the CIA to do such horrible things. He opened the book entitled, The Naughty List, picked up his pen and dipped it into the inkwell, shaking his head again in anger and disbelief, they’d never even asked if those people believed in Christmas.
Evil only wins if it destroys our belief in good.
“This is Anna Bjorgman, reporting from The North Pole where it appears protesters from The Occupy Movement have set up camp to Occupy The North Pole.” Shivering in her Canada Goose parka, the young woman bravely placed the microphone in front of one of the Occupiers, “Excuse me, why has The Occupy Movement decided to Occupy The North Pole this Christmas?”
A handsome young man flashed a smile that was whiter than the snow around him before answering, “Actually, the Occupy movement is so three years ago. We’re the Change The North Pole Movement, because we believe the climate up here needs to change!”
Pushing his iPhone6 into the pocket of his Moncler parka, Christian continued, “Santa is a fat rich old white man who has his own town, slave labour, and only works one day a year!”
Christian paused to point to the various tents, barricades, signs, and a handful of protesters milling around the streets of The North Pole. “Santa’s the ultimate symbol of capitalism! He teaches children to be materialistic!”
A beautiful young woman holding two large Starbucks cups, smiled coyly as she handed Christian one of the steaming cup, “I got your fav, Christian, Double Tall Soy Latte,” Bianca crooned before turning a dazzling smile on the reporter. “We want human need, not corporate greed!”
The reporter, slightly stunned by all the dazzling smiles, wondered where they’d managed to find a Starbucks at The North Pole and was momentarily at a loss for words. Recovering swiftly, she nodded at her cameraman Hans to follow her as she walked with the protesters toward Santa’s Workshop. “What is it you hope to accomplish by Occupying, er, Changing The North Pole?”
Christian took a sip of his latte, looking thoughtful before answering. “The income inequality and wealth distribution between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population is no more obvious than here at The North Pole. The elves are the 99%. We want to bring awareness that while Santa sits around smoking a pipe, getting fatter, and being jolly, there is social and economic inequality here and worldwide.”
Bianca stepped brashly forward. “We want people to think, to ask questions, not just blindly follow the Santa Laws!” She then gaily waved at another protester and quickly texted what looked like gibberish before continuing, “There is no better slave than a slave who doesn’t know he’s a slave. I think Bono or Ariana Grande said that and they were so right. People need to wake up! People need see what’s in front of them!”
A frigid wind raged as the reporter watched the two young people start texting, knowing she’d lost the little attention they possessed. With strains of happy Christmas songs emanating from Santa’s Workshop and chants of We Are Changing the Climate of the North Pole! behind her, the reporter smiled weakly at the camera and threw it back to the station with a simple yet bemused, “This is Anna Bjorgman, umm, do you wanna build a snowman?”
If I worried about doing or saying something stupid I’d never open my mouth, write anything or probably leave the house, but as I get older I hope I’m slightly less stupid.
For me, the Christmas season seems to come with the gift of introspection. Maybe it’s because the season brings out the best and worst in people.
This year the news is filled with bizarre, almost surreal images that still seem vaguely familiar.
Terrorism. Shopping frenzies. Economic manipulations by the rich. Protests against the police for what can only be categorized as cataclysmically abysmal conduct. Since the police aren’t getting in trouble, their behaviour must be explicit or implicit policy, which makes it more disturbing.
Wrapped in a cloak of civility we shiver against the winds of change. As we become more and more comfortable, any discomfort sets off a fear response in us. We’ve been the white meat for a long time now, worth more, and as much as we say we’re not prejudiced, we are. And we’re fearful, why else would we vote in politicians that are self-serving fear mongers who only want to further their agendas?
People hide their fear, but it’s there. As society becomes more inclusive, more politically correct, the fear festers. It’s Christmastime and there is a need to be afraid, about what’s really fearful.
Fearful that corporations run our governments, who don’t serve in the best interests of their citizens.
Fearful we’re more worried about apps, vacations, eating out, fashion, and entertainment than about the environment.
Fearful that a lack of respect for each other has lead to arguing, bickering, even, as we’ve seen, death.
Fearful households are sagging under the weight of their debts, countries are struggling to stay afloat.
Fearful poverty, hunger, inequality, injustice, and war are still accepted.
Fearful in a world of constant connection, we seem further apart than ever.
Police are hired to protect and serve.
Governments are elected to govern.
Kindness and compassion are a language understood by all, we need to remember how to speak it.
We all want to change the world, but not enough people want to change. Waiting in line for a new iPhone, or Christmas wrapping services, or Drake’s new store, concert, movie, restaurant, etc. we have the power in our wallets – stop waiting and stand up for something that will be a positive change.
Sometimes there’s too much going on to see what’s really going on.
As we grow older, wouldn’t it be better if we got slightly less stupid?
This has all happened before and it will all happen again…history doesn’t have to be a broken record.
Halloween crawls inexorably toward us, a wild beast about to attack with treats, costumes, and decorations, horror movies and specials.
As I re-watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for like the millionth time (sadly, this may not be as much of an exaggeration as it should be), this time I’m trying to see it through the eyes of a child, today.
So with that in mind, I’m putting aside the symbolic struggle represented for those whose beliefs are in the minority, as with certain religions, theories, or Linus and his Great Pumpkin; also, everything I’ve learned from this, including parts that, at times, seem a bit weird.
Here are a few older posts that look into that.
Do children now really like these older classics or are we transferring our fond memories to them, assuming they’ll like them as much as we did? Are they humouring us?
Lucy getting dog germs from Snoopy, is that still a thing?
How about the sucker getting leaves stuck on it?
Does anyone even remember what a Sopwith Camel is?
Do they think Schroeder should just use an app to make music?
Do they think the homemade costumes are bizarre?
That old-school animation is boring?
Do they need more sophisticated animation? Bigger musical numbers? Action? Adventure?
Is this show just too slow and too old-fashioned for modern audiences?
I guess I’m hoping in this frenzied, mixed-up world there’s still a place for the simple joy of Charlie Brown and friends…
I can’t believe the news today.
I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.
We’ve all heard the terms global warming and climate change. I’m sure you’ve also heard people during heavy snowfalls say, see, how can we be having global warming. Sigh. This kind of ignoring, willfully misunderstanding, mocking, or twisting of facts may get a few Likes or giggles on Facebook, but it doesn’t change the facts.
The Industrial Revolution has been a boon and a curse for humanity. We made more faster. The problem was, we made more, faster, but it’s all an illusion. None of it means anything if you can’t breathe the air, drink the water, eat the food…
The UN Climate Summit 2014 is happening in New York, right now. For days around the world people who care have been taking to streets, letting their voices be heard. Activists, parents, children, celebrities, all essentially saying we have to care. http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/ #climate2014
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and long-time activist has been appointed UN Messenger of Peace, a sort of Climate Change Ambassador and one his first duties was a speech to the UN Climate Summit,
“As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.
I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.”
Please check out the rest of the speech, it was wonderful.
We need to admit we made mistakes, now let’s fix them, before it’s too late. We don’t have to keep believing rich men, governments, and corporations who are lying to us for money and power. We really can change.
Have you ever read the book There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly ? The latest version of this book (North South Books) was illustrated by Rashin, making this cautionary tale more up-to-date and accessible. Also an excellent book to help struggling readers. This was one of the books my cousin who taught special needs children suggested for my son who had a reading disorder.
This book always fascinated me, I don’t know why.
I never knew why an old lady would swallow a fly.
I thought perhaps she had some sort of disorder,
That most certainly made her life shorter.
But it always seemed callous and cruel
To make those animals turn into stool.
Why did the old lady swallow the fly, or all the other creatures?
The old lady’s behaviour was not only self-destructive and lead to her demise, but it was counter-productive. We’re the old lady. We know climate change is being exacerbated by manufacturing, yet we are buying more and more stuff.
We know that the fossil fuel industry, coal, fracking, etc. are destroying the planet we live on, yet we consume more and more.
So the theory of our time, even for those who profess to love their children is, eat, drink and be merry, who cares about their tomorrows?
We keep swallowing the lies, but why? Why does it have to be economy versus environment? We can have both.
If we admit it’s true we would have to accept the recommendations, that means changing our lifestyles, possibly even make some sacrifices.
At times the green movement is its own worst enemy.
Too many people lying, or exaggerating for shock value, to make points, or make money. Some just too self-righteous or really flaky.
The facts should speak for themselves, but we become so easily distracted and big business uses that.The rich will do anything to hold onto to their money and power, have no doubt about that. But they are a tiny percent of the population. There are more of us than there are of them.
People have stood together and overthrown tyranny before.Instead of standing in line for iPhones, toys, TVs, airline tickets, stand in line to vote, stand up to those who will kill our future, our children’s future for profit.
How angry would you be if you came home tonight and someone had destroyed your home? Planet Earth is our home.
Look back at me.
Have you ever thought, said, or wanted to say this as someone walked, drove, or flew away?
On this Labour Day when people march forward to celebrate how far workers have come and how much further they need to go, it’s good to look back on the brave people that fought for workers’ rights.
The BBC miniseries North & South is based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell; screenplay by Sandy Welch and directed by Brian Percival, yes, same title, different show than the American Civil War miniseries, North & South. This North & South refers to the North and South of England, and focuses on industrialization and the inequality between classes.
A couple hundred years later, not much has changed.
The lower classes work themselves into an early grave while the upper classes pay them less than they should to work themselves into an early grave.
Gaskell does an amazing job of showing both sides; some of the upper class want to be fair and some of the lower class want to be more.
Elizabeth Gaskell, considered by some as less romantic than some writers in the Regency-era, after all, she dared to tackle the subjects of: poverty, discrimination, unsafe working conditions, the multiple health hazards of working in factories, unions, child labour and welfare, daycare, nutrition, pollution, inequality between the classes and more, head-on.
Her work, now seen as classic wasn’t beloved by all, still isn’t, many factory owners and the rich didn’t like the truth being exposed or their methods questioned. That hasn’t changed much either.
We feel Gaskell’s conviction in the strength of Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe). She’s not a simpering miss who’s only thought in life is to marry, but a woman of principles, faith, and compassion. She has feelings for John Thornton, well, duh, it’s Richard Armitage, but she stands resolved to be true to herself and others.
Supporting cast is incredible, including Brendan Coyle (now well-known as the enigmatic Bates on Downton Abbey, also Larkrise To Candleford and so much more – I think he’s one of those British actors who probably have their own period piece costumes at the ready).
If you can’t get enough of British period pieces, check out Gaskell’s Cranford series, familiar faces for Downton Abbey fans, Carson (Jim Carter) and Michelle Dockery (Mary), and even an Asgard god (Tom Hiddleston)…one of fav TV games, spot the actor to see if they became a star.
Yes, North & South is at times a grim visage of lives suffered, but with just enough seething, barely contained Victorian passion, fingers lingering as a cup of tea is passed and obligatory smouldering looks to keep it interesting. Have I really been crushing on RA in N&S for 10 years? Wow.
Sometimes it’s the simplest of words, murmured with brooding passion, that capture and inspire, as Armitage admirers (sure, let’s call us that) around the globe believe.
Look back at me.
I won’t tell you if she does.
I can tell you what I would have done.
So as another Labour Day marches on and another summer draws to a close, we look forward. On the off chance you actually believed companies and corporations willing give their workers: fair wages, reasonable hours, days off, health or safety benefits, vacations, or well, anything good workers enjoy, think again. Those were paid for in blood, sweat and tears.
Be thankful and vigilant.
August 8, 2013 wow, that seems like a lifetime ago.
That blog post was, Fibromyalgia is a Four Letter Word (it still is).
Since then I’ve made a lot of mistakes, did I say a lot I meant a ton, or perhaps a tad more; probably said a lot of things people don’t agree with; and had some wanting-to-pull-my-hair-out moments, no worries, it’s still there, more or less.
I’ve learned a lot. Had some revelations about people I thought would be supportive, turns they weren’t, and still aren’t.
I’ll take it as a life lesson.
Plenty more people have been extremely supportive.
Thank you to family and friends, those who have pressed like, or shared, or reblogged, or followed, or subscribed, tweeted and retweeted, given me awards, or a combination. It means more than you’ll ever know, really.
I have ‘virtually’ met some awesome people who are kind, supportive, funny, helpful, generous, hopeful, caring, and have mind-blowing things to say and they share it. Thank you.
This year has opened up new portals for me.
I’m reading books I might never have read, learned things I didn’t know my brain could learn, but most of all it’s given me hope that maybe I can be more, it’s given me a glimpse of me, a me that I sometimes fear is gone forever.
So please join me for this virtual celebration of my 1st Blogaversary or Blogversary or maybe it’s a blogbirthday!
Drop by and say hi, read some of my older posts, apparently there are like 450 of them, hey, I did warn you with the tagline, Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure.
I’m celebrating 50,000+ views on my blog (Thank you! Thank you!) and the 50th anniversary (published 1964) of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, published 1964.
Loved with this book, then I saw the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – my mind was forever altered.
A factory full of chocolate? It was one thing to read about it, another to see a river of chocolate…
I still love the 1971 Gene Wilder version best (directed by David L. Wolper), maybe because it’s steeped in childhood memories or because for me, it’s Gene Wilder’s definitive performance.
This is where I fell in love. Gene Wilder and chocolate. Sign me up!
Wilder is the ultimate Willy Wonka. He didn’t go over-the-top weird, instead opting for a subtle, damaged man-child who was trapped in his own reclusion, a Howard Hughes-like creative genius who couldn’t cope in a reality that wasn’t of his own making. Wilder’s transcendent blend of cordiality, callousness, awe, and animosity make you think he is Wonka, he just is.
Jack Albertson was delightful as Grandpa Joe, who apparently couldn’t get out of bed to get a job, but could dance a jig and spend the day at a chocolate factory.
Charlie Bucket is the only child Dahl and Wonka even remotely like due to his meek and accommodating nature, but Charlie wasn’t as obedient as he seemed, he spent money on a chocolate bar that he wasn’t supposed to; so even in the most co-operative child Dahl found a fault.
The 1971 version was renamed Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to cross-promote UK’s The Willy Wonka Candy Company who had bought the rights from Roald Dahl.
I never understood why Roald Dahl was classed as a children’s author, he clearly disliked children, at times rather intensely. His stories and books reflect this.
What he hated more than children were their parents, specifically parents who didn’t raise their children properly, at least from his point of view.
Imagine what Roald Dahl would think of children and their parents now?
I recently read A Brief History of Chocolate (Steve Berry and Phil Norman) which I must warn you will not only vastly entertain and inform, but make you crave chocolate.
Despite best intentions this book lacked something, what was it? Oh yes, chocolate. They should sell each copy with a chocolate bar or coupon for a free chocolate bar. There, a marketing idea, no charge…although I’d take a thank you in chocolate bars.
I also loved the darker, creepier Tim Burton vision of Willy Wonka.
Johnny Depp played him weird and it worked. Also damaged, but in a deranged-metrosexual-game-show-host-who-moonlights-as-a-rock-star-on-acid-way.
Veruca Salt was a bad egg or nut in all versions, but really, her parents spoiled her. Also, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teevee, and Violet Beauregarde. All annoying children, but allowed, even encouraged to be so by their parents.
The first time I walked into the Hershey chocolate factory in Smith Falls, Ontario the smell was divine, like melted chocolate floating through clouds of more chocolate just before it rained chocolate.
I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face, the pure wonder as he watched row after row after row of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups racing happily along the conveyor belt.
I’m sure I had a similar look as I saw the giant vat of chocolate I wanted to swim in, not figuratively, literally.
No Oompa-Loompas, no chocolate waterfall, trees made of taffy, Everlasting Gobstoppers, no fizzy lifting drinks, or Wonka though, but lots of chocolate for sale and sample.
Alas Hershey closed the factory after 45 years, losing a great tourist attraction, and hundred of jobs. Several other large employers closed, shipping more Canadian jobs overseas, leaving 40% of the town unemployed.
Now a flame has been lit as Smith Falls rallies; the factory at 1 Hershey Drive now produces medical marijuana, which, in a great cosmic irony would have made more people buy chocolate.
There are still times, when I open a chocolate bar wrapper and think I see a flash of gold.
Based on the controversial BBC series, Till Death Us Do Part (created by Johnny Speight) and warmed up with The Honeymooners and The Flintstones, nothing had prepared us for Archie Bunker (played by the apparently sweet Carroll O’Connor).
Archie was a complicated guy.
Clearly bigoted and uncouth, he was also honest and hard-working, often expressing opinions people were thinking, but couldn’t go against the politically correct times to say.
He was also an excellent way to hold a mirror up to bigotry and prejudice without shoving it down people’s throats.
This show rammed through contentious and taboo subjects, including but not limited to: racism, homosexuality, rape, miscarriage, abortion, women’s liberation, menopause, breast cancer, impotence, the Vietnam War and more.
Archie was a scared man. His comfy chair world had been turned on its head.
He knew his place and everyone else knew their place. Until they didn’t.
Archie didn’t understand why everything he felt was right in the world, especially his world, had to change.
His long-suffering wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) was patient in ways no one, including their daughter, Gloria (Sally Struthers) could understand. Despite their many issues, it was clear they all loved each other deeply.
Gloria’s hippie husband, Mike/Meathead (Rob Reiner) highlighted the clash between The Greatest Generation (Archie as a WWII vet) and Baby Boomers, the struggle between the old guard and young people who wanted to change the world…Archie’s snug little world.
And then there were the spinoffs. The Jeffersons movin’ on up to the East Side.
Edith’s cousin, Maude (the incomparable Bea Arthur) visiting then getting a hilarious spinoff. And Good Times was a dy-no-mite spinoff from Maude. And more…
Taped in multi-camera format in front of a live studio audience, All in the Family never failed to break new ground.
I loved that they never used canned laughter. I’d prefer not to hear any laughter, but if I must, let it be genuine.
Family Guy pays tribute to All in the Family with its opening sequence of Lois and Peter playing the piano, and various other similarities…then again, the whole show is a pop culture fart. Of course, they’ve taken it much further, boldly going where even TV censors, after dying of exhaustion, knew they could go.
American Dad! (created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, and Matt Weitzman) is an absurd animated emulation, though since the All in the Family players were more caricatures than characters, it makes sense. And they added Roger and Klaus; who can complain?
All in the Family and its official and unofficial offspring influence so many; although, looking around the world today, I think a lot of the messages are being missed, or misinterpreted.
Truth is, everyone needs to be more tolerant. Everyone.
Aren’t most of the world’s problems because of intolerance?
Would we have to fight for rights and freedoms if everyone was more tolerant?
Why does it bother anyone who you love?
The colour of your skin?
The shape of your body?
Whom you choose to worship?
That someone has special needs?
What you choose to listen to or watch?
Why does choice intimidate some many people?
Just their need to control?
When I first heard the name Pussy Riot I thought they were a punk band.
So I read Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen (Riverhead Books/Penguin) in the hope of understanding the situation. Well-written and painstakingly detailed, it made for fascinating read.
I don’t always get performance art, I’m way too plebeian for that. However, I understand the need for artistic expression.
The women from Pussy Riot are part of one of the Russian art collectives who call themselves Voina. They stage performance art, often as a form of protest.
Their performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow went viral. Was it tasteless and a slap in the face of religion? Absolutely. Although I rather think that was their purpose.
Russia gives them ample material to protest.
LGBT rights regressing rapidly.
A wealth gap like the space between planets.
Barely existent women’s rights.
Maybe Georgia and Ukraine could give us some insight into how the Russian government feels about, you know, rights.
Whether or not you agree with civil disobedience or the way this group or others protest, it gets attention. I disagree they should be jailed, separated from their family and friends, brutalized, beaten, persecuted, and maligned just because they don’t agree with the people in power. Also, it really just, well, proves their point.
Every country has its problems. Democracy seems to be creeping into twilight around the world, soon to join the dinosaurs as fossil fuel. When we don’t stand up for something, we really do seem to fall for anything.
Sadly Russia is not unique in intolerance, grinding of rights and freedoms, and overenthusiastic authoritarianism. Putin is just really, really open about it.
It’s easy to pick on Russia, they have those cool accents that make everything sound sinister and we’re kind of programmed by James Bond flicks.
Tolerance would do us all well.
As long as you’re not hurting anyone…then who are you hurting?
June 6, 1944, 70 years ago the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was supposed to be June 5, 1944, but weather delayed it.
Every year we remember those who fought for us. There’s pomp and ceremony and we say we care.
But what about the rest of the year?
Should veterans have to fight for food, shelter, care, and support?
Should we still keep fighting, in wars, in our own countries, among ourselves?
More than 40% don’t vote in North America. We’re so used to our freedoms we take them for granted. We will stay in line for a sale or tickets or waiting for a new product, but don’t take 5 minutes to vote. I know, I voted this morning, it took under 5 minutes; people wait in line at drive-thrus longer than that to get coffee or a burger. I really don’t get it.
Many died that day and for the months after as they fought to take back German-occupied Western Europe and tried and succeeded in turning the tides of the war.
Many call them heroes, but I think most of them didn’t think of themselves that way, they were doing their duty, carrying out orders.
Like police officers and firefighters, soldiers serve their country and its citizens by putting their lives on the line. We see it as brave, they see it as a job, that someone must protect, serve, save, and defend.
Maybe that’s what makes them truly heroes, that they don’t do it to be heroes.
The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Overlord (with the naval aspect codenamed Operation Neptune) is still the largest seaborne invasion in history. Many movies, books, TV shows, songs, etc. have come from that day. Obviously many aren’t factual, after all, history is written by the winners, but still interesting.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the undersea documentation of the D-Day assault were looked at in a historically significant way, sadly, by then, there was erosion and reclamation by the sea. First underwater archaeological study and surveys in 2000.
They found some interesting information and artefacts as well as some discrepancies.
To this day, small pieces of history haunt the shores and seas of Normandy, a bizarre reminder that history should be remembered, all those who fought, honoured.
I was thinking, if they tried to do something like this today social media would probably tell the German forces every move, how many troops, ships, planes…there would be pictures of parachutes and tweets and pix of where they were landing, people updating their Facebook status and Vine vids…Instagrammers would briefly interrupt posting pix of food to tell where and how many allied forces were and what they were wearing. And many, many memes.
We still don’t know the exact number that died during the Allied invasion. 14 years ago Carol Tuckwiller, a former librarian was assigned the significant mission of identifying every Allied soldier who died on June 6, 1944.
She spent over six years searching through records and evidence, contacting sources, etc., eventually giving up not because all soldiers were accounted for, but she ran out of credible information.
So 70 years later and out of more than 150,000 warriors who went in that day, no one knows for sure how many died. But her work brought many names of fallen soldiers into the historical records and onto plaques and made us realize there were more lives lost than we had understood.
Despite the glossy ceremonies under sun upon sand we must always remember the price of war and the higher price of oppression.
Lives lost, futures stolen, dignity torn asunder, money and power the tyrannical rulers…we could be talking about 70 years ago or any day in various parts of the world, sadly, too little has changed.
Politicians make hypocritical speeches about how much our veterans mean to us while many veterans struggle just to get by in their day-to-day lives.
Those who once stormed the beaches to fight the enemy and liberate oppressed people now have to storm their own governments for the care and attention they should receive with thanks for their valiant service.
Some of the best images of the D-Day invasion are from Canadian war artist, Orville Fisher (the 3 paintings pictured above, please check out his other work, truly, truly amazing).
I doubt the significance of the weathered faces and stiff bodies of the remaining veterans is lost on them or us; make no mistake, most will not be here to celebrate 75 years after D-Day.
We must then remember for them.
It was only a matter of time. Internet Service Providers (ISP) hate Net Neutrality. Why? Aren’t they happy people are addicted to the internet? Huge profits, ring a bell?
So what is Net Neutrality? Do we have it? Do we want it? Do we even know what it is? Is there an app for it? Is it a new series on Netflix? Does it give us cancer? Should I have a T-shirt slogan for it? Does it have something to do with kittens?
Here’s my understanding of Net Neutrality. All bits of the stuff head off into the great wide open of the internet, you know: ads, porn, blogs, movies, memes of Keanu Reeves looking incredulous, recipes, scams, spam, cat fishing, videos of John Oliver explaining climate change, video games, apps telling you to take your pills, pill-pushing, videos of babies dancing, pictures of food, pictu
res of kittens, pictures of kittens cooking food – is there no end to their talents? Even this post.
In a perfect world all this information would be treated equally by your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and governments. No discrimination or any differences in charges by content, site, platform, app, user, modes of communication or attached equipment. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all bits and bytes on the internet are created equal.
It’s sort of what we think of as an open internet.
There are places in the world where the internet is effectively a closed net with severely restricted access, some services artificially degraded and throttled, and even filtering of information. We’re aware that governments keep an eye on happenings on the net, it’s the degrees of which that maybe not be so clear.
Will losing net neutrality limit internet freedoms?
Cause rates to skyrocket?
Cause streaming for video games, movies, etc. to slow down? Blocking? Massive monopolies?
Or is this all a lot of hot air that like some many other issues will blow over and be forgotten?
Tim Berners-Lee, who created the Worldwide Web 25 years ago supports net neutrality.
As does Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol.
This is where things get freaky. Activists and corporations generally seem to agree on keeping Net Neutrality. How often does that happen?
But if they agree, why is it hotly debated around the world, especially in the United States? Telecom companies don’t agree and they have very deep pockets and lobbyists who have the ear of politicians.
Is this about telecom companies trying to provide better service or just make even more profits?
Is this the next stage in net dominance? Everyone’s nicely hooked now let’s sweat even more money out of them.
This isn’t a new debate, years ago it was telephone and before that telegraph neutrality.
You already have to be able to afford inflated internet access and there are price tiers.
So what would loss of Net Neutrality do besides widening the gap further?
More haves and have nots, even for businesses.
This isn’t in the distant future, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering two options: allow fast and slow broadband lanes which will compromise net neutrality or reclassify broadband as a telecommunication service which would preserve Net Neutrality.
You have approximately 4 months to contact the FCC and voice your opinion.
To paraphrase John Oliver’s rant on #NetNeutrality,
Good evening monsters, This may be the moment you’ve spent your whole life training for, that badly spelled bile you usually reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have gained weight, politicians you don’t agree with, photos of your ex-girlfriend getting on with her life, or non-white actors being cast as fictional characters…for once in your life it’s time to focus that indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. This is it trolls, seize the moment, Caps Locks on and fly my pretties fly! (Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, HBO).
Come to think of it, it would be more effective to send well-written and thoughtful points of view, because who takes trolls seriously?
Or maybe loss of Net Neutrality would make people spent less time online and we could fix some of the problems in the world instead of just endless Slacktivism.
Instead of spending millions to make the internet into a tiered system the governments and ISPs should look into laws or ways to try to crack down on those who use to internet to stalk, steal, scam, attack, cyberbully, and commit various illegal acts.
That would be a more effective use of time, energy, and money.
Maya Angelou has gone from this world.
After living so many lives.
Who knew such terror, such hardship, and such horror, still recognized and chose joy, love, and hope. She choose courage and laughter.
She told us in words and deeds to live, not regret living.
Lent her voice to those in need until they found their own.
If you have given yourself the gift of her writing you will already know what you need to know. If you haven’t, be good enough to yourself to do so.
I urge anyone who doesn’t know the story of Maya Angelou to learn, for in her story you will find many brave and startling truths worth knowing…
There are no better words to describe the force of Maya Angelou and the light she shone on the world than her own words:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
“I’m a woman
We will never have to say goodbye because on the pulse of each new day Maya Angelou is with us to say, “Very simply With hope Good morning.”
The ongoing struggle between the government and veterans sometimes goes nuclear.
Whether or not you believe in war, it happens. Soldiers leave their family, friends, their homes to go to various parts of the world to serve their country, sometimes risking their lives.
Sometimes they return home fine, sometimes injured, sometimes in a casket draped in a flag to represent their country, the country they died for.
Oh, the government of the day will tell their citizens repeatedly, I mean over and over again, ad nauseum that they treat the veterans well. Patting themselves on the back and bragging in a self-congratulatory manner as rhetoric and champagne flows. Meanwhile vets are struggling for heat, food, medical care, even a home.
Robotic talking points about how this government has done more for vets than another other government.
I believe that most citizens respect their veterans. They know the price they paid or were willing to pay. They stepped up and left their families, friends, and homes to fight for us, to protect us, to serve us, sometimes making traumatic or even deadly sacrifices. We should repay them for their service.
Every government says they care.
All governments need to do more.
Remember our vets. Not just on Memorial Day or Remembrance Day or Veterans’ Day, but every single day.
Veterans commit suicide in countries around the world at a startling rate. Why? Because they’re not receiving the help they need.
They were of service to their country and yet services, benefits, and support they should receive are withheld, cut, and clawed back. Some vets are still looking for jobs, good luck with that.
Veterans have to once again fight, against their own government for what they were promised for serving their countries.
Meanwhile our governments spend money on important things like:
$150,000 to figure out a way to save the human race from zombies, ummm, did someone not get that The Walking Dead is fictional?
Millions to find ways to trim their budgets? I’ll give you this one for free – don’t spend $20 million on advice.
A million to research how not to burst a cooked sausage?
Millions spent studying love on the internet, intelligent life on Earth including the US Congress?
Lawyers’ fees for allegedly inappropriate activities?
Golf Club memberships?
Bridges and roads to nowhere?
Millions on computer systems that are dysfunctional, easily hacked and/or redundant?
People that work to collect taxes also owe billions in taxes?
Trips around the world hundreds of politicians and businesspeople?
Billionaires get subsidies for beachfront properties, companies, mansions while the average person, including Vets struggle to make ends meet?
Spending millions to study what food tastes like on Mars, let me help with this one, who cares?
Millions to promote governments and what they say they’ve accomplished?
Paying for Likes and Tweets, trolls to promote their viewpoints and put down oppositional viewpoints on social media?
Millions/year to find out what the media is saying about their government and corporations?
Are you reading this on Facebook? They get millions in tax refunds each year, no worries, they’re not alone, many, many other corporations got a helping hand too.
Plane and helicopter rides as well as limos, town cars and drivers?
$50,000 to study how to stop traveler’s diarrhea, in the Caribbean?
Professional sports teams listed as non-profits so they get bigger tax breaks?
Millions in audits and expenses?
Billions in procurements on planes that aren’t operational and some that might never be, libraries that will never open, empty military bases, empty warehouses, etc.?
Millions celebrating wars, but little money for those who survived them.
Legal fees fighting veterans over the claw back of military pensions.
Using drones to count sheep? Hey, maybe these people that waste your money can’t get to sleep.