Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You Want My Vote, Honey? Here's What You Do

1. Demonstrate compassion for humanity.
2. Tell me in your ads what you'll do for me and how. Don't just sit there while you spout off about your opponent's douchebag behavior or how you'll represent your special interests. Give me some solid reasons.
3. Behave like a grownup during debates. You will get your turn. You will not get my vote if you interrupt your learned opponent or if you descend to the level of first grade insults. I saw some of the debates between Alexi Giannoulis and Mark Kirk. What part of "grow up" do you not understand?

Do that, and you have me. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So What's a Media Maven To Do?

   Oh, you read the rant about news? Thanks for reading this, too. 
    Now you know why I stopped donating to WTTW in Chicago some years ago. Their program/arts/culture guide ran a review of a restaurant that featured live sushi. Said reviewer acted as if it were funny to eat a not-dead-yet fish while it took its last breaths in front of the diners. No. And no, I will not send money to any organization that appears to exist for the sole purpose of raising funds for itself. 
   While I'm not thrilled with some NPR sponsors, I contribute to Northern Public Radio, the mother ship for WNIU (one day pledge drives) and WNIJ from Northern Illinois University. That way I can keep NPR and classical on the air. And in the interest of naming names, I don't deal with WBEZ's calls for money at 10 p.m.  Oh, and WDCB for the jazz and folk(and limiting fundraising to twice a year).
    Outlets I'm happy with:
  • Pam's House Blend has great coverage of human rights and news feeds to other stories of interest.
  • Common Dreams is completely free of ads and has links to like-minded sites
  • International news from France 24, BBC and Al-Jazzera on line and on MHZ networks.
    Real news is only a click away.

Is There Any Such Thing as a Free Press Anymore?

    I'm wondering this after this morning's news cruise.
    Over at Common Dreams this morning, there's an article on FAIR's analysis of PBS programming. To no one's surprise and much to my sorrow, FAIR determined that most of the news sponsorship was corporate (gasp) with emphasis on defense contractors and big ag; that there was a noted lack of diversity (horrors); and that much of the pledge drive programming consists of infomericials for self-help gurus. How that's different from the other networks is beyond me.
     Maybe constitutionally, we have a free press. ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox are free to report on whatever their sponsors will let them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

If Only We Could Get People In Charge To Be This Creative

    CNN reported this. A guy in a grass suit who was busted by a police dog. Just read the article.
    How would the world be different? No telling, but I'm sure that it wouldn't be any more stuck than it is.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This Just In: DADT Finally Freaking Ruled Unconstitutional

      The BBC reports what so many of us have known or felt all along: Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. Citing violations of the 5th Amendment ( against self-incrimination) and the risk to national security presented by the divisiveness of the policy, it's been halted.
      And please, God, let it not be appealed. President Obama has been going off about being a fierce ally of the LGBTQ community. This is his chance to prove it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What Brings You Joy?

    Some years ago, I participated in a journal group, five or six women at its core, with friends popping in and out. "What brings you joy?" was the usual greeting of one of them.
     It stopped me cold in the tracks of many a bitch and moan fest. Not "How are you?" with the socially conventional, "Oh, fine. And you?" when I was aware that I'd chewed a new hole in my bite guard (I grind my teeth in my sleep.  Feel free to report me to "TMZ.")  And stood poised to chant the litany of what had triggered it.
    On to this past weekend. I couldn't watch the news--humanity has collectively lost it. The Spouse did some technological upgrading around the house. His mom is back in the hospital after falling for the second time in a month. What's bringing you joy? echoed from some deep recess of my memory.
     Well, there's the flowers the The Spouse bestowed on me for my birthday, and the cake. We went for a hike and out for a good dinner. I found the Dali Lama's website. The weather was great. Today is Eleanor Roosevelt's birthday. My tea is just right.
     So what's bringing you joy today?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Notes from Behind the Love Seat

   Originally I was going to write about how the world has gone totally insane. Then I realized that it already nuts, making my views redundant.
    It's not even noon as I tap away. So far, there's a high ranking appointee by the governor of Indiana who was busted in a men's room for exposing himself and encouraging an undercover cop to touch him. (http://pamshouseblend.com). Of course he's a Republican family values supporter.
     I'm waiting on word about the case before the SCOTUS, the one concerning the (protect your keyboards) Westboro Cult Baptist Church. You know, the good people who show up at kids' events and other churches with the lovely neon signs to spread Jesus' love by using homophobic slurs and telling passersby that they're going to hell? The ones who attend funerals of soldiers to inform the grieving families that their child's death was God punishing America for tolerating (insert slur here)? Oh, and make up lyrics detailing their...whatever. It is not theology....viewpoints to songs by Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne? Yep. They're being taken to task by the Snyder family for protesting at their son's funeral.  (http://commondreams.org)
     While you're over at Common Dreams, check out the story about the fire department that let a house burn to the ground because the owner hadn't paid the $75 fee.
     As all things do, this cycle of crazy will pass. Won't it? In the mean time, you know where to find me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Heart my Mac

    Steeped in Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott, I envisioned my writing career centered around an antique oak table with pens and writing tablets, perhaps a typewriter. In a garret overlooking a scene that varied from day to day. Sometimes I overlooked a sunny apple orchard on my estate in Vermont. Other times, I found myself watching the cityscape of Manhattan.
    Well, it came to pass that I sit on my green sofa in the family room, looking out over the soybean fields with my Mac on my lap. The romantic idea of pens and tablets is, unfortunately, quaint, save for personal journaling and first drafts.
    Getting me this far technologically took getting dragged by the pits by The Spouse (an engineer who was allowed one "I told you so")with a cadre of friends on the ankles. And being very specific about not wanting a PC again in this life or the next ones after several crashes and a virus last year.
      This past weekend was the one year anniversary of working with my Mac. One freezup in the whole year. Now I know what the fuss about technology is about.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Should Not Have Happened And Hell, Yeah, I'm Taking It Personally

   I just feel ill when I see stories about bullying. Earlier this year, there was Phoebe in Massachusetts. She was targeted another girl who'd been complained about by several other parents for her cyber abuse of fellow students. Earlier this week, there was Ashton in Texas. Now there's Tyler at Rutgers. Click on the purple "no" at the top of this entry for the HuffPost's coverage.
    The combination I presented--that of being taller and heavier than average, sounding more like an adult than a kid, and the premarital name of Gay--was like a bullseye to the arrows of the bullies K-12. My parents diligently reported incidents to the principal, but nothing really was done about any of it.
     Telling the kid to have compassion for the bully doesn't work. "Well, we just have to learn to get along" is useless.  Ignoring doesn't work, and that goes double if it gets physical. It's called assault, battery, defamation of character. All crimes in the adult world, so why put up with it in children? 
    Especially not now in the cyber-age. I had to deal with prank calls, practical jokes, and unordered pizza delivery. That was bad enough. Finding that images of myself in a sensitive situation had been taped and uploaded without my knowledge or consent is incomprehensible.
    I went to an away college and then moved from my hometown. I'm married to a man who comes from a culture that adores the curvier variations of the female form and regularly tells me that women with graduate degrees are hot. Life did get better, even though I felt as if I danced down an IED-filled road as I passed though the early part.
     But I'm here now. I have no wisdom to offer, except that if you can't get the principal, the administration, the R.D. (resident director) to help you, get the ACLU or some other group behind you. You don't deserve this. The shame is on them, and someday they will be the victims of their actions.