Sunday, October 28, 2012

For My Weary Heart

There is so much BIG stuff going on right now.  In the world at large.  And even in my tiny little world.  It feels like this enormous weight and pressure.  Do you feel it, too?

Last week, at the end of Grey's Anatomy, they had a song playing softly in the background, underscoring the dialogue.  It was a remake of Tom Petty's song "I Won't Back Down."  Man, I have always loved that song.  It was on his Full Moon Fever album back in the 80s.  I think that was one of those cassettes that I had that I played until it didn't play right anymore.  You know how that goes.  It kind of squeals in places because the tape has become too thin from over usage.  I loved that entire tape.  I could sing the whole thing side one and two.  I even liked all the b-songs.  Great album.

So, you can imagine that I would expect to HATE a remake of this song.  Just like I groan whenever they remake an 80s movie, and I start cursing at the trailer.  And then I stomp around the room for about ten minutes, and do a full-on rant that if they can't come up with any new ideas, they shouldn't mess with greatness.  And that leads to if they ever remake The Breakfast Club I will seriously hurt someone.  As in seriously.

I think I have digressed.

Anyway, I was stunned.  Awed.  In thrall.  I love this song.  I spent the next day trolling youtube in order to find the artist who remade the song.  It actually didn't take that long.  What I like about this song is that it isn't just a copy.  Ryan Star took this song and made it his own.  Instead of rocking it out Tom Petty-style (which I still love), he broke it down and laid it bare.  It is just him, a piano, and his guitar.  So, the words are that much more powerful.  Everything I loved about the song before, I love one hundred times more in this version. Why?  Because I feel it in my soul.  It makes me cry.  This song is a like a gift to my weary heart.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Who is John Galt?

So, what have I been up to?  Well, I have been to the movies.  Yep.

Went with a friend to see Atlas Shrugged II.  Didn't see the first part, but it turns out that it didn't matter.  The second part was excellent and stood on its own.

I was in thrall.  This scene was SO GOOD that I actually shook my fist in the air at the end and cheered.  Yeah, I forgot where I was.  That can happen when something speaks so profoundly to your soul.  I encourage you to watch it and see what your Soul Reaction is.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Do You Own Things Or Do They Own You?

Well, I promised to catch you up on some of the more interesting things going on here in my world.  I think that I will make this a series of posts.  There honestly is too much stuff to just stuff it into one post.  Plus, I think it would be good for me to try and write shorter posts.

Our house is up for sale and we are moving.  So, there is a lot of sorting going on right now.  A decision has been made that we are NOT lugging all of this junk again.  So, a great deal of stuff is going to the church yard sale on Oct. 20.  Some stuff is taking a direct trip to the trash.  And then there is creative repackaging.  That is my way of storing all of my DVDs in cake boxes vs the original packaging so that I can now store them in a drawer or closet.  For those of you not familiar with the term "cake box," it is just the plastic circular storage box that holds DVDs.  It has nothing to do with actual cake.  Although I am now hungry for cake.  I hate how the human brain works.

I have been putting off going through my closet.  I actually tackled shoes and purses already.  Who knew I had so many shoes?  Or purses?  Aacchh.  I am still in mourning over so many of my size small cute tops that I pitched when we moved here and I now wish I had.  But, I am going to pitch anything that doesn't actually fit, because it is too big, and call it a day.  I have boxes of clothes in so many sizes that you wouldn't believe it.  And pretty much all of my "dressy" clothes are from a previous life.  They are about to be history.  However, since I pretty much live in my pajamas, who am I freaking kidding?  Oh yeah, that would be my mom.

Then there are my college clothes that I don't want to part with that have those "cool" logos on them.  And I liked my clothes "oversized" then and I was about 10-15 pounds heavier then.  But, it is memorabilia.  And this is why I dread the clothes sort.

I first read a book called RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St. Clair Robson, that was a historical fiction loosely based around the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker and the Comanche Indians, back in the early 90s.  I was fascinated by the story itself, the attention to detail on the Comanche ways, etc.  I took away more than I can even begin to tell you in one posting from that book.  But the thing that is hanging with me today is the understanding that they had about material possessions: you don't own things ; things own you.  It was a fundamental belief that Native Americans had about ownership that the white man didn't comprehend at that time. Europeans came to America for a piece of land that they could call their own.  And the Native Americans didn't understand land ownership.  Land was never meant to be owned.  It was a core value that they simply didn't share.  You stayed on one piece of land too long and you drained it of its resources.  If you didn't buy it and title it, you didn't have anything to call yours.  Buy it from who?  And round and round it went.

Sitting where I do, I see both sides of that argument.  I also see that the Native Americans are right about things owning you.  The less you have, the less you have to lug around.  The less you have to sort.  It seems like more is better because everyone wants it.  But is it really?  Or are we just conditioned to think more is better?

When have you been happier?  When you've had more or less?  Or did it matter?  Is the problem when we make our happiness contingent on things?  In other words, if you need the things... that is the time you absolutely should get rid of them.  Because happiness only will come from within.

image found on facebook.... so shocking

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Are We Teaching Our Kids?

The world truly has spiraled right off its axis.  I don't write educational blogs.  I don't have any desire to educate anyone.  That's not me.  This is a therapy blog.  I write about what I know.  Me.  My stuff.  You all come here to read about my junk.  The subject I know best is me.  My triumphs and failures and everything in between.  And then there are my crushes and fun stuff like that.  I occasionally provide eye candy, music videos, and I used to do those one word and fifteen minute blogs.  Now those were fun, right?  What happened to that????

I haven't even delivered the goods on "what is going on with me" in forever.  And there has actually been stuff.  Go figure.

Did all of you read JJ's post on The American Revolution?  JJ's blog is The Disconnected Writer.  I am too lazy today to link it in.  You can find it on my sidebar.  You should still read it to get EVERYTHING he is saying, but the upshot is that our youth are not being given access to the same education that you and I had.  The focus now is on the last fifty years.  So, stuff like the American Revolution is pretty much being left out.  The kids don't know who Ben Franklin is.  They have a right to a better education than that.  They have a right to that information.  Now, I know that didn't feel like a right when I growing up, because it was couched in words like homework, reading assignments, pop quizzes, and you will be tested on this on Friday.  But it was actually a RIGHT.  They were endowing me with information, whether I understood that right or not.  Whether I took advantage of that right or not.  Some people did.  Some didn't.  Some stored it in permanent memory.  Some short-term.  But it was offered.

My mom and I were driving to an appointment yesterday, and she told me that she read on the web that England's history books are also undergoing a rewrite.  Apparently, the Holocaust is offensive to the Muslim population, so it is getting written out.  The teachers are afraid to teach it.  She said that Eisenhower predicted this back when it happened, so he ordered as many pictures be taken as possible, because some day someone will try to say it never happened.  That day has come.  I looked on Wikipedia.  Apparently, it has been coming for decades.  People have been yelling long and loud that it never happened.  It has just taken a while for people to actually cave and write it out of textbooks.  So far, we are still standing strong here in America, in terms of our textbooks, but I have to wonder how long that will last.  We are so damn politically correct.  We sure don't want to offend anyone.  And the Holocaust offends our Muslims neighbors (apparently.. see the link below for an article on how this is all going down in England).  Apparently, so do the Crusades.  Can't teach that either.  That was the Christians and the Muslims duking it out. Folks, history is history.  You can't change it.  The best you can do is live with it and learn from it.  And hope to never repeat it.  I don't understand this Let's Just Erase It Mentality.  Or We Can't Talk About It Mentality.

Here is the link referred to above: click to read.

Here is a link to a site that looked at how Jewish history was being taught to children around the world.  Well anti-Semitism is alive and well.  Teachers are still teaching it.  And textbooks are still dishing it up by the spoonful all over the globe.  And, if you don't believe me, since I have a history of lying on this blog (not), here is the link: click to read for yourself.

And here is a direct quote from the United Kingdom's Holocaust Education Report, "In a recent BBC poll published in November, 45% of UK adults (16 years old and above) did not know what Auschwitz was."  You can read it for yourself here.  You have to scroll all the way to the bottom in order to find it.

My Polish friend and I just had an IM conversation about this topic (the Holocaust being erased out of England's textbooks) and she was shocked.  She lives in London now, and can't understand why the Muslims would be offended by the Holocaust.  I told her that it well... you know... makes the Jews somewhat sympathetic in the history annals.  You know you cannot have that when you're trying to wipe them off the map.  And she was like, "Oh, I see your point."

She also told me that she is amazed at how downright scared people are of Muslims in London.  Well, duh.  I think that is the kinda sorta the point.  No one ever orchestrated a takeover by being cuddly.

If you read that and thought to yourself, well those other countries are real bastards, but the U.S. is not SO bad.  I mean the hate in this country versus other countries isn't nearly so awful.  Sure, we've had some swastikas painted, Hitler faces, and some gas chambers.  And there was that "Hit A Jew Day" in the St. Louis area, but compared to the firebombing of a Jewish boys' school in Montreal, that's peanuts.  The solution falls back to the parents so says the study.  I mean the history books are just not going to get everything right.  It is up to the parents to educate their kid.  They need to know all of the facts about Jewish history and explain it to their kid.  Right????

The U.S. has always been Israel's biggest ally.  Yeah, maybe not so much.  Me?  I was thinking it was just the President who was not in Israel's corner until earlier today.  If you're wondering why I am thinking that, you haven't been watching the Prime Minister of Israel nearly enough.  I know this is a bit long, but this is put together by a liberal Jewish New Yorker who is concerned about what is going to happen to Israel.  I, too, am concerned.  This video details her research about Israel and where it stands in this precarious time.  If you care anything about Israel, it is worth your time to watch it.  Actually, since what happens in Israel will affect the Middle East, and that will affect us, it is worth your time to watch it.

So what happened earlier today?  Well, I was on facebook reading through everyone's rehash of last night's debate.  I had pretty much decided I didn't want to jump into that mess.  I've been bloodied enough already, thank you very much.  However, someone posted something and I thought they were asking for clarification... not argument.  And it had nothing to do with Israel, obviously, because that wasn't even up for debate last night.

Anyway, this person started IMing me.  And she was very nice to me.  But she was vicious tongued.  And I was very nice to her because I remain firm in the belief that everyone wants the best for the country, even if they disagree on how to get there.  Plus, there is not a good reason to be ugly.  The Middle East came up.  And I expressed my concern for Israel.  And I got a shock. 

She said, " Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them... that is why so many of the Middle East countries hate them."

I replied, "Redrawing the lines to 1967 is throwing Israel under the bus. Well, they know they are on their own. For the first time in a very long time."

She responded, "I don't know what the lines were... I do know that they want land that isn't theirs. I really hope they are on their own... we can't afford to send our kids to war!"

Well, the conversation went on with me trying to explain that we would be at war no matter how the whole thing played out, but it was like talking to a wall.  I also tried to explain that the Prime Minister was right to be worried about Iran having a nuke, but she seemed to think that everyone ought to have nukes.  She was also convinced that Israel knew about 9/11 prior to the attacks and there was "dancing in the streets" in Israel over our misery.   While you might think this is a political post, it is not.  Electing Romney is not going to erase anti-Semitism.  Electing Obama is not going to erase anti-Semitism.  I am afraid that ship has sailed.

If we embrace the attitude of my facebook "friend," I am afraid Jews will not only be unsafe in Israel, but they will be unsafe everywhere.  Well, that does seem to be the case according to the site indicating the ever-increasing anti-Semitic incidents worldwide.  So, if we abandon Israel, there will be war.  And if we don't abandon Israel, there will probably be war.  So, I guess you have to decide who your friends and allies are.  Who has stood for you in the past?  Who would stand for you in the future?  When I look to the Middle East the only country that I think would stand for the U.S., should we need them, is Israel.  Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, and Iran are all a bit busy burning our flag at the moment.  Yet, we continue to send them foreign aid.  That is a bit of a head scratcher.  

So, I look to you my blogger friends.  I figure one of you can unravel this mystery better than I.