Monday, January 15, 2018

Words to Grasp and Treasure from Dr. King


Oprah: Just...Don't






Oprah Winfrey delivers a speech at the Golden Globes…a perfectly passable speech, only a couple of flubs and stumbles over words.  It is mildly political, in that it addresses the over-wrought “#metoo” movement, which is all the rage among Hollywood women this year.  I have in previous entries explained why this movement is leaving a bad taste in my mouth…  One of my primary questions about it is, where were all these “metoo” celebrity women in 2016 when we were being treated daily to the systematic and brutally misogynistic piling on to Hillary Clinton, the first viable female presidential candidate in our history?  Yes…where were you then, Susan Sarandon??!?  Fuck you. 

So obviously I don’t exactly acknowledge the “metoo” movement as the political bandwagon upon which to hitch a ride to the 2020 presidential election.  Perhaps if she had spoken about DACA, or Islamaphobia, or income inequality, or the Kim/Trump nuclear pissing contest, or even the “Tweeter-in-chief” himself, I might entertain a political nod in Winfrey’s direction.  But the fact is, since she retired from her daily interview program, she has made an obvious effort to remain studiously apolitical.  One look at her Twitter feed will tell you all you need to know about THAT.

Just after 2016’s disastrous presidential election, I made a comment to someone on Facebook that we don’t allow  women to be “charismatic; ”  when our female public figures display passion or excitement or drive for a cause, they are called out as shrill, unfeminine, loud…bitchy.  Threatening, obviously, to the male status quo that is SO cemented in our society.  And that the only “charismatic” female I could think of in 21st-century America was Oprah Winfrey.  But that was in no way an endorsement of her as a candidate for President. 

Though she surely wouldn’t be as ill-suited for the position as the current occupant, she is nevertheless as unqualified and ignorant about the job and the world of politics surrounding it as the Cheeto.  Her only saving grace might be that she would immediately understand her lack of experience and ability, and would surround herself with quality people that could keep the country moving forward in spite of the ignorance of the chief executive.  We could HOPE for that, anyway.  We really have no way of knowing.  We DO know that her "charisma" is rooted in the human interest, sob story, gawkers-at-a-train-wreck media...Not a direction in which we would like the nation as a whole to (continue to) go.   So it’s probably best to leave politics to the politicians.  And legislation to the legislators.  And leave media personalities to jockey for position in their own cesspool.   

Winfrey could serve her country best by choosing a talented, experienced female LEGISLATOR to get behind, and investing her considerable fortune, media connections and charisma into propelling that woman to victory in 2020. 

Let’s hope that is what she chooses to do.                

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

ORGANIZE THIS!!!!!!

Twitter is allowing the deranged President of the United States to flagrantly flaunt its "terms of service." which specifically state you are not allowed to harass, bully or threaten violence (if nuclear war doesn't qualify as violence, I don't know what does.)

Twitter is doing this for the publicity and the $$$$$.  It's ALWAYS about the money.  Small comfort that will be when the earth is a smoldering cinder. They don't realize that their money will be no good in hell.
    



#gettrumpofftwitter

Share it on Facebook, Tweet it to everyone you know...email it to your Congressional Reps. 

No one seems to take Trump's threats seriously.

We didn't take his candidacy seriously, either; and look where that got us.

#gettrumpofftwitter

NOW!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year, Same Old Crap

Been sick as a dog for the past fur days...a predictable end to 2017 and inauspicious lead-in to 2018.  

But I've managed to while away the time with a pretty decent Facebook back-and-forth about (who else) the Trumpster.

These started out as comments on a friend's post, when she shared and commented on a story about Hillary Clinton being polled as the Most Admired Woman in America for 16 years in a row.   Comments slamming Mrs. Clinton (surprise) devolved into arguments about the attributes of our illustrious 45th president.  I managed to bang out a pretty decent summary of my thoughts on #45. 

As Follows:

"And while I'm at it, I'll address your earlier rant about how 'lefties' hate Trump just because he's Republican.

"Trump is a con-man of the h
ighest order who threw his hat into the presidential election ring on a publicity stunt lark. I seriously believe he had no idea of the success he was going to encounter in his campaign...and his ability to whip frustrated, disillusioned and dangerously mal-informed voters--who had been fed a steady diet of naked hatred by right-wing media for 8 years of the Obama Administration--into a frenzy of anger and revolt. It was like crack cocaine to an addict...his gigantic ego couldn't get enough of it. So he allowed himself to believe that, since the people were out there cheering for him, he must be presidential material after all. But he has not the intelligence, nor the experience, nor the temperament to be sitting at the head of a table in a boardroom, much less behind the desk in the Oval Office. To cover that up, he lies, he blusters, he bullies, he obfuscates, he tweets...he has repeatedly demonstrated from day one that he has absolutely no respect for the office he holds. He has ZERO self-control and ZERO respect for anyone or anything. And his blind followers call that "not being politically correct" and think of it as a virtue! Seriously!!?!? The man holds the office of "Leader of the Free World!" And he is petrifyingly lacking in any personality trait that would fit him for that position.

"Even so, those of us who were shocked and dismayed when our fellow Americans propelled this dangerously unqualified charlatan into office were willing to concede (desperately hoped, fingers and toes crossed) that he might grow into the office, and turn out NOT to be the disaster we all knew him to be. We all held desperately to that glimmer of hope after his mostly intelligible inauguration speech...and everything predictably went to hell after that.

"Trump is a stupid, childish, dangerous egomaniac. The GOP Congress has made the unbelievably corrupt decision to support this dangerously inept man, because they can manipulate him to get what they want. I hope their big victories taste as sweet when North Korea lobs its missile at the US and the whole world goes up in flames. But, wait...I forgot. It will be Obama's fault."


Please, Universe.  We've suffered an entire year under this raving idiot.  Don't make us hold out much longer...   

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hope...


My Traditional New Years Eve Post

...wherein I take the first line of the first post of each month, and add some pertinent commentary:


January--Would it have surprised anyone if, after the marathon of the past three months, this space remained untouched for at least a month?--After a three-month marathon to wrap up 2016--determined to reach post #1300 in the blog's 13th year--I resolved to post 10 entries per month for 2017.

February--We step out of the used appliance store on River Road in Eugene, make our way back to our car parked by the street.  Husband looks out into the road...  "Uh-oh!  Kitten!" --We bid a sad farewell to our nearly 20-year-old senior kitty...

March--We're hoping this li'l biskit will fill the dog-shaped hole in our lives... --and hello to a crazy canine.

April--finches and jays

sparrows and starlings

woodpeckers and flickers

stop in my garden

to dine upon the humble offerings

of sunflower seed, millet and suet... --my one attempt at poetry in 2016

May--Yeah...  So, I failed - Five months in, my 10-post commitment it the big one... .

June--Age:  Almost 20 weeks

Height:  18 inches at the shoulder

Weight:  28 lbs.--Pupdate!

 

July--I belong to the “Concerned Citizens of Columbia County” Facebook page. --a rant about annoying neighbors annoyingly celebrating..an annoying holiday..

August--A friend posted this video on Facebook.  It was just after the Charlotte debacle, when every white person in America was either lining up behind the racists or hurriedly "white-splaining" why he/she was NOT racist.-- pretty self-explanatory, really...

 September--The Northwest is on fire...

......and the Southeast is under water.

Welcome to climate change... --commentary on a nation-wide miserable summer...

October-- How to get the 400# roof back up on your "free" gazebo without putting yourself and/or your spouse in the hospital:  --a pictorial of the husband playing with boy toys...

 

November--More wisdom from Purple Clover:


--my favorite meme from Purple Clover this year...

December--"The concept of toxic masculinity is used in the social sciences to describe traditional norms of behavior among men in contemporary American and European society that are associated with detrimental social and psychological effects."  --yes...masculinity CAN be toxic...

So...there it is.  2017 in review.  An interesting but somewhat crappy year.  Well...it's just about over now.  Here's looking forward to a LESS crappy 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sh**ty New Year



Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Years Review of Our Hapless POTUS #45



And a related Facebook comment:

 
 
 
No...not sad. 
 
Scary as hell.



Friday, December 29, 2017

The Year of the Goose


This year-end has been a strangely unsatisfying season.  For some reason, I have felt two steps behind everything since Halloween--which is my traditional starting date for gearing up for the holiday season.  I usually break out the advent-type instrumental music on November 1, and start gathering up my Autumn decorations in anticipation of replacing them with the winter holiday accoutrements.  This year, it seemed all my energy was spent spinning my wheels, lost and aimless beneath the suffocating political pall that has enveloped...EVERYTHING...for an unbelievably detestable year. 

In the end, I think, there has just been no acceptable way to put such a year to rest.  No way to sort through and bundle the events of a thoroughly distressing twelve months into a neat collection of lessons and revelations to absorb and carry forward into the new year.  So breaking out the trappings of what amounts to a year-end celebration has seemed irrelevant, bordering on downright inappropriate.  Putting out my prodigious collection of holiday decorations--a process that usually  immerses me in the joy of fond memories of past celebrations--has this year, been more of a gun-to-the-head obligation that has left me peevish and frustrated.  It all seems so...pointless.

Though Christmas is a dearly cherished tradition, the day itself is not actually of spiritual significance to me personally, anymore.  In fact, I find the absorption of the ancient pagan holiday of Solstice into Christian tradition, as the birth date of the "savior," somewhat amusing, and more than a little annoying.  Maybe if you have to borrow so much from the spirituality that has been around for ages in order to promote your concept of "salvation," your religion isn't quite as earth-shattering as you would like to believe.  Certainly it has wrought little of peace, brotherhood, wisdom, charity...or salvation... in its 2100-year existence.

The Solstice is my spiritual holiday.  For those of us who communicate with the Creator through the wonders of the natural world, this turning point of the year--pivoting away from ever-growing night, toward the return of the light--is symbolic of so much of life.  Without the promise of light beyond darkness, life becomes...hopeless.  This year especially, I so keenly anticipate the journey out of the gloom, and back to light and hope, it's almost a physical ache.  Who among us is not yearning for the light of truth and sanity to return to our world in the coming year?

The weeks leading up to Christmas this year were a slow-motion foot race; straining to catch up with the holiday spirit, tackle it from behind and grab some piece of it to inspire my lackluster preparations.  I even tried making some executive decisions pursuant to scaling back my usual over-the-top decorating mania, but I still couldn't catch up or catch "it."  It took me 8 days to decorate three rooms...and there was little joy attached to the chore.  By the Thursday before Christmas, I still hadn't accomplished my meager Christmas shopping list.  It was "Get in the car, go over the hill and get it done, now or never."  AND it was Solstice.  So the day had my two traditions colliding in a tangle of last-minute retail mania and the conflicting mandate to stop, quiet the whirlwind and indulge in some year-end soul searching.

As I wound down the road descending the hill from my shopping excursion, it crossed my mind that maybe I should bag my Solstice fire for that evening.  Surely I would be calmer and more centered in the morning...and I would have the entire day to contemplate, ruminate and celebrate.  But, no...something told me that THIS was the time.  Solstice was Solstice, and I needed to honor my commitment to my chosen spiritual path.

So I called the husband from the car, and asked him to collect up the various firewood we might have lying around the property and pile it up for me out by my coffee deck.  Twenty minutes later, I pulled in the driveway, dumped my packages inside the house, and proceeded to set myself to gathering the firewood that the husband hadn't got around to getting.  It didn't take too long to collect everything I needed: the wood, some sage, something to light it all with; paper and sharpie to write down the "things that no longer served" that I would burn in my fire; a set of hand bells to accompany myself, should I decide to sing or chant; an outfit of warm clothing that I wouldn't mind smelling of smoke afterward.  And that was it.  The task of making my Solstice fire happen, which had seemed, like everything else this year, a nearly insurmountable bother, was accomplished quickly and almost painlessly.

I lit the fire and stared into it through a fog of dumb surprise, unable, for a moment, to get a handle on what I should do next.  After a short interval of conscious slowing down and sliding into a more contemplative mood, I commenced the motions of my little ritual.

I burned my handful of things that no longer serve, I shook my bells and sang a bit. It was all a little colorless and weak...like everything else about the season.  Definitely a case of "fake it 'til you make it"--I was by god going to have this spiritual time even though I really wasn't into it.  One thing that made it less wonderful than my past Solstice fires was the loss of the expectation of a visit from some representative of the natural world, some creature with a message from the Creator that I could take with me into the time of renewal.  As it was much later in the day than my usual Solstice celebration, I could hardly expect a bird or animal to visit my fire, there in the misty dark in my quasi-suburban back yard; which made the whole ceremony feel even more like just going through the motions.

But as I calmed and opened myself to the Spirit, I came to understand that I should stop,  be quiet and listen to...what there was to hear.  Astonishingly, the first thing I heard was the voice of a wailing coyote, floating above the sounds of traffic and trains, in the not very far distance.  It was a wake-up call:  "We are out here.  Do not discount us merely because you cannot see us." Heartened by that sense of being in the company of wild things, I continued to pause from time to time in my ritual, to listen to what the Universe might have for me.

And what it had was...geese.  Over and over, for the entire duration of my fire, once I set myself to listening.  And not the distant honking that floats over from the marshes and the island to the east.  No...these sounds of geese calling pierced the murky darkness right above my head.  As if they were deliberately signaling that they had come to attend my fire, to bring me comfort and a message from the Creator. 

Goose has a particular place in my personal spirituality.  She is one of my spirit guides.  She is the bird of my family, of my ancestors.  And Goose represents peace in my daily salutation--in my prayers to the four directions, I turn to the north and ask Goose to guide me to peace.  And lately, I have been imploring my familial spirits, represented by Goose, to gather energy and reach out to family members who are trapped in darkness and pain on this earthly plain. 

So the unmistakable appearance of Goose at my Solstice celebration was really quite special. It was a reminder that the Creator is indeed connected to me, that the Creator hears my voice and is sensitive to my yearnings.  I believe Goose came to tell me that my supplication had been heard and was being acted upon even when I could not see it, as I could not see those geese who were calling to me from the darkness.

Uninspired and peevish as I was at the beginning of my ritual, the Creator nevertheless revealed itself in a personal and comforting way  A way that not only gave me hope for my intentions for my family, but hope for the larger world as well.  The message:  It is dark, but we are here.  The forces of Goodness, of Family and human connection to the Spirit...we are here.  And we are carrying out the healing work of the Creator, even when you cannot see us. 

And that is definitely a message that I can take forward into the new year--which will now bear the honorable name of my "Year of the Goose."