A Cold Wind Blows Across Standing Rock, ND As Energy Transfer Partners/Dakota Access Pipeline Builders & Morton County Police Minions Act With Impunity. Big Oil Business Behaves As Usual While Obama Plays Rank Political PR Games And The Army Corps of Engineers Sends Up A Pretense of Due Diligence.

What can I say? Really what is there left to say at this point? If you’ve been following events at Standing Rock there’s nothing to share because you’ve seen and heard it all via social media and alternative press–with a few blips on mainstream media when it’s convenient or a ‘filler’ report is needed or they’ve been hounded into coverage by celebrities. It’s down to the wire as to what President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers will or will not do regarding the Dakota Access Pipelene that no one wants except Energy Transfer Partners. What can I say? What would Obama do if they wanted to run that pipe down the Mall in DC?

What can I say?

That racism still runs rampant in North Dakota just as it did when the region was part of the Dakota Territory before state-hood?

That Big Oil Companies continue to ravage the land and water without check in the United States of Corporate Owned America?

That the militarized state of the American police is on full view at Standing Rock–and mainstream media doesn’t want to touch it with a hundred yard pole and the President is steadfastly unwilling to address it?

What self-respecting journalist would NOT want to cover what’s going at Standing Rock where unarmed Water Protectors are going up against an Armed Police presence which serves only the interests of Big Oil  while getting to give vent to its own home-grown racism? It’s the kind of story journalists have wet dreams about. Or they used to. Or maybe only the likes of Sinclair Lewis and Edward Morrow did. (I write that last with FULL respect for all the independent journalists doing their best on the ground at Standing Rock.)

If there were hundreds of pretty blue-eyed blondes facing off with police anywhere have no doubt the mainstream media would zero in on them like a heat seeking missile and never let go until it drank the story cup to its driest dredges. Journalists would be swarming all over those attacks with pepper spray, batons, strip searches, dog kennels, rubber bullets, grave descerations, arrests of independent journalists, violations of civil and human rights like flies on a slice of cheese on a hot summer day.

Maybe that’s what’s required–thousands of white people going toe to toe with Morton County Police aka ETP/DAPL’s security force–a police force which ironically is now at least $10 Million in debt for playing toady to the oil business (according to one local news report Morton county thinks the feds will ante up for their security efforts. Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out for them.)

Or maybe not. I think the problem runs even deeper than skin color and culture and language to core values.

That’s where the crux of the problem lies:  The values of corporate mainstream media, Big Business, the President of the United (sort of) States, the Army Corps of Engineers and the dominant culture are in direct conflict, 180 opposition to the values of the Standing Rock Lakota, their Indigenous and Non-native allies and everyone else who loves the Earth –with or without humans running amok on it.

Rampant capitalism, greed, exploitation of the Earth’s resources without a care beyond the goddamned almighty profit margin VERSUS honoring the Earth and all other living beings it supports; a formerly perfect planet with a formerly perfect ecosystem for supporting an immense diversity of life.

It’s Death versus Life.

It’s Oil versus Water.

It’s the value system which claims Earth is a but a resource for non-stop consumption versus the value system which claims Earth is our Mother which allows us the ability to live and thrive as long as we Honor and Cherish it by living in harmony and balance with our environment and non-human relatives.

It’s the illusion of control and dominance of Nature versus graciously living in our place in the web of life.

But, hey, you probably already have thought all this out.

So–what’s next?

What will happen when ETP/DAPL lays pipe under the Missouri River? Does anyone really think an acting without a permit fine will stop them? In our more idealistic moments we like to think so in a fair game. But this is not a fair game played by nice players willing to obey a set of rules. The oil industry is not bluffing, it really is an absolutely ruthless business run by people perfectly willing to LIE endlessly about the reality of Climate Change and make no apologies for it. Exxon, Chevron, Shell–all you have to is check their histories in the Amazon, Niger Delta and in the Gulf of Mexico to get the point–if you don’t have it already. These people do NOT play fair. They do what they please–until it blows up–literally–in their faces. And even then they go right back to business as usual.

Oh wait, if the pipeline isn’t laid at Standing Rock and gets rerouted elsewhere is not the same problem still on the books for potential contamination of the soil and water?

Change is in order.

Climate Change is coming one way or another.

Ask Mother Nature what’s on her agenda. Perhaps her answer is on the winter wind so cold it hurts to breathe.  Perhaps a touch of global warming would be welcome at Standing Rock, North Dakota where the cold freezes bones and ices the air it sucks from your lungs. Ask the buffalo what they prefer.

#NoDAPL

#WaterIsLife

#HonortheEarth

(side note: Any advertisements appearing on this blogcasa appear via wordpress alone and do not reflect any endorsement or support by moi. Thank you for visiting.) 

 

 

 

 

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Elegy for Paradise

Sweet water ripples

falls fruit ripe

lovely breath

lush was paradise

until

anchors dropped

sailoirs landfall

 legacy:

color flows out of the world

what words for this loss

life flows out of the earth

tiniest to largest creature vanishing

words cannot serve this loss

sky closes saturated with human waste

homo sapiens self harms

collateral damage in excess

all life flows out of the earth

words fail

waters cries

~~~

 

In the sixties,

In a Catholic school,

Thou Shall Not Ask:

“Where are all the Indian People?”

Answer:

Time out,

On your knees in the corner,

Another pink slip home.

In 2016,

“Where are all the Indigenous People?

Answer:

At Standing Rock defending the Water, Earth and Sky.

NoDAPL

 

 

The Real Consequences of Climate Change for Children.

As Dear Kitty often writes —“The video speaks for itself.”

Well, actually Dr. James Hansen and his granddaughter, Sophie, do all the speaking. And they do it quite well.

Need a lift? Some heat relief? A good read? Get your mind in the boat: Read The Boys in the Boat

It’s Friday and everyone is itching to chill out so I’ll get right to the heart of this post: Treat yourself and read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This is a true story of HEART–true character, “boys” who were men whom current athletes can not match on any level. Yes, I have seen the 2016 Olympics and found them sorely wanting. In a time when ego and individual effort is all the rage it’s impossible to even imagine that a group of nine “boys” could swing like none other. I knew nothing about rowing until I read this book. I knew more than I wanted about the Nazis. I knew about the Depression and the Dust Bowl. I knew about Jesse Owens. But I knew nothing about this incredible rowing crew. Swing is now more than a style of Jazz and dancing for me. It’s not often that I re-read a book but I’ve read the race scenes several times because they’re so damn exciting. Nothing I’ve seen –ever– in the Olympics can compare.

For the romantics there’s even a love story. Actually there’s a lot of love in this story.

The Boys in the Boat

Much thanks and appreciation to PBS’s American Experience episode The Boys of ’36 which turned me onto Brown’s book.

The Boys of ’36 Chapter 1

Watch, read and be uplifted.

M-I-B = Mind In Boat  ~~ rowing mantra

 

Dispatch from the Kansas City, (MO not KS) Metropolitan Area ala City By City

Hola fellow web travelers. As a follow-up to my return to the online world I thought I’d connect with my prior post by filling in a gap in the City By City Dispatches from the American Metropolis edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb with a snapshot of Kansas City, Missouri–with a few side notes regarding some areas PR people like to associate it with, and some it would rather forget exist too close for their comfortably red-lined zones. Please don’t take this missive as a criticism of City By City. Editors have to work with the material they’re given and I am certainly enjoying its varied dispatches from Detroit, Washington D.C. (a brothel, how deliciously appropriate), and Chicago’s Hyde Park. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Gessen and Squibb either received no dispatches from Kansas City or if they did they couldn’t figure out what to make of them. The latter would be very understandable as Kansas City, Missouri has multiple personalities. Which one you encounter depends entirely on where you are–literally–physically.

If you were to stand on the corner of midtown Kansas City at 39th and Main Street, ground zero for KKFI, a community radio station like none other, your view of Kansas City changes drastically depending on which direction you take from there. Go south and west for money, some of it old and resting very comfortably. North offers old ethnic neighborhoods like Little Italy, and the City Market area working at staying alive north of the infamous Independence Avenue line (former hunting grounds for serial killers). Go east towards the Troost line you’ll find neighborhoods locked in life and death struggles with poverty and crime while contending with everything from a tragically failed public school district to abandoned vacant houses, gangs, and violent crime.

Heading west on 39th Street will take you to what remains of the city’s midtown bohemian neighborhoods. The ghost of the New York style D’Bronx pizzeria haunts the south corner of 39th and Bell while Prospero’s Books holds down the fort directly opposite it on the northern corner. Behind the 39th Street mainly food business line-up is a crowd of densely packed homes of all makes and ages. It’s a cool crazy quilt of unpredictability. Continue westward and you’ll cross State Line and then you’re in the KU Med area–which is on the Kansas side of the street, not in Missouri. Though you might never guess it. PR people like to make the most of what’s good around them.

If you travel south down Main and 39th to Westport Road you’ll wind up in the increasingly yuppified Westport area which currently caters to people who enjoy imbibing copious amounts of the legal drug known as alcohol in their free time. Long gone is the classy independent bookstore, the unique clothing stores, the movie theater and many other business venues unconnected to providing watering holes for the young and senseless. To be fair, the heroic Broadway Cafe remains steadfast on Broadway. As far as I currently know it is the ONLY independent coffeehouse to drive out the invasive species known as Starbucks. Yep, that’s right. Corporate Starbucks came, saw and invaded–and departed without conquering the superior java product. Also, the incredible Tivoli Cinemas remains–after relocating to Pennsylvania Ave. There’s also a newer food gig in the area–a new version of The Corner Restaurant complete with goat cheese, kale and alligator. No bagels and lox there–no way. The area has completely lost the feel of a friendly and engaging one-stop contained neighborhood but it is still alive, though steadily losing the remains of its inviting personality. I still mourn the closing of its independent music store, Streetside Records, which was once a great place to explore an incredibly wide range of music. It’s where I purchased Joan Osborne’s Relish after listening and discovering it offered far more than “If God Was One of Us.” Unless you’re into the drunk and disorderly scene evade the area on the weekends after dark when the partying begins in earnest as there are multiple hardcore drinking establishments all within a minute’s walk of each other from the corner of Pennsylvania and Westport Road. If you’re into drunk and disorderly then by all means go wallow whole hog all night long.

If you continue further south on Broadway you will enter the alternate universe of The Plaza where the fountains flow and so does the money dough. It’s not called the Country Club Plaza for nothing. Years and years ago this was an upscale middle class yet still affordable area with all kinds of interesting independent shops and food venues. These days it caters to those with two hundred dollars to spend on jeans without batting an eye. Dinner can easily cost a hundred dollars a person at some eateries. Most of the affordable housing in this area has vanished, but there’s plenty to be had for the urban condo set. The Plaza offers Thanksgiving lights, fountains, a very uninspiring insipid Art Fair–art which will not offend, raise issues or stretch anyone’s mind–but it’ll work well with your color scheme. So ironic considering the fact that just a few blocks away rests the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art–well, maybe not so ironic other things considered. If you desire more engaging on the fringe art then go north from 39th and Main to the Crossroads area around Broadway and 18th Streets. But visit it fast because the high and mighty are digging in big time with developments with hopes to connect the dots to the Power and Light District (Remind me: urban revitalization for who? Yuppies? Again?) and the real people character is vanishing fast. You’ll know the former Crossroads has been entirely vanquished when YJ’s Snack Bar closes and the jamming ends. Yep, that will signal the end of an era.

Okay,so venturing southwest from The Plaza and you’ll find impressive homes on lots large enough for five or six of the houses east of Troost Ave. None of them will have their garbage or household discards left sitting at curb for weeks and weeks and weeks as happens in the neighborhoods east of Troost where, if you’re not squeamish, you can have your pick of couches, mattresses, and entertainment centers. Even the huge lovely Loose Park is very well maintained. There’s cool green space galore with huge old trees, a pond, picnic areas and rose garden. I wonder if anyone east of Troost ever enters the rose garden contest held at Loose Park? I’ve never seen roses blooming in the parks east of Troost. Seeing a bench to sit on is a find. This is part of the character of extreme contrasts that Kansas City offers. This can easily be missed by staying on the highways when driving in from Independence, Missouri–a former Meth Lab Capital of the World–though who knows what’s really going on in that American drug swamp. If you drive into Kansas City from Independence on any residential street like 23rd or 31st instead of I70 you’ll get a close up view of the multiple urban landscapes of Kansas City from the bottom of the economic ladder to the top from east to west/southwest. You might even be impressed by the bus-stop at the corner of 31st and Troost–it does look like something from this decade, sort of.

Heading south from The Plaza, or from 31st and Troost, you’ll find the University of Missouri which years ago ran into very deep shit with its very diverse residential neighbors when it embarked on a buy and destroy mission to enable expansion of the parking garage ilk–among other things. The good neighbors fought back hard, going so far as to threaten UMKC’s chancellor’s residence with a bulldozer. No joke, these people were pissed off and rightly so in my opinion. Along Rockhill Road were blocks of lawn signs screaming “UMKC Kills Homes.” So much for the Ivory Tower’s idealism when it comes to money matters. This is another area in which the small independent local business flavor has all but disappeared. Perhaps they just don’t make people the same anymore? Just a question. Rockhill Road leads to Brookside and Waldo areas where the older tree-lined streets are narrow and generally quiet and the grocery store offers delights you won’t find in Wild Woody’s store east of Troost on 31 Street. Lamb chops and Green Tea ice cream anyone? Hmm?

Troost Avenue is only one block east of Rockhill Road. Once you get past being impressed by Rockhurst University’s presence on the east side of the street it’s clear straight off that the residences are not on par with those to the west of UMKC. Things are a tad rougher and tougher looking on the east side of Troost for the hard-working poor and their attendant gangs. Just a tad. I don’t think I’ve ever been in another city with such an obvious social economic division designated by a single street running north/south where you can actually stand on the street’s yellow dividing line and see two contrasting worlds just by looking in opposite directions: urban blight versus urban de-light.

I haven’t said anything about barbecue. Yeah, there’s plenty of it in all directions.
Nor have I mentioned the Historic Jazz District at 18th and Vine which is one street featuring the wonderful Gem Theater, the Blue Room and the American Jazz Museum, The Call newspaper–and historic painted storefronts.
Then there’s the Northeast area of Kansas City with its incredible influx of immigrants whose language needs the Kansas City Public library tries to address with ESL courses.
I haven’t mentioned the former mayor who refused to discuss the state of education even when it was front page news.
I haven’t mentioned the ex-school superintendent who insisted that 36 students in a classroom was a good thing.
Nor have I said anything about the decline of a newspaper that first impressed me with its coverage of a suspected serial killer hunting prostitutes and other vulnerable women on Independence Ave.
I’ve only hinted at the vibrant art scene that serves as a huge street party every first Friday.
There are thousands of homeless people in Kansas City.

There’s extreme wealth in Kansas City–and that’s not counting Johnson County which is in KANSAS not Missouri–and there’s extreme poverty with every economic class in between. I wonder if the people working at the Channel 4 news station ever drove down the street right behind their building and saw the houses with plastic sheeting for windows? Yes, there were people living in those places.

I could write a great deal more. I’m trying to stop while I’m ahead. I suspect I might already be behind the eight ball here.

Perhaps the very best thing about Kansas City is the community radio station which is still going strong after more than twenty years of Jazz, Blues, World, Folk, Classical, Latino, Reggae, and Rock music. If anything is truly alive and well in Kansas City, Missouri, it is KKFI–the beating heart of a diverse population which can’t be red lined. If you want a taste of Kansas City then tune in–they’re streaming online world-wide from the corner of 39th and Main 365 days and nights a year.

KKFI

City By City

Hello Online World

An interesting thing happens when you unplug from the world-wide web–time expands. Yes it does indeed. Time expands in the sense of all the things you can explore OFFline. Consider what happens when you forget your cellphone and you don’t feel the need to answer every ringtone like Pavlov’s puppies. Oh the freedom from the ring, from the keyboard connected to social media, and everything in the info universe. It can be very liberating–and you realize just how much energy, effort and time you’ve been putting into communication technology. Having been almost constantly online since BEFORE Facebook and twitter were even imagined I discovered a real big break from it all was in order. It’s been the kind of break where I’m on the verge of needing to upgrade my cellphone so that it will ‘work’. Aside from personal connections I have not missed the world-wide web much. I don’t enjoy reading books online–but I adore reading. Writing online has its pros and cons. I’ve discovered that the best way to deal with writer’s block is to actually write with a pen/pencil on paper. Yeah, it works. According the research I suspect it’s because more of your brain is stimulated by using your fine motor skills when using a pen than with using a keyboard. Oh and there’s never a problem with power outages or viruses or hitting the wrong key and sending everything into nowhere-land. Yes, being offline has been very good for my writing. It’s also been good for reading, exploring music, and cooking. Virtual cooking leads to virtual food and that’s inedible no matter what it does to your salivary glands.

When you’re exploring books offline in a library setting interesting things tend to happen–to me anyway. For example, an oversize book cover featuring Virginia Woolf’s profile draws your attention to Stefan Bollman’s Women Who Write, a book of profiles of women writers. Reading Francine Prose’s introduction raises the question of what other women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature since the book’s publication. The answer to this query leads to 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. I currently do not know where else you can read anything like this in English. Which leads in turn to the translator, Keith Gessen who is the co-editor of City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis. The essays therein present diverse perspectives on the American urban landscape–and they’re anything but boring.

I heartily recommend all these books for your reading table or tablet. Warning: Voices from Chernobyl may break your heart with its love stories. What happens to people who know nothing about the downside of nuclear energy when things go terribly wrong? This is an intensely personal record of what happens. Considering the world in which we live we owe to these people to at least make ourselves aware and informed. Because Blue Skies do not mean all is hunky dory in the radioactive universe. Note: this is also a National Book Critics Circle Award winner for General Nonfiction.

Dots:
~Virginia Woolf’s profile
~Women Who Write by Stefan Bollman, Francine Prose
~Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
~Translator Keith Gessen
~City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb

Please do feel free to share wherever these dots lead you.

Thanks for engaging here. Your time, energy and virtual presence is very much appreciated–more than ever before.

About Svetlana Alexievich:

http://alexievich.info/indexEN.html

Women Who Read Are Dangerous~~(select translation):

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buecher/rezensionen/sachbuch/ein-buch-ersetzt-den-mann-im-haus-kuenstlerblicke-auf-lesende-frauen-1214751.html

Shh, don’t tell anyone what Missouri Gov. Nixon is up to with $6 Million he’s denying to Libraries. What does Nixon want to do with the library funding? Only Nixon–and his cohorts know.

Choose your own reading adventure about Gov. Nixon’s efforts to defund the public library system:

Okay if you want a nice and polite run down of what’s going on with $6 Million in funds for the public libraries in Missouri — visit this lively link to Chris Arnone’s piece at BookRiot:

http://bookriot.com/2015/03/27/missouri-governor-nixon-putting-libraries-peril/#

Missouri teens got a real fact check in how politicians operate and how much they rate on the Missouri Governor’s value scale on March 18, 2015 when the Governor’s staff lied to them about the governor being out-of-state and threatened to have them escorted out of their offices by State Troopers.  You can read all about that shindig at BookRiot.

If you’re pressed for time, Chris Arnone has these suggestions for voicing your support for the libraries without threat of State Trooper escort:

 

  • Sign the two petitions on iPetition and Change.org.
  • Call Governor Nixon’s office at 573-751-3222.
  • Send letters or postcards to Nixon’s office: Office of Gov. Jay Nixon, P. O. Box 720, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
  • Head over to http://www.governor.mo.gov/ and click “Get Involved.”
  • Use the hashtag #SaveMOLibraries on social media.

Now for the not so nice and not polite reading adventure.

Damn how I love being able to connect with people everywhere via the internet.  I’m lucky enough to have my own damn computer and private access that I can use any time I want 24/7. I’m also aware that there are many people in my local area who are not so damn fortunate. I’m reminded of this fact every time I visit the Kansas City, Missouri Public Library and see a fully packed computer room offering access to the internet for people who are not so damn lucky as myself.  There’s always a waiting list and there are always people waiting for their online time. Many of them are looking for employment. Someone is always using the computers designated for creating resumes. Others are doing the exact same thing you are right now without giving it a second thought–enjoying surfing the net and flying around in cyberspace. In addition to these people there are those who bring their laptops to take advantage of the wireless access on site. My award wining public library is one damn electronic hot spot.

Why would anyone who values an informed and literate population want to deny people access to electronic information?

Yikes–conspiracy theories abound! 1984 anyone? Hmm? No need to ban books, just deny internet access.

For now I’ll fly with the people who deny access to others are people who prefer an ignorant, uneducated, uniformed bunch of dumbed down voters who are easily manipulated and controlled.

Am I suggesting that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is this ilk of politician?

Am I?

Well why else would he deny first $2,789,225 million in  2014 library funding then follow that up with withholding all of the state appropriated library funds of 2015 to the tune of $3,109,250 million?

Those funds provide libraries with everything needed for remote electronic access aka the REAL Program.

Imagine your life without your electronic connection–the very one you are enjoying right now as you read this on your internet connection of choice wherever you are.

What the fuck is Gov. Nixon up to with these millions of dollars? Does he have a fundraiser in mind? Who is he paying off?

Maybe his staff would like to monetarily thank the Missouri State Troopers for their on call assistance for escorting NON-professional, NON-corporate lobbyists out of their offices when they come, with appointments, to discuss their concerns about what’s really going on in Nixon’s brainbox?

Perhaps Gov. Nixon just can’t stand teenagers with fully functioning minds enabled by equally concerned adults snooping around the state capital looking for some answers and questioning some “family” values.

Aside: Last week I had some of those nice people who like to share the good word door to door. I told them they should go to the state capital and share their words with those folks. The older gentleman escorting and mentoring the two very clean-cut young whippersnappers practicing their word sharing said, and I quote: “They aren’t interested in listening to us.”

Hmm, according to Arnone over at Book Riot some elected officials were interested in hearing what was on the library supporting teenagers’ minds. I guess those might have been the ones who realize these young people will be voting in a few years and possibly becoming engaged in political issues as adults.

Clearly Gov. Nixon doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what book reading, literate, computer savy teenagers think or do–unless it involves sex education,. Oopsy daisy–can you get that kind of info on the internet? Hell yeah, you can.

Shit! The clock is ticking and I have an event to attend at the local library branch where, in addition to the wonderful group of people who work there, I’ll meet some of the other people who participated in the adult reading program face to face.  I’ll come back to cyberspace later–after library hours, in the wee hours of the morning or late at night or in the middle of the day. Any time I want electronic access I’ve got it. Not everyone does. They ONLY get it from the public library.

What are you up to with all those millions that belong to the public libraries, not just the big ones but the little ones too where someone is searching for everything libraries offer in this electronic age, Gov. Jay Nixon? Hmm? Nothing good, says my cynical mind, nothing good at all.

Please share the word about this monetary crisis threatening the public libraries in Missouri via your electronic devices and favorite social media vices. You don’t have to live in Missouri to share the information. Heads up, your public library funds may be on the funnel tunnel to somewhere else too–if they haven’t already gone done that pipe.

Visit the Kansas City Public Library at  http://www.kclibrary.org/ to get a gander of what they’re doing soooo very very right.

Tweet Away!

Thank you for sharing.

I’ll be back.

Yeah, Bear, I will. 🙂

 

Keeping new year’s resolution # 2

In case you haven’t guessed by now, my new year’s resolution #2 was to get back online and blog. Now don’t get all pissy because it’s #2 instead of #1. Numero uno was checking email for the first time in MONTHS. Yeah, now that I’ve found out all about who’s been naughty and nice, read Christmas Letters to Satan, had a few laughs thanks to Bear and Berit,  discovered my offspring INTENDS to put in an appearance on the new home front in a matter of weeks–goddamn it, she’s been gone for YEARS, what’s this prodigal daughter bullshit? Huh? I’m kidding. Okay not so much. Yeah, just kidding. Or not.

Anyway, long overdue greetings to anyone out there who’s paying one whit of attention to what’s NOT been going on in my blogcasa.

Am I supposed to feel guilty about this neglect?

Well, I do.

Sort of.

But–if you all knew what I know–you’d be grateful for the resounding silence here. Oh yeah.

I’ve been debating on what this first post of 2015 should be about for a couple of weeks: the holidays, films, books, horrible current events, –are there ever any wonderful events? I think not. –Sarge and Lily updates (yeah their story is ongoing), random thoughts about old dark British crime dramas such as Wire In the Blood and Touching Evil and what they reveal about the people who write the scripts, etc. . . .

Obviously NONE of the above has been taking up any wall space here. Nope.

I have decided to share one tiny suggestion for anyone considering making a long-term commitment to a significant other of any variety. Yep.  There may be fallout from this, but– that’s okay. Feel free to prove me wrong about this notion.

Forget pre-commitment counseling. Forget talking through all your hopes and dreams for a shared future. Don’t bother getting all your duckies in a row. If you really want to know what you’re in for with each other — MOVE.

You read that right–MOVE. As in take all your material shit from one place and put it in another-and see what happens. See who does what–and how they do it. Listen to what’s being said. Who decides what goes where and why. Have you got a leg dragger as a partner in moving crimes? A non-stop whiner? A get the job done no matter what mind working full steam ahead? Is your “other” taking time out for all the other things that need doing–like watching every episode of something called “Haven” nonstop? Who is willing to make midnight runs to empty huge trash bins because there’s NO way the trash truck can haul ALL the bags away at one time? –This requires a certain sense of humor and willingness to fight the wind blowing it all back at you again and again and again.  Are you ready to BANISH your partner from the moving site because all they keep saying is: “We’re never going to get this done. Never in a million years.” Frankly, who needs to hear that while getting it done? Hmm? Can you imagine someone saying that while a baby is being born? Better not to go there, right?

Seriously–if you want to get to know someone conduct a major move of worldly goods with them. I think some enterprising spirit could make a mint setting up a couple of abodes for people to ‘practice move’ in and out of in order to find out who their partner really is when it comes down to the nitty-gritty that’s involved in moving. Obviously hiring OTHER people to do the work defeats the purpose–unless your partner does this and leaves you to direct the hired help. That would tell you something important right there, wouldn’t it?

Bubble wrap–check.

Reusable grocery bags–check.

Cardboard boxes–check.

Duct tape–check.

Full tank of gas–check.

Keys–check.

Attitude adjustment–check.

Yeah, I missed you too. Oh come on, why would I lie about it? Huh?

Just when you thought fairytales were all out of face-lifts along comes Cinder.

🙂  Yeah, the television tubes have been flooded with retakes and remakes of fairytale galore in recent seasons. It’s been virtual Grimm’s gag-fest galore. Some results have been gleefully giddy good Grimm fun galore and others have been romantic soap operas deluxe.  Have you been suitably chastised about the perils of talking to strangers, wandering off in the woods, and greedy beanstalks? Some of us are awaiting the return of the modern Grimm Reapers complete with popcorn couch parties in the works.

Just when the market seems saturated with all kinds of re-workings of cautionary and sleeping beauty tales along comes the ultimate Cinder-rella—a glorious human-cyborg teenage girl with attitude, smarts and guts like none other. She lives in New Beijing with her wicked stepmother and sisters. With a few twists of her screwdrivers she can replace an outgrown metal foot or carve her name into the heart of the sort of charming pin-up poster Prince Kai. But before there will be any hot kissy faces there’s a plague to fight, an evil auntie to dethrone, a mystery or two to unravel and friends to make along the way.

Oh the glories of teen fiction. 🙂

Marissa Meyer’s young adult spin gives the Cinderella story an overhaul like none other and I love it. The thing about writing for young adults is that you can’t miss a beat and expect your audience to stick along waiting for you to get back on board with the fun and games. Meyer’s never missteps in Cinder or in the other tomes that continue the story. Scarlet–Little Red Riding Hood has never been so full of piss and vinegar –and partial to the Big Bad-ass Wolf.  Going where Grandma has gone is a tad more risky than a walk in the woods, but that doesn’t stop single-minded Scarlet from going hunting with Wolf watching her back-side. And then there’s Cress—ha, this Rapunzel is a computer genius with her fingertips on the pulse of the universe. Big Brother move over cause little sis has things to do and secrets to secret for her own escape agenda.  Disney never will top this rendition of the long tressed girl in a tower. No way. Ever see a blind man rescue his lady in waiting? The brash, vain Captain  Carswell Thorne doesn’t let anything keep him down –ever. So he’s been blinded by crash landing into the Sahara–who cares? Crsss is MIA and he’s going after her –cane and overly ethical escort droid in hand.

Ahhhh three books are ready for reading NOW–and Winter is coming in 2015.  Snow White is clearly some kind of head case with teen angst to spare.  I don’t suggest leaving out any bread crumbs or candy–this crew is  too hungry for love and life to go backwards –ever.

Marissa Meyer ~ > http://www.marissameyer.com/books/

Go on, visit the cool author site.

It’s tricks and treats for everyone who craves some reading FUN.

History ~~ Ouch–It Hurts! ~~ What’s Columbus Got To Do With Anything In 2014?

 

 

 

ACT I:

~In 1482, Columbus sailed the ocean blue~

He was Bad News for the Taino People ~

But some people don’t want to think about that reality.

~Why not?

Because then they’d  have to learn a new history.

~Ooops–but isn’t history supposed to be true and honest?

Depends on who is using which facts to support which version of what happened.

~Are you saying people manipulate facts to suit their own agendas?

Me? Why would I ever say something like that? It might be politically incorrect, and we can’t have that, can we?

~Hmm, but what’s Politically Correct for one group isn’t necessarily PC for another group. And people do have a tendency to abuse PC everywhere in order to create conflict and sometime even abuse other people who had no intentions of abusing anyone. There’s been some very rough irony involved in demands for PC over the years.

No way! Who would do something like that?

~Who doesn’t? Come on, look at the conservative media, the scared shitless media, the controlled media, the alternative media, the foreign media, the underground media, the social media–everyone spins everything to suit their vision of reality, right?

Do you think that’s what pissed off those high school kids in Colorado so much that they pretested in the streets about changes in what history would be taught?

~What do you think?

I’m not sure yet. But–I do recall what happened in Arizona with the Mexican-American Studies program being shut down because it presented a different viewpoint of history than what the TPTB wanted taught in schools.

~Hey, are you saying there’s a conspiracy to teach lies in American schools?

Look, I don’t go in for conspiracy theories.  But I don’t think this is a coincidence either.  Maybe it’s just like minds acting out in similar ways.  Or not.

~ Like minded people, right. Ah ha.

ACT II:

Lie. Lie. Lie.

Deny lying and lie some more.

Because if the truth is known the people might rebel.

There’s a very good chance they’ll refuse to be cannon fodder.

They might even learn other languages in order to talk to the rest of the world about issues that affect everyone.

Or not.

ACT III:

*

*

Howard Zinn on Honesty In History

*

Humor ~~ Warning! Contains Sarcasm, Irony and Questioning of Authority

If you’re still in the dark about the history curriculum issue in Colorado:

http://www.vice.com/read/colorado-students-are-fighting-a-patriotic-white-washing-of-us-history-929

As for the Mexican-American Studies Program in Arizona, check this out from Buzzfeed’s David Noriega:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidnoriega/arizona-schools-chief-ousted#35ypfte

 

Epilogue:

Am I spinning the facts? Me? No way.  Why would I do something like that?

P.S.

A few of the many Italian things I really like:

Friendly Italian people

Pizza

Florence, Italy

Pasta

Sandro Botticelli, artist ~ http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/botticelli/

~~No, I’m not going to talk about the Pope or the Vatican. One should never discuss religion. It’s very Un-PC. Or it used to be. I’m not sure anymore.

 

 

 

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